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Pandora, Facebook Sold Their Souls to Wall Street

Stocks in this article: PFBGOOGAAPL

Worse yet, Pandora seems almost dead-set against the notion of partnering with anybody but advertisers. Why aren't they collaborating with Ticketfly? Pandora could provide the peanut butter in the jelly sandwich the startup spreads with clubs such as the Roxy and Troubadour. There's a reason why iconic clubs -- and places you've never heard of -- are signing on with Ticketfly. They need the help. And they recognize the power of the platform.

But this is one of the things that happens -- clearly -- after you go public. Pandora and Facebook perfectly illustrate it. You lose sight of your mission as you become a slave to short-term numbers. You allow your stock price and reversals from backward-looking Wall Street analysts to be your guide and, worse yet, the fuel for your passion, whether you know it or not.

Today, this might sound like nitpicking. But, soon enough, management teams, particularly founders, at companies who have lost sight of their mission after going public will remember what brought them to the dance. When they do, they'll make attempts to shift course yet again. But these attempts can prove feeble. It's tough to go back to your roots after you sell your soul to Wall Street. The user base that once advocated for your product -- as righteous -- will have moved on.

I'd like to think Twitter is paying attention, but that would be as naive as thinking a company can effectively balance the reasons why it exists with its need to satisfy investors. This reality reveals why locked-in capital gains often outlast the integrity of what was once a wholesome and refreshingly disruptive idea.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
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