DT Talks. Facebook Sets Historic IPO.

“Zuckerberg’s thinking said he has long been fearful of the damage an IPO could do to the company’s culture. He wants employees focused on making great products, not the stock price, they said.  Facebook Sets Historic IPO.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s thinking began changing when Facebook realized in 2010 that it would have more than 500 shareholders by the end of 2011, which would trigger a regulatory requirement that the company start publicly reporting financials. Mr. Zuckerberg decided it made more sense for Facebook to go public and reap some financial benefit from an IPO.”

He is 27 years old and worth 17 BILLION dollars.  After the IPO, he will be worth 28 BILLION.  Really? 

When someone makes the $5 Million Dollar mark, I bet they feel like the shit.  A short time later, it’s on, and they think, “If I can make 5 million, why not 50?”  Ok.  I get that.  50 million seems like a comfortable number.  There is a lot you can buy/do with 50 Million Dollars.  That being said, there is a world of difference between 50 million dollars and 28 BILLION.  The number gets so large that it’s ridiculous.  You’re not even in touch with the number anymore (if you don’t start to give back to the world).  You might as well say “Pass the Salt” or “Have a Nice Day” because like those phrases, it just has no value.

Let’s stroll down memory lane, shall we?  Bill Gates, who wanted to “put a computer on each and every desk”, which he did, just didn’t fall off the pick-up truck and become altruistic (The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and decide to help the poor and needy in Africa.  Hell no.  He was forced to.

For 20 long, hard years, the government tried to nail him on being a monopoly.  Gates ran his affiliates and competitors out of town using monopolistic (and clearly against the law) tactics.  Gates didn’t step down from running the company because he wanted to.  No.  He had to step down.  The government finally won their case.

But, Gates still got the last laugh.  In the government’s inability to deliver justice, ruled that Gates should diversify his company and break it up into smaller companies because it was just “too big”.  The net effect to Gates was that he made even MORE MONEY than he thought imaginable by this so-called penalty.

  • Note to my readers:  I am diverging from my usual dating/relationship talks to discuss politics/business today because I think it’s important.  One in an occasional series…

These guys don’t become the richest men on earth for no apparent reason.  It takes a team of government lawyers to finally put them out to pasture.  With Gates, it took 20 years.  With the tobacco industry, it took 50 years.  If you don’t know that story, go rent The Insider which does a phenomenal job at explaining history.  Basically, the attorney who won the case against the tobacco companies was victorious because he said the cigarette is a “transportation device” for drugs and had nothing to do with tobacco.  Tobacco is a natural product.  Tobacco doesn’t produce cancer.  It’s the 200 or so chemicals that the tobacco companies put IN the cigarette that are carcinogenic.

Why would they purposefully create and promote cancer?  Because cancer is BIG BUSINESS.  The doctors, the drug companies, the hospitals, the labs, the “research teams”…everyone makes a TON OF MONEY!!!

Oh, and to piss you off even further…guess who Gates hired to defend him during those 20 years?  Yup.  That famous attorney who won the case against the tobacco companies.  Gates is no dummy. 

So, fast forward to now.  For 20 years, they breathed down Gates’ throat for creating and continuing a monopoly.  Even though Zuckerberg is not accused of that, the government is breathing down his throat every minute for breaking Privacy Laws.  Zuckerberg knows everything about us.  Where we live, who our friends and family are, where we went to school, how and where we shop, and on and on.  He is selling that private information, without our permission, to advertisers who target-market us.  That’s how he made his 17 million.

So, what exactly is completing an IPO gonna do for Zuckerberg?  He says he is worried that he will have to publicly disclose his company’s earnings.  His company is currently almost at the legal limit of shareholders where it is required to make these numbers public.  To his fear I say “So what?”  Everyone already seems to know how much Zuckerberg is worth.  Everyone already seems to know how much Zuckerberg’s company is worth. 

He says that by making the company public, he “decided it made more sense for Facebook to go public and reap some financial benefit from an IPO”.  Really?  So, you go from 28 Billion to 128 Billion…and then?  When is too much too much?

I guess what I’m trying to ask is when is money, power, and fame…enough?

I’m not trying to hate on Zuckerberg as he is not the only one on board this ship.  There are a few dozen more men just like him:  the drug companies, tobacco, fast food chains, telecommunications giants, arms dealers, the oil companies, financial institutions…to name a few.

Chasing money, power, and fame is a habit…one that is fueled by a pure adrenaline rush.  It’s just as effective as taking a drug for real and equally addictive.

The question I’ve been asking myself for a few years is what would make these men stop and forfeit money, power, and fame?  In my opinion, you cannot drop a habit unless you replace it with another (hopefully a more positive) habit.  Gates got shipped off to business-Siberia (his charity in Africa, and only because he was forced to).  What about the other handful of jokers?  What would it take for them?

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