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:
By Tomio Geron Facebook employees celebrated the company's initial public offering in the company's traditional wayâ¿¿an all-night hackathon. But after a quick bell-ringing ceremony the company went back to business as usual. David Sze, partner at Greylock and an early investor in Facebook participated in the celebration. He stopped by Facebook's hackathon Thursday nightâ¿¿he acknowledged being up most of the nightâ¿¿and then came to Facebook headquarters for the Nasdaq bell-ringing ceremony at 9:30am ET. The ceremony took place in the central square at Facebook's new campusâ¿¿the former campus of Sun Microsystems. The excitement and energy were high, Sze said in an interview at the company's Menlo Park, Calif. headquarters. "People were milling around in the middle of the square in anticipation," Sze said. "(COO) Sheryl (Sandberg) spoke a little bit. The (person from) Nasdaq spoke a little bit. Mark spoke. Then they opened the bell. Everyone cheered and celebrated for about 10 minutes. Then everyone went back to their offices and started working again. It's a great milestone for the company. Wonderful congratulations to all of them. But one of the great things about Facebook is you don't get to where they've gotten and get where they're going to go without being really focused." Sze, number four on the Midas List this year, invested for Greylock Partners in Facebook in early 2006, when Facebook was still a social network for co-eds only. That early investment, ridiculed by some at the time, is now worth well over a billion dollars and has made Greylock one of the high profile names in the venture capital industry. But the celebration didn't last too long, Sze said. "People were celebrating. They're happy. A lot of people were up all night hacking. They were showing off some really cool projects and the like. Once it was over, they went back to work. Very classic Facebook."