Is Facebook's IPO an exit strategy?

Summary:There's money to be made on Facebook's IPO but is it a long-term investment? I don't think so but there's much to consider.

It's no secret that I'm not a huge Facebook fan. All you have to do is read some of my other posts on the topic. I think Facebook's IPO comes at a time when Facebook is on its way out--out of our lives and out of our gadgetry--for good. I believe that a lot of people have discovered that it's a waste of time and computing resources. It was cute for a while but now, they're trying to rekindle interest in this juvenile phenomenon by issuing this IPO. It's silly but it will make megamillionaires and billionaires out of people who aren't qualified to deliver pizza. Crazy stuff, that.

I think the IPO is a last ditch effort to breathe life into a failing concern. But, it won't work. Not for long anyway. I think people will wake up and say to themselves, "OMG, I have invested in something that doesn't really exist except in Cyberspace. I've...I've...invested in AIR!"

They'll wisely pull their money out and Facebook will fall to the wayside.

Goodbye and good riddance.

Although I hate Facebook and I think that the IPO is really just a money grab for those who own stock, let me add this: If I had stock in Facebook, I'd sell it as soon as possible and retire comfortably on my ridiculously gotten gain. Yes, I'd be on the phone to the broker and say, "Show me the money, baby, I am outta here."

I don't trust the stock market. I've seen fortunes lost in it. It's the same logic that keeps me out of the casinos. Sure, some people win but the losers far outnumber the winners. I don't like to lose so I don't play and I never bet unless it's a sure thing--and it never is. But, if I were the guy who painted that mural at Facebook and today he might be worth $200 million dollars, I'd take the money and run.

However, there will be people who ride it all the way to the bottom.

I can't wait to hear the "analysts" discuss Facebook's meteoric rise and fall. Everyone will give their roundtable spins as to the whys and hows and no one will remember this humble prediction. Except for me, that is.

Years ago Zuckerberg had an offer on the table for a couple billion dollars for Facebook. He didn't sell it. I would have. He held on. People don't know when to let go. Of course, he stands to make billions more now but my guess is that either he'll ride it to the bottom and end up with almost nothing or he'll wisely bail on it. The smart people involved will use this IPO bubble as an exit strategy out of a dying animal's carcass.

My advice is that if you have Facebook stock that you should cash it in because it will never be worth more than it is right now.

Why? Because it's a silly social network thing. It's false, people. There's no value in it. It's a bunch of blips on a computer screen. It's a false way to be "social." It's the latest MySpace.

Be smart, don't gamble your underfunded retirement on it. If you get the twinge to do it, think about Enron, WorldCom and so many others. Also, think about MySpace. MySpace was "all the rage" a few years ago. Now, you couldn't sell it for the electricity it burns up. A few years ago, everyone had a MySpace page. You had to have one or you didn't really exist. That's Facebook.

Facebook and the rest of "social" media is basically a scrolling wall onto which you "spray" your graffiti. It's now an acceptable form of communication. By acceptable, I mean accepted but pointless.

If you don't think Facebook is ridiculous, perform the following test.

Sit someone down across from you and pretend that they fell into a coma in 1993 and woke up a few days ago. Now, explain Facebook to that person. Hopefully, less than three minutes into the conversation, you will feel embarrassed and silly by talking about it, when you say things like, "You can post to their wall" or "I can update my status."

You must feel extremely important, if you truly believe that anyone cares what you're doing or where you're doing it.

Status update: I'm at a Lady Gaga concert. Woohoo!

Here's an idea, turn off your damn phone and enjoy the concert by being there. Unless you think your Facebook pals are at home saying, "OMG, Jenny's at the Lady Gaga concert, Jenny is soooo cool." I know it's crazy to ponder this but you could just call Jenny later and tell her about the concert or perhaps you and Jenny could actually go and hang out at the mall and tell her about it...OK, wait for this one...face to face. GASP! Is it like really possible to like talk to someone like when you're actually like looking right at them?

Whew, sorry, I digressed. I haven't had my pills yet today. I'll update my Facebook status after I'm done with this post and my wife will read it and then she'll like bring me my meds.

Just so that we're clear here. Facebook is bad. The IPO is a money grab. Don't fall for it. If you have fallen for it, snag your profits and update your status that you just made a million dollars. You're welcome.

What do you think of Facebook's IPO? Is it doom and gloom or renewed awesomeness? Talk back and let me know.

[I originally posted this commentary on February 2, 2012.]

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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