It would take Roget's Thesaurus and a spirited debate to reach the exact meaning behind one of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's statements during his keynote interview at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference on Tuesday.
"Spotify is killing it right now," Zuckerberg said. But "killing it" could be Zuckerberg's way of saying Spotify is merely Spotify is exceeding expectations. Who really knows? "Killing it" doesn't really mean anything. Then again, it's a perfect term. People will buy into it. BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield tweeted that statement should get Spotify critics off its back, and that might hold true in some cases (in the cases where "killing it" does not mean losing tens of millions of dollars per year).
Spotify Grew Fast, Lost Money in 2011 -- No Surprises
You can get even more cynical if you so choose. Sean Parker was an early Facebook president and has invested in Spotify and currently holds a board seat. When Parker's relationship with both companies gives Zuckerberg an incentive to defend Spotify's performance, it's best to be skeptical when CEO's opt for "killing it" over "going really well." Again, that's a cynical viewpoint but not so cynical that TechCrunch couldn't point it out.
The rest of the keynote was like a brief history of Facebook's last few years: HTML5 was a bad mobile strategy, a Facebook phone doesn't make sense, its stock performance has been "disappointing" and Facebook mobile users are more likely to be active users.
Part mea culpa, part road map, the conversation was music to investors' ears. Facebook shares rose 3.3% to $19.43 and were up another 3.14% in after-hours trading.
"I think a bunch of people are underestimating us," Zuckerberg said at one point. Facebook's stock started trading at $38 and could open around $20 Wednesday morning. Analysts are cutting their expectations of Facebook's future revenues. Some journalists have started to wonder if Zuckerberg might be replaced. If that is underestimation, then yes, people are underestimating Facebook.