Photo: Associated Press
Facebook will not hit the public markets “anytime soon,” says CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook, using the sites new question and answers feature.The reason: Facebook wants to take “big risks,” with new products that might come under harsh scrutiny from the public markets. “Being private is better,” says Zuckerberg.
Another benefit to staying private for Facebook? The company is pre-IPO, which is very seductive for potential hires. Facebook has managed to hire away many Google employees of late, using (in part) the allure of getting rich once Facebook hits the markets.
Regardless, Zuckerberg doesn’t need to IPO anytime soon. DST’s big investment gave early investors plenty of return, and DST is very patient. It’s called a “holding” company for a reason.
Here’s Zuckerberg’s full response via TechCrunch which first notice the answer:
“We aren’t planning to go public anytime soon. As a company, I think we look at going public differently than many other companies do. For a lot of companies, going public is the end goal and they shoot for and optimise around it. For us, going public isn’t a goal in itself; it’s just something we’ll do when it makes sense for us. Since we compensate people at Facebook with stock and we took investment, I view it as my responsibility to eventually make that stock liquid for people, but that doesn’t have to happen in the short term and our primary responsibility is still just to make sure Facebook develops to its full potential.
I tend to think that being private is better for us right now because of some of the big risks we want to take in developing new products. For example, products like News Feed, Platform, Connect and so on were all fairly controversial early on but have proven to be valuable services. The experience of managing the company through launching controversial services is tricky, but I can only imagine it would be even more difficult if we had a public stock price bouncing around. There are a lot more new things left to build like the examples I mentioned above, and I’d rather focus on building them than on going public right now.”