The NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange would both love for Facebook to IPO its stock there. Last week, it was reported that Facebook had reserved the symbol FB for use “on either exchange,” which gave some business news readers pause. Wait a second, a two-letter symbol? Doesn’t that mean anything anymore?
It used to be that traders could tell at a glance whether a company was listed on the NASDAQ or NYSE: the former used a four character symbol convention and the latter allowed for one to three character symbols. But the vanity tickers became a bargaining chip in the battle for IPOs between the exchanges, which has grown increasingly heated. Most companies want a symbol that fits with their brand, like LNKD, AMZN, GRPN, AAPL, or NYT.
AND NOW THEY HAVE A TUMBLR.
No doubt, there are people out there in the universe who occasionally or maybe even commonly ask themselves or daydream about the day when Tumblr will finally get crazy-stupid, and IPO it up on a stock market—like, say, NASDAQ—for said people to exploit. Back in RealityLand, that’s not happening any time soon. But over in TumblrLand….
Silicon Alley U
With less than three weeks left until proposals are due to build a Stanford-like engineering mecca on the isle of Manhattan, no one is taking any chances. Rumor may have it that Stanford proper is a lock for the contract. But as Betabeat has reported, a source familiar with the decision-making process says it’s pretty much about the RFP. (Even Mayor Bloomberg’s imprimatur is merely a “small to medium plus,” said the source.)
Cornell’s PR firm and power lobbyist, hired to help manage the school’s campaign, seem convinced that a little community spirit can’t hurt. This Saturday, October 15th, Cornell will be the only academic sponsor for Next Jump’s Silicon Alley 500 recruiting event on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, matching engineers and engineering students with hot Made in NYC startups like 10gen, Etsy, Boxee, Meetup, SecondMarket, and Tumblr.
Cornell may need the good will. Over the weekend, NYU, Carnegie Mellon, and Columbia all showed a little RFP leg–with proposals that opt for Brooklyn and Manhattanville over Roosevelt Island. And this morning Stanford just announced that it’s partnering with CUNY and City College.
On his blog New York Summer, HackNY fellow Akarshan Kumar has been thoughtfully posting about all the tech luminaries that come to influence young minds towards the start-up life and away from Wall Street. The latest lecture notes come from SecondMarket founder Barry Silbert, a former banker himself.
Using examples like the decreasing rate of IPOs over the past decade, the flash crash last May, the impact of high-frequency traders, and the decreasing average holding period of stock (down to just 2.8 months), Mr. Kumar says, “Silbert claimed that the public markets are broken, probably even beyond repair, and that the future lies in private markets.”
One Two Wall Street's Coming For You
Aviary, the start-up behind a suite of online editing tools, is never one to shy away from an open API contest or public encouragement to build killer apps, so it’s no surprise they’re coordinating an upcoming Photo Hack Day at General Assembly. What is surprising is that NASDAQ just signed on as a sponsor. “It isn’t often you hear about stock exchanges getting involved with startups, unless it’s to help them IPO,” notes TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid, who seems to be acclimating to the city’s tall buildings. But we think that might be exactly what they’re after.