The Social Network: Great movie, bad math

Eduardo Saverin begins owning approximately 1/3 of Facebook shares, but ends up owning approximately 1/27 after signing his "own death certificate" by allowing for the eventual issuance of 24 million new shares. He characterizes this ownership dramatically as "point zero three percent" (.03%).

In actuality this is roughly 3% after dilution. Yes, 1/27 = ~.03 (the likely source of the number in the movie), but expressed as a percentage this is ~3%, not .03%.

Original ownership: 1,328,334 / 3,861,436 (34.4%)
Diluted ("you issued 24-million shares..."): 1,328,334 / 27,861,436 (4.7%)

Below is the script from three different scenes in the movie. By combining scenes from various points in the movie, you get the math above:


Concatenated script of "The Social Network"

3 comments:

  1. I don’t really understand how his percentage went down so much and the whole “diluted” thing while Mark Zuckerberg still had a large percentage of shares. Can someone please enlighten me on the situation?

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