Sizzle, fizzle -- everyone's got an opinion of the Facebook IPO. That's the beauty of social media, right? Everyone's got a voice and every voice counts.
The "sizzle" side goes something like this: "Are you kidding me? This is huge and everyone got what they wanted. The company got its valuation of $104 billion; Zuckerberg got his $19-plus billion; about 400 millionaires were created; the bankers got what they wanted -- sizzle enough for you? Oh, and Mark and Prsicilla got married the next day. So, say what you like, but this is SIZZLE, baby."
The "fizzle" side goes something like this: "Facebook IPO? What a bust. Too many shares flood the system; NASDAQ can't get it right; underwriters had to prop up the issue price throughout the first day of trading, AND it's down about 12 percent now. Toldja -- social media is a fad, Facebook will go the way of MySpace, and Zuckerberg is a wide-eyed naive guy who actually believes all this sharing stuff. What a FIZZLE."
This sounds a lot like politics in an election season. Each end of the spectrum is very vocal and opinionated, but most voters are somewhere in the middle.
Sustainable business comes back to basics: Find a need and fill it. Know and value your customer. Understand what they want and give it to them. Help them see a brighter future.
No doubt, Facebook has ushered in a new era in more ways than one. My students know that I'm not a huge fan of Facebook (I'm a Twitter gal). But even I can acknowledge that something seismic has shifted in how we communicate and connect and Facebook epitomizes that -- at least right now.
Amassing 900 million profiles is impressive, for sure. The important question now is, "Where does Facebook go from here?" If it's just a giant advertising machine, it risks becoming a graveyard. That's major fizzle.
If it becomes a canvas for the vision of the future -- if Mark Zuckerberg can be more Steve Jobs than not -- then we might look forward to a new era of social learning, innovation, rich content, new discovery. That's awesome sizzle.
So, as they say in hip-hop "Haterz Gonna Hate." Meanwhile, let's hope the best in our collective global consciousness is inspired to dream big. I'm excited about what disruptive innovation comes next.
The journey is the reward.