Stephen Foley: Well done, Facebook – now back to your screens
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Saturday 19 May 2012
US Outlook You won't hear any criticism from me of the triumphal scenes in Menlo Park, California, where Facebook employees gathered in the plaza of the company's headquarters to ring the bell of the Nasdaq stock market. Mark Zuckerberg and his right-hand woman, Sheryl Sandberg, whooped with delight, hugged and high-fived the crowd.
It is precisely the moment of which start-up entrepreneurs dream, and it is the product of genuine innovation and hard work.
The scenes will look pretty awkward if Facebook falls significantly below its offer price, but hey ho. The reality is that Facebook's employees are not any richer today than they were last month, when they had the ability to sell their stock on a private exchange, and it was sweet to see the company projecting as much of a "business as usual" front as possible on its momentous day.
For the previous night, employees had engaged in one of their regular "hackathons", when they work on new projects away from their usual job descriptions. The company needs to do some serious invention if it is to grow into the valuation now put on it. So, congratulations all. Now, back to work.
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