Zuckerberg Explains Facebook in IPO Offering

As everyone knows, Facebook filed a $5 billion IPO today. Here is the actual filing. Among the contents is a letter from Mark Zuckerberg, explaining his vision of Facebook. [More...]


Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.

We think it’s important that everyone who invests in Facebook understands what this mission means to us, how we make decisions and why we do the things we do. I will try to outline our approach in this letter.

At Facebook, we’re inspired by technologies that have revolutionized how people spread and consume information. We often talk about inventions like the printing press and the television — by simply making communication more efficient, they led to a complete transformation of many important parts of society. They gave more people a voice. They encouraged progress. They changed the way society was organized. They brought us closer together.

Today, our society has reached another tipping point. We live at a moment when the majority of people in the world have access to the internet or mobile phones — the raw tools necessary to start sharing what they’re thinking, feeling and doing with whomever they want. Facebook aspires to build the services that give people the power to share and help them once again transform many of our core institutions and industries.
There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future. The scale of the technology and infrastructure that must be built is unprecedented, and we believe this is the most important problem we can focus on.

We hope to strengthen how people relate to each other.

Even if our mission sounds big, it starts small — with the relationship between two people.

Personal relationships are the fundamental unit of our society. Relationships are how we discover new ideas, understand our world and ultimately derive long-term happiness.

At Facebook, we build tools to help people connect with the people they want and share what they want, and by doing this we are extending people’s capacity to build and maintain relationships.

People sharing more — even if just with their close friends or families — creates a more open culture and leads to a better understanding of the lives and perspectives of others. We believe that this creates a greater number of stronger relationships between people, and that it helps people get exposed to a greater number of diverse perspectives.

By helping people form these connections, we hope to rewire the way people spread and consume information. We think the world’s information infrastructure should resemble the social graph — a network built from the bottom up or peer-to-peer, rather than the monolithic, top-down structure that has existed to date. We also believe that giving people control over what they share is a fundamental principle of this rewiring.

We have already helped more than 800 million people map out more than 100 billion connections so far, and our goal is to help this rewiring accelerate.

We hope to improve how people connect to businesses and the economy.

We think a more open and connected world will help create a stronger economy with more authentic businesses that build better products and services.

As people share more, they have access to more opinions from the people they trust about the products and services they use. This makes it easier to discover the best products and improve the quality and efficiency of their lives.

Zuckerberg is expected to make up to $28 billion from the offering. He will retain 56.9 percent of the voting shares. It's expected the valuation of Facebook will be $100 billion, with the public stock worth $71.6 billion.

It's not a slam dunk that the offering will be a bonanza to the new public stockholders. Here are Facebook's concerns.

Would you buy stock in Facebook? I wouldn't. But then again, my vision of the world isn't one in which we are constantly bombarded by what other people are, in Zuckerberg's words, "thinking, feeling and doing."

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  • Display: Sort:
    Google's (none / 0) (#1)
    by BTAL on Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 08:23:09 PM EST
    original unofficial slogan was "Do no evil", now look at its recent privacy position/actions.  Crackbook starts at an entirely higher plateau.

    Another vampire squid (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 09:05:14 PM EST
    wrapped around the face of humanity?

    hubris, thy name is Zuckerberg (none / 0) (#3)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 09:41:54 PM EST

    i wouldn't worry too much guys, (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 10:42:15 PM EST
    an outrageous IPO can't save facebook from itself. that's it's lasted as long as it has is a surprise, one who's time is running short. between all the privacy issues, and now the mandatory push for more profitability, from people not mr. zuckerberg, the entity will implode. the next big thing will come along, started by some 16 year-old on his home pc, and by this time 5 years from now, mr. zuckerberg and facebook will be answers to a trivia question.

    i hope the certificates are at least well designed, and suitable for use as wallpaper in your bathroom.

    Other trivia answers (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 11:20:33 PM EST
    Paul Allan
    Phil Knight
    Steve Jobs
    Rupert Murdoch

    Question: Famous American billionaires with a lower net worth than Mark Zuckerberg.

    That being said, in answer to J's question, IPO's over the long term tend to underperform their sector in the market. So my answer would be no.


    He has a point (none / 0) (#6)
    by CST on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:43:54 AM EST
    It's a different form of marketing, and in a way it works.

    I have noticed the ads on my google feed pertain to my interests, and I will admit I'm more likely to click on them.  Between groupon and all of the online deals around, it is more advantageous for me to buy things online than in person - for local merchants even.  For example, I like to ski, and I never buy tickets at the mountain anymore because they are so expensive.  But I get a lot of deals in my google feed, and I use them.

    I've seen friends of mine create businesses, many of which use facebook in some way for marketing.  I am much more likely to support a product that someone I know is working on, and because I joined facebook in college that includes a lot of people.

    So I can see the future and the benefit to facebook, and yes even the google changes, as an economic engine.  That doesn't mean I'm comfortable with the invasion of privacy, but I have become a bit resigned.  And at least in the case of facebook, everything that's there is something you chose to share.

    I'll lay even money (none / 0) (#7)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 04:44:44 PM EST
    At least 200 more one percenters from this IPO. Maybe OWS can use Facebook to organize a boycott of Facebook.