May 18, 2012

Facebook IPO: Amazed, Dismayed and Glad

As a keen observer of Facebook’s IPO, I was amazed, dismayed and also glad with the torrent of media coverage the listing received this past week.

“Amazed” because, quite honestly, I didn’t think people cared about it as much as the press coverage would lead you to believe. Sure, I get it: FB is the hottest, most ubiquitous social media site in the world–remaking communication and changing the media landscape….900 millions users and growing.

Yes, Facebook is all of those things, but the around-the-clock, non-stop front-page coverage seemed over-the-top. That said, I was also amazed the media was able to figure out every possible angle imaginable to cover both the IPO and FB’s underlying business.

“Dismayed” because with all of the coverage that the IPO received, other, perhaps more profound and far-reaching, business stories took a back seat this week. This included the ongoing collapse of the Greek and Spanish economies and its impact on world markets, the stock market’s horrible–I mean horrible–performance and the ongoing battle in D.C. over budgets, deficits, taxes and jobs (or lack thereof). Our economy isn’t exactly roaring, but everyone is so focused on Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth, as if really matters to any of us or the overall health of the economy.

Finally, I was “glad” by the coverage because DPR was able to place many clients squarely into the conversation about the value of FB’s stock, the right time for investors to purchase shares, FB’s plans for continued growth and profitability and the IPO’s meaning for the rest of the tech sector and other companies looking to test the public markets.

Net-net: While I wasn’t a big fan of all of the coverage and the media’s week of Facebook Obsession, I get it. More importantly: it was good for business and our clients.

Richard Dukas