Facebook: Is IPO The Only Option Now?

A good cover-story profile of Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the latest issue of FastCompany. Despite prediction otherwise, Facebook keeps growing, and is now the sixth most-trafficked site in the U.S.–1 percent of all Internet time is spent on Facebook, and some estimates suggest it will bring in $100 million in revenues this year.
After turning down a $750 million -$1 billion offers, the company now wants to stay independent,the story says. The companywide focus is on innovation and engineering, and the commitment to optimizing the user experience, Zuckerberg says. The goal is not to create a media company.
The company is about 200 people strong, and investor Peter Thiel is aware of a ticking clock of sorts, determined by a SEC rule. “Once we get to 500 shareholders, we’ll be forced into a situation where you have to give full financial disclosure,” he says. (Facebook employees have shares as part of their compensation packages.) Most companies go public at that point. “But our current bias is not to do it any sooner.”
Just saying it out loud: among the only holes in Google’s portfolio is good social networking play, and after Google’s DoubleClick buyout goes through (if it goes through), this might be the next in its sight.