There was an unproven, unsubstantiated rumour a few years ago when Betfair, an online betting exchange, announced it was applying for a public (stock exchange) listing valuing the company in $billions. The story goes that thousands of hard core users basically said "no problem, if we don't get a cut (since we create all your revenue), we're off to use another service". Betfair withdrew its application.
The recent uproar from users this week on draconian changes to data ownership forced Facebook to back down. Facebook's current valuation is $15 billion. Er...some of this is really going to have to go to the users, and I just wonder if this is on VC risk registers.
Facebook. Be afraid. Be very afraid.