Look out, Palo Alto – there are about to be dozens of new millionaires, multi-millionaires, and even a few billionaires added to your ranks. Yep – Facebook’s IPO is right around the corner, and the prices have been set.
As someone who’s been involved with the web since ’96 or so, it’s always cool to see the industry growing and creating positive headlines. Say what you want about nerds, but we sure do have some of the best and most anticipated IPO’s!
And Mark Zuckerberg – with his unique blend of youth, intelligence, cunning and utter lack of personality – is re-defining the “entrepreneurial CEO” role in the process. At the end of the first day of trading, he’ll be comically wealthy (many, many billions), and somehow he’ll maintain a majority stake in the company. Or, more accurately, Mark’s re-definition of “preferred options” will leave him with 50%+ voting power, so he’ll be able to behave as if he does. It’s just amazing to watch from the sidelines.
All of those fortunes will be born from a website that allows you to connect with (and sometimes avoid) current, old and new friends. Seems simple enough, right? Makes you wonder why you didn’t think of it, right?
Well some did. There were others out there before Facebook (remember MySpace?). There have been a countless procession of competitors who’ve tried to grab a piece of the market (“what’s your Google+ group?”). But in the end, a website that’s not particularly attractive, intuitive or well-named will be worth almost 100 billion dollars. For context, that puts it in the league of McDonalds and Hewlett-Packard… and it greatly out-paces the absurd numbers that were thrown at Google when they went public a few years back.
For more context, here’s a pretty good read – http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112528447/facebook-ipo-could-be-worth-record-96-billion/
In the end, I think the Facebook IPO is a great thing. You can be a fan of Zuckerberg and his tactics, or you can be disgusted by them. There are certainly merits to either position. But, whatever your thoughts, he and his team are the next in a long line of business leaders who keep IT, the web, and nerds, on the front page of the newspaper by building a better mousetrap and making absurd amounts of money.
For our industry – there’s nothing better. Let’s just figure out what the “next” mousetrap is!
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