As Facebook postures to stay independent one angle needs to be explored. The IPO market just hasn’t come back and with looming recession and possible global depression – Microsoft is Facebook’s IPO.
This is an opportunity for Facebook to save face and declare victory (and turn all those employees into millionaires).
What is the exit and legacy for Facebook.? Remember the big end game for Facebook is an IPO (mint employees, investors as millionaires over and over) AND the entrepreneurial legacy of the founding team (relevance in history). Facebook could come out smelling like a rose to employees future employees and investors if they take the money from Microsoft and declaring that as their IPO. Say take $25 billion cash and $25 billion in stock for future employees. It’s the Silicon Valley way.
Everyone gets rich, founders declare victory in setting the agenda in a new paradigm, future wealth creation is preserved, and on and on it can go. It’s almost to good to be true.
The Alternative: risk losing it all in competitive warfare where you’re undermatched and overgunned; employees waiting year over year for an exit via IPO; founders who gets replaced by hostile investors;..the risks can go on and on. It’s about basic risk management.
Facebook should declare victory now and go public with Microsoft – mobilize your employees with cash; help reinvent Microsoft; and compete with Google (or go public with Google).
The going forward alone are risky. The conditions in the market make it risky to go alone.