As Facebook’s stock price fell below $30 today for the first time, some of Mark Zuckerberg’s worst fears are coming true.
Back in 2010, when Facebook was a mere Internet phenomenon (as opposed to the Universal Harbinger of All Capitalist Things, Good and Bad), bankers were already whispering in Zuckerberg’s ear about the benefits of going public.
If Zuckerberg took Facebook public, advisers told him, early investors and venture capital firms would be able to cash out. Facebook could raise a slush fund to use for acquisitions. And the company could steer clear of the S.E.C.’s 500-shareholder limit, which would have forced it to reveal its financials anyway.
But despite the potential bonanza that awaited a public Facebook, Zuckerberg still didn’t want to do it.