Imagine that you’re the PR Director for a small, private company that is preparing for its Initial Public Stock Offering and hoping to secure the attention of institutional investors. What would constitute a home run is a glowing, front page article in the Wall Street Journal touting the numbers and the euphoria surrounding the next most anticipated Wall St. debut since Facebook. Today, it happened. Twitter, the latest social media darling received a glowing endorsement from corporate news editor Dennis Berman. The numbers appear to add up and seem rather convincing if you believe his analysis. Certainly some investors don’t share this enthusiasm, particularly after the miserable stock performance of Facebook following its own IPO. However, the significance of this positive news article in arguably one of the nation’s most respected business newspapers can’t be overlooked. What do you think is the value of this single article?
In the wake of the anticipated $5 billion Initial Public Stock Offering (IPO) for Facebook, a revealing portrait of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s management and company philosophy is found in an open letter to future stockholders found here: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2012/02/01/text-of-mark-zuckerbergs-ipo-letter.html?page=all
The letter is alternatively forward thinking and snarky. Perhaps his mantra that “done is better than perfect” symbolizes his engineering-focused rule of computer programmers. Their stated company code to break it down and reinvent, otherwise known as the “hacker way,” seems troubling because of what it does not say. I did not find a long-term philosophy about building a great company. Perhaps this is an archaic business philosophy in a world where get-rich dot-com companies come and go. As a potential investor, I did not find anything reassuring about the company’s attempt to protect consumer privacy or to provide a long-term return on investment for shareholders. Does this sound like a nurturing place to work or one in which confrontation rules and no-holds-barred engineering trumps the value of the people who work there. What do you think?