CNN’s Laurie Segall managed to sneak in a question about Facebook’s IPO debacle by Sean Parker during a promotional tour for his new startup Airtime. “Somehow I knew I was going to get this question,” Mr. Parker winced, holding his head in his hands. But the former Facebook president quickly rebounded, blaming the hype and then the media for the stock’s volatile performance.
“It was sort of a relief in a way,” he said. “We knew that that speculative interest was not going to go in a good direction. It never ends well. whenever there’s something that’s so hotly anticipated and so speculative. The thing that was unexpected was how quickly the media turned on it and therefore short circuited the retail investor and their speculation.”
It seems more than a little disingenuous for Mr. Parker to scapegoat speculators when Facebook decided to both price shares higher than expected and increase the number of shares offered by more than 25 percent.
But Mr. Parker framed the outcome as a good thing. “Ultimately we want institutional investors who take a long view in the company who understand all these market opportunities,” he added. “I’m just happy to see the vitality decreasing and the stock stabilizing and I’m waiting it out because I have a sort of deep belief in the company’s positioning in the market.”
It’s worth noting that Mr. Parker still has a $2.27 billion stake remaining–of course that was at the $38 share price and it’s currently trading at around $27.
Part of the reason he’s long on Facebook, Mr. Parker added, is because, “We’ve just scratched the surface in terms of what’s possible,” highlighting opportunities in terms of the social graph.
“Identity is so important in terms of trust, reputation, transactions, it permeates everything we do and there are so many markets where Facebook is relevant where they haven’t even turned on the spigot. Facebook has not announced like a reputation based marketplace strategy. They haven’t talked about how the trust that’s intrinsic in the social graph can actually be used . . . How many other massive scale opportunities can be built on top of the social graph where FB can employ sort of tax and toll kind of strategy.”