In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, said he, “would invest in Facebook,” following up with a very determined, “I don’t care what the opening price is.” I’m not sure what to make of the choice of the word “would,” but it sounds an awful lot like Wozniak will be an eager day one buyer of Facebook stock later this month. Given that Facebook will probably start at around $25 or $30, Wozniak’s not really saying that much – especially given his storehouse of cash.
What he is saying is that he is very confident in the future of Facebook. And why not? Fusion-io, a business dedicated to making flash memory, boasts Wozniak as their chief scientist. Facebook accounts for an incredible 36% of Fusion-io’s revenue, so Wozniak has good reason to make a hefty bet on Facebook – his company probably wouldn’t be relying on them if confidence was lacking.
It sounds like Wozniak is joined by just about everyone in the excitement over Facebook stock, but it’s still worth it to take a step back and consider, even if a pioneer like Wozniak buys in. Facebook is popular, and, with its widespread integration with the rest of the Web and enormous user base, will probably stay that way for a long time. But, the success of a stock depends a lot on revenue growth and profitability. Popular doesn’t mean profitable (see: Twitter, Groupon). Facebook, as of now, will be relying on advertising as their main driver of revenue. it’s far from certain that Facebook will have the kind of success Google has had in that realm. Facebook didn’t need to worry too much about revenue growth and profitability before this month. With tons of shareholders soon to buy in, the pressure will be on, and Facebook and its management will be in uncharted territory.
But, I’m sure Wozniak has his reasons for wanting to buy in, and, considering he’s Steve Wozniak, they’re probably good ones. It will be interesting to see if his enthusiasm over Facebook stock is warranted.