What a Week! Chicago Shines, Facebook Fades
Diplomats, journalists and protesters from around the globe converged on Chicago this week. The “City of Big Shoulders” pulled off one on the international stage by hosting the NATO Summit. Meetings and marches went forward, and just about everyone came out safe, without major incident. Hats off to my home town.
On another note, General Motors pulled its ads from Facebook just days before the technology company floated its shares on the NASDAQ. The automaker—that old, blue-collar industrial company—cited a lack of results from the eight-year-old tech upstart’s ad platform. That’s music to the ears of a direct mail printer competing for ad dollars.
The subsequent “big thud” was heard around the world on Friday, as Facebook share prices couldn’t gather momentum, and receded back to their start point by end of trading.
On Monday, Facebook’s precipitous fall sent people into a frenzy trying to explain why the IPO had fizzled and underwhelmed the marketplace so evidently. It would have been worse had underwriters and institutions not quickly jumped in to prop up the price at the $38 offering point, and the outlook may very well degrade when the stock settles and is open to short positions.
I don’t normally take pleasure in this type of thing, and I certainly applaud innovation and entrepreneurship. I use Facebook personally and for work, and I do think its worth much more than “watching your high school friends get fat,” as one late-night comedian commented.
What bothers me is the sky-high valuation. I’m no Luddite, and I AM a huge believer in IP and intangible value. In other words, I don’t need to touch everything I buy. But $100 billion to be told how many of my “friends” “like” Amazon? The market will weigh in on this, and it will be instructive to watch.