I’ve been trying to avoid the Facebook mud wrestling soap opera spectacle for a month, the commentaries on a new age for IPO’s then later the coming end of capitalism (IPO’s apparently are a key element, see: The big engine that couldn’t from the Economist), now the post-mudpit FBI, SEC, NASDAQ face saving tragi-comedy. When will it end and who cares?
Personally, I wish Facebook the best. It’s a great story and with a 28 year old at the helm, he didn’t want to go public and retains over 50% of the shares. If our biggest companies were all owned by innovative 28 year olds, we might not be in the mess we’re in now. Pure conjecture… What’s not to love? He believes in his company. On the other hand, I can think of a recent internet IPO that probably deserves more attention… Zuck’s (like I know him…) has made many a twenty-something rich, and built a better mousetrap. Early precursers are now forgotten, and when I read tweets, “I can’t wait to short”, and the blogosphere’s post-euphoric contrarian take on this company, I wonder. Why the hypocracy? Did Facebook make too many people rich? Don’t you use it every day? Should I blame Morgan Stanley for my investment decisions or the exchange? Getting in on this IPO was like owning the latest i-Phone. Why? I read a simple tweet yesterday. “Facebook is a website.” For those wanting to invest (or short), hey go for it, the market will clear things up, the regulators are going to f%ck things up and you’ll soon be able to fantasize over the next iGadget. You can tell all your neighbors at the weekend BBQ that you own shares of FB. Don’t you and the press have anything better to do?
For the 4 dedicated readers of this blog, if it’s a ‘must have’ it’s a ‘must avoid’. I love Facebook’s story, I loved Apple’s story once upon a time, and I still love Googles’. Using a roadshow, media elite, public relations and advertising to transform products (and I use that term lightly), into the realm of religious political affiliation on the other hand is disturbing. It makes me think of the class warfare terminology that is getting tossed around on our never ending campaign trail.
Facebook will never be the same. The honeymoon is over. It’s ironic that Zuck announced his mariage the day after. We’ve seen internet darlings come and go, and we’ve seen the transformational difference of going public on Google. We’re in for 24 hr Facebook punditry for the foreseable future. Who will they buy? Who will they put out of business and stifle? Is $FB proof that our exchanges are inept and an unfair private club?
My guess is that they’ll need a product in the real sense of the word, eventually, and Motorola has been consumed. Ignoring this noise is going to make for profound discussion, over a few beers.