Saverin: Facebook's rapid growth is its 'biggest risk'

The Facebook co-founder argues that the rapid growth makes it "hard to iterate, educate."

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.
Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin Facebook

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin isn't convinced that the social network's fast-growth strategy is a good one.

Speaking at a conference in Singapore today, Saverin said that while growth is a "huge asset," it can lead to a very real problem that shouldn't be overlooked.

"The biggest risk is growing too fast," he said, according to Bloomberg, who had a reporter at the event. "When you grow too fast, it's hard to iterate, educate."

Facebook is making no secret that it wants to grow as quickly as possible. Last month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he plans to increase spending by 50 percent, or $1.4 billion. That came after the company boosted spending by 67 percent in the previous year. Facebook plans to spend a bulk of its cash on mobile initiatives and advertising -- two elements that will prove extremely important for future growth.

Still, there's a problem. As Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter told CNET last month , the social network needs to see revenue grow by 28 percent "just to keep net income flat" if it actually increases spending by 50 percent. And that might prove difficult.

Saverin, who netted a huge sum in Facebook's IPO, and has a net worth that exceeds $1 billion, has had his fair share of trouble with the company. Saverin years ago sued Facebook for his stake in the company. After a drawn out fight, the case was settled out of court and he was given a co-founder credit on Facebook's site.

Despite the risks, rapid growth is not something new for Facebook. The company currently has 1.1 billion active users and continues to see huge growth in several countries around the world. Perhaps that's why Facebook's plan for rapid growth isn't concerning the company -- it's the same old thing it's been dealing with since its founding.

 

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