Depending on who you ask, the Facebook IPO will result in boundless glory or is destined to be remembered as the final pinprick in an impending burst of the current tech bubble.
For my part, whereas in the past I likened Facebook to previous Walled Garden successes like AOL (the AOL of the early 90′s, not the AOL of today – which is a SHIFT client!), in the past 18 months or so I’ve only been impressed by Facebook’s ability to embed itself across the larger, open expanses of the Web. It “rides alongside” us as we surf, versus dictating how and where we experience the Web, as Ye Olde AOL used to.
This fact, plus the service’s global adoption rate, plus what appears to be an increasingly sensitive perspective re: user privacy (borne of past errors), makes me pretty sanguine about Facebook’s future. Invest!
The Facebook IPO is also good news for Silicon Valley in general, as the Merc aptly discussedlast week. While the Merc article talked more about the remora-style companies who will benefit from Facebook’s shark-like dominance, the economic boon will also be felt by the myriad service providers (including marketing agencies) who cater to the Silicon Valley set.
New millionaires means new startups: the brilliant engineers who started out with Zuckerberg will soon have the means to strike out on their own. I look forward to having scores of meetings in the year ahead, in which I am proudly told, “The CEO of <hot start-up> was one of the original engineers at Facebook.”
God bless the entrepreneurs.