i’m not actually friends with mark zuckerberg — or the other founders of facebook, dustin moskovitz, eduardo saverin, and chris hughes. but i feel like we should be. after all, mark and his friends started facebook in 2004 at harvard university as a way for students to check out other students–it replaced a paper bound directory that couldn’t keep up to date on everybody’s relationship status. by 2007, i was posting pictures, tracking down folks i went to high school with and playing online scrabble with facebook friends i’d never met.
about that relationship status. i was separated from my husband and mark had still not figured out that “it’s complicated” is a good status. i listed “single” and a few short months later my husband joined facebook, sent a friend request and was pretty darned unhappy that i was jumping the gun on the american divorce court system. we agreed to defriend each other and although we are very much divorced we are very friendly. it’s . .. complicated.
but mark, we were talking about mark. and the founders of facebook and the other private shareholders of facebook. up until yesterday, they were the sole investors in facebook. with an initial public offering (ipo), those shares are let loose on the public market and anybody can be a facebook shareholder.
ah, the winklevoss twins! they went to harvard with mark and they thought they were part of the creation of facebook. this was the point of two lawsuits between the twins and mark. as part of a settlement of one of those suits, the winklevoss twins own six million shares of facebook. caution: do not invite this trio to the same potluck supper!
so the offering of shares yesterday was a little like the story of goldilocks and the three bears–set the initial price of the shares too low and the private shareholders don’t get as much dough, set the price too high and institutional traders won’t bite and the price will plummet and everybody will think your company sucks.
the facebook shares were initially offered at $38 a share when mark rang the opening bell at nasdaq trading headquarters. after rising and abruptly falling the price of the shares returned to just under $40 per share at the closing bell. does that mean the initial price was just right?
thursday was a big day for mark, the founders, the shareholders, and new investors! but it was a regular day for facebook employees (many of whom, by the way, own shares in the company). at one of the company cafeterias at the menlo park, california headquarters, the day began with a breakfast of strawberry banana soy smoothies, coconut mango smoothies, whole wheat cranberry orange scones, sausage and biscuit hash with cream gravy, whole wheat choco-chip pancakes with vanilla whipped cream, whole wheat low fat flax waffles, and old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes. Meals are always free for facebook employees. i would totally screw up my diet!
best wishes to mark and facebook! mark and some other visionaries are very rich now. so rich that they can’t attend occupy wall street rallies anymore. but they provided us with a service we needed to keep in touch, to play that scrabble and to share with the world cute pictures of our cat.
last year, i made a new years resolution to meet all my facebook friends. i was a scaredy cat who didn’t leave the house much and i wanted to know who all these friends were! the resolution changed me. i have to say . . . thank you, mark!