Facebook Investor David Sze: Hackers Celebrated IPO, Now They're Back To Work
Keeping the IPO ceremony relatively low-key was a goal of the company. The idea is to "keep shipping" products and not get distracted. "Smart companies that go public do that. We saw the same thing last year with Linkedin and Pandora. They took a moment to celebrate the milestone, then went back to business. It's important to keep going on this great journey."
The all-night hackathon on the eve of Facebook's stock float was a fitting way for the company to celebrate, Sze said, since hackathons have been a tradition at the company since the very beginning. "It's the standard they've done for all their hackathons," Sze said. "It's nice to put the two together in that format. The energy was high and great. A lot of people stayed up all night there coding great things. So hopefully we'll see great things in the service (from that).
So what does the Facebook IPO mean for Greylock Partners? That one deal easily returned one of the firm's funds and then some, putting the firm in the upper echelon of Sand Hill Road firms. "Facebook is one of those rare companies. From early on, from 2007 I've been saying Mark (Zuckerberg) is certainly one in a million. It feels like he could be one in a billion. It's been one of those wonderful experiences that are rare and special. That's also what makes them stay focused and keep going on that journey. The other thing I'd say is Greylock, with (companies like) Pandora and LinkedIn and now with Facebook and increasingly in the future with enterprise companies like PaloAlto Networks and Workdayâ¿¿we're just really focused on how to help entrepreneurs build great companies."
My favorite moment from the interview: In the middle of the interview in Facebook's parking lot, a Facebook employee coming to work saw Sze and climbed through the bushes to say hello to him. The employee thanked Sze for helping him. "Congratulations. What a ride," Sze replied. I asked Sze what it means to get to know many employees at Facebook. "A lot of great people come to Facebook. In our business we're about how do we help connect our companies to great people across all levels."See a recent video interview I did with Sze here:
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