Life After IPO! Facebook: Growth? Innovation? Development? Profits? You Bet!
If you use Facebook for business or pleasure, you must consider its current and potential profitability. Those in the know question (investors, critics, the ornery) its ability to capitalize on its opportunities, especially in the wake of filing its S- 1 IPO prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The ornery and the jealous may be grumbling that the founder and largest shareholder, Mark Zuckerberg (57% of stock) and his board and engineering team will not readily be able to figure out how to exploit Facebook's gazillion users in order to continue its growth and make money without driving some folks away for its pernicious corporate greed.
After all, the Occupy groups and most if not all advocacy groups like Access, MoveOn.org and Demand Progress and many others have like pages on Facebook upon which they steadily and daily post on their sites.They represent anti-monopolistic forces who appreciate corporate compromise with consumers and unions. The groups may ditch their support for a site that turns into one of the corporates they so love to dress down and petition against.
Meanwhile, anyone who can walk and suck Altoids at the same time will probably be scrambling to buy the stock because of the hype of the site, which hypes itself, the book The Accidental Billionaires, the film The Social Network, various Zuckerberg biographies, The Mark Zuckerberg Comic Book, and then of course, the attendant articles in the media when events related to Facebook occur, for example the Winklevoss Twins' renewed attempt to litigate and soak the company for even more money after their initial settlement. If An American Boy Doll (counterpart to the American Girl Doll) comes out and looks like Mark Zuckerberg around the time of the opening and everyone who buys over 300 shares of stock gets the doll as a gift, I wouldn't be surprised. Nothing would surprise me at this point about Facebook and Zuckerberg's canny ability to promote his beloved child that sprung from his brain, like Athena sprung from Zeus' grey matter.
One interesting result is how the Facebook IPO will impact the private trading markets. The company has played a big role in the private trading markets that allow eligible investors the chance to scarf shares of burgeoning Internet companies years before they go public. "There's no question that once Facebook goes public, there will be a hole in this market," commented Hans Swilden of Industry Ventures, a $1.1 billion fund that buys secondary stakes in private companies. For SecondMarket, one of the largest private exchanges, Facebook accounted for the majority of the $1.1 billion of stock that it's traded since 2009. Managing directors of funds in the private markets, who have seen companies like SharesPost and Wedbush Securities spring up to handle the Facebook phenomenon, know they will probably never see such growth again before a company goes public.Continued on the next page