While Mark Zuckerberg rang in Facebook’s first day as a publicly traded company back in Silicon Valley, TechCrunch TV was in New York City to report on the scene from the NASDAQ stock market’s Marketsite building in Times Square. The opening bell and initial trades were a bit anti-climactic in person, as we’ve written — NASDAQ is a digital exchange after all, so there’s not too much to see visually.
But it was a great opportunity to check out the NASDAQ “floor” in person, and talk all things Facebook with David Kirkpatrick, the NYC-based founder of Techonomy, Fortune Magazine alum, and bestselling author of the book “The Facebook Effect — The Inside Story Of The Company That Is Connecting The World.”
You can watch our whole chat with Kirkpatrick at the NASDAQ Marketsite in the video embedded above, which I’d recommend because he gives a pretty compelling interview. Below I’ve included a few of his insights, just to whet your appetite (and perhaps inspire you to endure all 30 seconds of that pre-roll video ad):
Why it seems like everyone has come down with Facebook IPO fever:
“People are realizing the extent to which technology is changing everything in modern society, and Facebook is kind of the most prominent symbol of that. I think that’s one of the reasons why this is so obsessively watched.”
A chicken in every pot, a Facebook stock in every portfolio? It could happen:
“There may be a surprising number of new investors who buy shares in Facebook and were not stock investors previously. Whether that might make them more willing to buy other kinds of stocks, I don’t know. Frankly I doubt it. But I think that a lot of ordinary people who are likely to buy Facebook stock are people who are going to do it because they love Facebook so much. And they’re not just Americans, they’re people all over the world.
…The thing about Facebook is it has more passionate users than any product I’ve ever heard of. And that is an odd thing for a public company, and it could mean it’s a very widely held stock.”
Why Zuck stayed home in California:
“I think it was in order to symbolically say, things aren’t going to be that different we’re going to stick to our knitting. That’s why they had a hackathon last night. It was very symbolically chosen… it’s the same thing as wearing the hoodie to the investor presentation.”
How Facebook’s IPO could finally make jeans and hoodies acceptable in business, once and for all:
“I think business in general is stuffy, and slow-moving, and needs a jolt of Red Bull, really. I don’t know why businesspeople always have to wear suits — it’s stupid, it’s idiotic, it doesn’t even look good, and it’s not very contemporary.
…If Facebook continues to retain this degree of prominence in the market economy, I think it will begin to have an influence that the CEO of that company doesn’t wear a suit.”
David Kirkpatrick is the author of The Facebook Effect and an organizer of the Techonomy conference. Previously, he was the senior editor for internet and technology at Fortune Magazine. He specialized in the computer and technology industries, as well as in the impact of the Internet on business and society. He thinks that impact is huge. His book, The Facebook Effect, about Facebookâ€™s history and how it is changing behaviors across societies worldwide, was recently published. He maintains...
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...