This post was supposed to be about what could change when Facebook goes public, like it's expected to in the second quarter of this fiscal year.
Then I read this article from fortune.com
about how, apparently, Facebook has already gone public. Here, contributor Joshua Brown writes about how Facebook isn't that much different from companies that have already gone public. He states:
"Facebook has billions in capital, owing to the umpteen rounds of money-raising at various levels of the venture capitalism sequence. It has thousands of shareholders by virtue of the fact that it has taken money from firms like Goldman Sachs (GS
) and DST Partners who themselves have investor capital plugged in. It has the financial press hyperventilating over their every pronouncement as well as a cottage industry of amateur and professional analysts modeling the company's financials based on any scrap of knowledge that should shake loose from Zuckerberg's pockets."
Well, so much for thinking anything would change...aside from officially filing an initial public offering, of course.
It will be interesting to see how Facebook does as a public company. In particular, I wonder how sustainable Zuckerberg's Law
will be when placed in the context of pleasing shareholders.
If people continue to share exponentially more about their lives via Facebook each year, then the money'll keep rolling in. But then again, if people become more guarded about their online presences due to privacy concerns, there could be a problem.
I also wonder about the sustainability of Facebook. Will it really be around forever? We once thought AOL and MySpace would be around forever. Then something better came along. Who's to say the same won't happen here? We now live in a world where news grows old in minutes, not days. Is a social network like Facebook really immune to that — even if it does constantly change?
So when Facebook does go public — will you buy its stock?