The WSJ’s Jessica Vascellaro has a long profile on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and the forthcoming IPO.
Here are the highlights:
- Mark confirms that Facebook is going public, but not for a while
- Accel partner Jim Breyer says that the IPO won’t be in 2010 (read: 2011)
- Facebook expects to do between $1.2 billion and $2 billion of revenue this year
- Employees are agitating for an IPO to cash in, but the private-market sale plan mollified them somewhat
- Facebook got around the rule that forced Google to disclose its financials (having more than 500 shareholders) by switching to restricted stock units instead of options. Now employees won’t become shareholders until the company goes public.
- Mark is worried (justifiably) that going public will reduce the company’s flexibility
- Mark used to end meetings by thrusting his fist in the air and leading employees through a chant of “domination!” Someone hurried to tell the WSJ that this was a joke. Mark stopped doing it after he was advised that it was ridiculous and that some people might not think it was a joke. We doubt it was a joke (“jokes” like this get old quickly).
- Mark started wearing a tie instead of a t-shirt recently because “This is a serious year.”
- Mark is a micro-manager who has recently begun to step back and focus on broader strategic issues.
- Yale professor Jeff Sonnenfeld says Facebook is at the point where some companies blow up because the founders are “too sure of themselves.” Facebook, Prof. Sonnenfeld says, “is at a crossroads where we have to see if Mark can build a team strong enough to challenge him.”
- Mark used to brag about his ability to delay gratification
- Mark’s mum calls him “Princely”