Friday 25 May 2012

Facebook has been less than forthcoming during their IPO and made a series of panic decisions just prior. Are they trust worthy?

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!

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