I must admit I bought into the quieter investment hype that led up to the LinkedIn IPO and if I wasn’t saving for my own startup, I would have laid down some serious coin for LinkedIn.
Something didn't feel right about the Facebook IPO. Too many negatives struck me, leaving a bitter distrust for the brand and Zuckerburg. I summed them all up with "meh", who cares.
As the Facebook IPO hype grew, I couldn't avoid paying attention. And the more I listened, the more the IPO pricing seemed like a bad idea. 100 billion dollars? Why? Where had the number come from - or was it just a record making ego challenge for a young guy who felt he had already conquered the world? The earnings didn't seem to justify the IPO goals.
My "meh" spider senses had a few sources:
- Zuckerberg's unwillingness to relinquish control of Facebook to shareholders didn't bode well. The founder of a brand boasting openness and connection distrusts his own capabilities to lead shareholders. What is he hiding?
- A PR fiasco just weeks before the IPO was met with silence and inaction. Females make up over half of Facebook's users and contribute a majority of content. A persistent and public outcry, about a lack of female representation in the organization's senior echelons, came from the fans of Facebook's outspoken COO, Sheryl Sandberg. The Facebook Board does not have a single female member or officer. I could understand if the IPO was keeping Facebook busy, but how could they alienate and ignore a group so critical to their own success, especially with an IPO in the works?
- Rewind to the "kid" that back peddled on his disregard for personal privacy statements and I have no avenues for warm and fuzzy with this guy.
Smart (in a lot of things), driven, courageous, young, accomplished - hey kudos! Integrity and leadership – are they there? Do they just need some time?
To be fair business always has a few hard lessons for us all which grow into invaluable experience and wisdom.
Venture Beat has done a great job of summing up what happened leading into the Facebook IPO.
I didn't bother going to see the Facebook movie - but I doubt it held this level of intrigue. Wow!