An inevitable result is that some expectations simply won't be met given how high expectations have risen for what is being flaunted as the greatest tech (or just general) initial public offering in history.
Nevertheless, that doesn't mean Alibaba's move to Wall Street will be any less impressive -- especially given the tech giant's starting stock price.
Known in the United States primarily for its association with Yahoo, Alibaba is an eBay-meets-Amazon and then some kind of business.
Alibaba owns Taobao Marketplace, China’s largest online shopping business, as well as Tmall, the country's largest third-party platform for brands and retailers. As boasted by the company itself in the F-1, "Alibaba is synonymous with e-commerce in China."
Most of Alibaba's revenue derives from online marketing and ads. Other revenue streams include membership and transaction fees, value-added services, and cloud services.
There are a few big tech IPOs on the horizon expected to close before the end of 2014. But one thing we can all bank on is that none will be as big as Alibaba.