“thefacebook LLC” and first-movers (Lessons 11 & 12)

Tyler … knew all about the business concept of ‘first-mover advantage’ … For certain industries, it wasn’t about the quality of product or even corporate strategy. It was about who got there first.”

–Ben Mezrich, Accidental Billionaires (Ch. 20)

In our next two lectures (10/20 & 10/25), we will explore two important business law questions: one specific; the other general. First, we will focus on Facebook’s formal legal structure as a company. Specifically, why did Facebook become a “Limited Liability Company” or LLC in April of 2004? (See Lesson 11 of our Case Study for a copy of Facebook’s original “Articles of Organization.”)

Secondly, we will study the general strategic concept of “first-mover advantage” and apply this important idea to business litigation. Generally speaking, is there a first-mover advantage in business litigation? (If you have time, check out this article by Fernando Suarez and Gianvitto Lanzolla in the Harvard Business Review explaining the idea of first-mover advantage in business. See also Lesson 12 of our Case Study for a copy of the original complaint in ConnectU v. Facebook.)

Lastly, since we are using the founding and growth of Facebook as an in-depth case study to explore the legal and ethical environments of business, we will also re-enact a crucial scene from the movie “The Social Network” on Tuesday, Oct. 25th. This particular scene occurs overseas in the beautiful village of Henley-on-Thames in England (see image below) and involves many characters, including a member of Monaco’s Royal Family (Prince Albert), so we will need at least 6 volunteers for our next class.

 

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