Stephen Foley: Well done, Facebook – now back to your screens


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The Independent Online

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.