Since its early days as an exclusive, elite colleges-only phenomenon, Facebook has always attracted an outsize amount of attention, but the spotlight has never shone on the company with the same level of unwavering intensity as it has in the months since the Silicon Valley darling's botched IPO in May.
With the firm's stock down 50 percent from its initial first day high of just over $42 per share, many observers have wondered how Facebook can adapt to its new set of challenges.
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Facebook's VP of Communications and Public Policy Elliot Schrage stopped by California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom's Current TV chat show this week to insist that, no matter what happens, the company's core focus remains the same from its earliest days.
"We've had lots of conversations internally if being a public company would change us, would change our culture. I think it's wrong to suggest that there's been this transformation now that we're a public company," Schrage explained. "My joke was, we were the most public private company in history...It's not as if we work up one morning and all of a sudden we were surprised that people were interested. The day before we went public we still had hundreds of millions of people using our service every day. That's what generates all the interest and attention--more so than the financial element."
"It really comes down to being authentic and transparent in what you're trying to do," Schrage continued. "No one will accuse [Facebook CEO] Mark [Zuckerberg] of being unclear that his passion is the mission of Facebook--to make the world more open and connected. No one reading the letter he wrote that was included in the [IPO] prospectus can doubt that his priorities. He put it very well, he said, 'We don't make products to make money, we make money to make products.' "
Zuckerberg himself recently came out in a very public way taking about his company's trials and tribulations in an interview with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington at a TechCrunch Disrupt conference held in San Francisco earlier this month.
He told the standing-room only crowd that the company's biggest mistake was betting heavily on HTML5 and that Facebook's next pathway for growth is through mobile--a platform whose potential for generating revenue he soon sees outstripping desktop devices.
The interview with Schrage, along with segments featuring Clint Eastwood producer Robert Lorenz and bestselling author Ken Robinson runs this Friday at 11 p.m. PT / 2 a.m. ET on Current TV.
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