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Facebook’s IPO — Uncharted waters

Facebook is growing up. As soon as today or tomorrow, Facebook will become a public company with grown up things like quarterly earnings reports and analysts poring over its fiscal growth (or decline).

By now you know the numbers being tossed around. A US$5-billion IPO. A US$80-billion+ valuation. US$500-million in fees to be collected by securities firms for arranging the IPO. But all the details will be released really soon.

Many in the technology industry have been debating over whether or not we find ourselves in the middle of another dot-com bubble circa 1995-2000. When social gaming giant Zynga’s stock plummeted two days after going public, some said yes, we are in a bubble and it will pop soon. Then Zynga’s stock rebounded and is currently trading at it’s highest point since its IPO. Without clarity the industry looks to Facebook for answers.

Many said the Zynga IPO was overhyped, but they managed to pull out of a nose dive to prove the critics wrong. It looks like Facebook took notes. The company’s plan to raise US$5-billion is more “conservative” than anticipated. Starting from a more conservative base means it could always be increased to satisfy investor demand later. Facebook’s IPO is the largest tech IPO since Google, which raised US$1.67-billion.

Speaking to Memeburn, Gartner technology analyst Michael Gartenberg said that “we are currently in uncharted waters with social investments because of all the secondary markets. A lot of Facebook’s shares have been spoken for and some social companies have done better than others because of this.”

Gartenberg also believes the US$100-billion valuation is too high, “I am not willing to pay that for Facebook, but maybe someone is,” he said. “Ultimately Facebook is worth what the investors are willing to pay for it.”

He is quick to caution against hyped up expectations of what Facebook’s shares will be like. “We can’t really say much about this IPO to be honest until they file. We don’t know what the share prices will be and how much Wall Street will value the IPO, we just need to wait and see.”

Author | Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter

Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter
Nur is an enigma with a passion for creating words. He recently entered a love affair with technology and chorizo sausages. He travels a lot -- you catch him, if you can, at a Silicon Cape event every now and again. More
  • Darryl


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  • I have a 4MB line and can watch any full HD movie straight off. If you have the speed and US account it really is a joy to use, for the latest series or movie and radio. Other than that can’t do much with it.

  • Good points but I would add, I have one and i stream all my movies off my harddrive in another room right to the TV. So you wanting to plug in an external. Leave it plugged into your TV in a study and just wireless your house. It then truly comes into play how easy everything is.

    A trick missed here I think.

  • FalKirk

    The premise of your article is flawed. Televisions make poor computing and web devices. They are not good at email, web browsing etc. We prefer to do computing on our computers (notebooks, tablets and phones) rather than on fixed, large screen televisions. This is why the whole “second screen” movement is growing so rapidly.

    I understand that you disagree. But so long as you rest your article on the foundation that the televisions should be a computing devices, your argument, in my opinion cannot be supported.

  • Apple TV 3rd Gen owner

    Hey brother – my family does not experience several of the shortcomings you raise. We mirror our iPads/iPhones to the 3rd gen Apple TV and thereby get full browser capability with familiar touch controls for sizing, panning, scrolling, etc. Similarly we get access to all iPhone/iPad games as we have already customized our existing iPhone/iPad devices on Apple TV. The personal movies we have taken are also available in this same way from the camera roll on the iPhone. We also use the Puffin browser (available from Apple app store) mirrored from the iPad to watch Flash video streaming on the Apple TV. We use the “iMemories” third party cloud to share family videos with family across the world, and watch this via Puffin browser (mirrored from the iPad) on Apple TV (and on our iPhones/iPads anywhere). This also works for any show we find on the Internet. When we purchase or rent movies via iTunes via Apple TV we do not need to wait for download – the program starts on Apple TV in seconds. All TV programs, movies, etc. purchased from Apple are kept in Apple’s cloud forever, so we do not need to store them or back them up at home. This gives access to all videos from all devices (iPhone, iPads all family members) at all times from all places including the large screen in our home TV via Apple TV. Photos we take on the iPhone stream to iCloud via Photostream and automatically become part of Photostream slideshow on Apple TV and personal photo albums can be viewed on Apple TV, too. Our TV is an older analog (36″) that we connect to the third gen Apple TV via HDMI converter ($30). So, no elite TV required.

  • You have a lot of ‘whys’ in your article. I just have one, why didn’t you do some reading on its capabilities before buying one?

  • This article is about what I think Apple TV should be relative to its competition, and how I think it fails as a media centre.

  • Ah, but you have to use another device to get that functionality out of the Apple TV, which I think is a dependency and a weakness. Why should I need a further device to get browsing functionality, when the media centre attached to my TV should be able to do it?

    By the way with XBMC or the like you can mirror your iPad pretty easily. It doesn’t have to be an Apple TV

  • well, I agree with you on email, but not on web browsing (and many other computing functions). I think browsing can be a “lean back” activity, and it is perfect for TV. TV’s are already computing devices, so I am not so sure you can really argue against a very powerful and already-prevalent trend that companies are investing billions into.

  • so I agree with you up until a point. I stream wirelessly… and I should have raised this in the article (which I didn’t). The problem with where we are on this: it is never 100% perfect, especially for HD movies. But I still would want the flexibility of a single centralised media centre that has everything that can receive a hard drive and stream to the rest of my devices…

  • FalKirk

    “I think browsing can be a “lean back” activity, and it is perfect for TV.” – matt

    I think the entire industry agreed with you and Microsoft and many other companies have been banging their heads against the living room for almost two decades in an attempt to prove that the TV can be a computing device. And each attempt has failed abysmally.

    I do believe that we live in a multi-screen world where the TV is just one of many screens that we can use to observe computing content. But I also believe that the TV is better suited to acting as a display rather than acting as an input device. Time will tell (if it hasn’t already).

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