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TheStreet Open House

Twitter Is Ready for Its IPO

Stocks in this article: FB

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There is increasing chatter among IPO watchers that Twitter may test the initial public offering waters later this year.

Should they? Of course.

Here's why:

The company is big enough. Many people have whispered that Twitter will do $600 million in ad revenue this year and over a billion dollars next year. It has basically been on a path of doubling revenue every year in the last few years.

This is enormous validation of the strength of its platform, even though it's much smaller than Facebook's (FB) from a user number perspective. Facebook has done $5 billion in the last 12 months, so it is still much larger than Twitter, but Twitter is just starting to scratch the surface on monetization.

Twitter was born with mobile in its DNA. When creator Jack Dorsey sent the first tweet in 2006, it was from a mobile phone. It wasn't from a desktop.

From the start, Twitter has been a mobile company, unlike Facebook which has had to morph into mobile. It's because of its natural alignment with mobile that Twitter actually generated more mobile revenue last year than Facebook. This is remarkable as Facebook was two to three times as big as Twitter last year in terms of users. Even though Facebook will probably exceed Twitter in mobile revenue this year because of their acute focus on that, Twitter is still in the very early innings of making money off their user base.



Twitter is going to have to go public at some point anyway, so it should be sooner rather than later.

There's a point of view now in Silicon Valley that Wall Street is an evil and short-term-focused place and so private companies should take as long as possible before finally accepting SEC rules that require them to IPO. I disagree with this view.

To me, going public is like becoming a parent: No amount of books you read before the fact teaches you how to do it. You learn how to be a parent by doing it, trial by fire style. Of course, you make mistakes but you learn how to cope and deal with the increased stress and time demands. As you get more and more kids, you become better and better at managing stress.

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