Happy Facebook Day
Get out the tree and give out those gifts. Start cooking the feast and get ready to pass out on the sofa. It's Facebook Day.
It would be a straight up lie to suggest that "no creature was stirring, not even a mouse" yesterday, as the buzz was close to deafening. You can read about the Facebook IPO on sites like MTV.com, as well as the more expected news sites. It seems that everybody is talking about this. Seriously, when was the last time the stock market was this "hip"?
Yes, you heard it here first. Finance is the new rock 'n' roll.
OK, not really, but you get the idea. Mark Zuckerberg's college dorm project is about to become the biggest tech IPO ever. You will see the numbers everywhere today but, to reiterate, Facebook (which will trade as NASDAQ: FB) is offering over 484 million shares that are expected to raise roughly $18.5 billion for the company.
What we do know is that, by the end of the day Zuckerberg and a select group of people that have been with him since the early days, will be much wealthier.
It is a fascinating thing, to watch Facebook explode in front of many bemused eyes. There seem to be many people, more experienced financial guys, resenting Zuckerberg's hoodie-wearing youth. He is changing the image of business, and a lot of people don't like it. After all, it is only a few years ago that Zuckerberg was giving out business cards that read "I'm CEO, bitch".
Few can argue with the fact that he has a sharp mind. Brutal at times (as highlighted by Sorkin's Social Network movie), but sharp. One of the interesting things that has come out of the recent close(r) look at Facebook is that the company hosts regular "hack-a-thons", within which the employees spend 24 hours coding and coming up with ideas.
"Hack-a-thons are this awesome part of our culture," Zuckerberg said. "Every month or two, everyone stays up all night just experimenting with things and building things quickly. And the only rule is that you're not allowed to work on the same thing that your day job is."
The people who can't code? Well, they still stick around for the night, making food and coming up with creative ideas in other areas.
It's not the fact that Zuckerberg makes his staff work all night, it's that they want to. There is an energy that the CEO has instilled, an excitement, and a smile. Corporate America is changing, and he's mixing it up.
So today, Zuckerberg will ring the bell and people will cheer. Then they will be guessing what FB will end on. Zuckerberg will sell 30.2 million shares of his own, netting around $1.1 billion, which will cover his tax bill. After the IPO, he will hold 503.6 million shares, roughly 31% of the company worth $19.1 billion.
Let the madness begin.
Follow me @BCallwood.
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