There’s not really much to say about Facebook’s IPO filing other than we all knew the day would eventually come. People love to look at the number of users as the measure of the company, but the truth is users come and go, all empires eventually fall. They have since the dawn of man. It’s a terrible measure of what a company has done, and is capable of doing. Eventually market saturation will be reached. It’s unsustainable to grow quicker than the world’s population. Everyone but Wall Street and some tech blogs know that.
What really matters is a company’s DNA. For Facebook that’s the willingness to be agile, the willingness to push things, and the willingness to change. That may occasionally backfire, however it’s proven to generally work out quite well. Especially when Facebook is willing to back down and revise as it has in the past. Mark Zuckerberg’s goal is pretty lofty, especially given the world and it’s people are struggling to figure out privacy in a connected world.
To quote him in 2010: “we’ve made great progress over the last year towards making the world more open and connected”. Balancing this mission and not crossing the line will be the challenge Facebook will face for years to come. I’ve criticized them several times in the past for either not doing enough, or not giving enough priority to the right to control privacy. Lately I’ve got less to complain about. I think that’s good for everyone.