How Facebook overcame its disastrous IPO


From the technical glitches to the mobile guidance controversy, it would be difficult to characterize Facebook’s IPO, which occurred three years ago today, as anything but disaster. (Just ask Reid Hoffman, a Facebook investor and LinkedIn co-founder, who called it “a pretty egregious fuck-up.”) The ghost of that disaster haunted Facebook for its first year as a publicly traded company, with lackluster stock performance and criticisms over its slowness to the mobile trend.

But today, Facebook [fortune-stock symbol= »FB »] is the toast of Wall Street. Worth $226 billion, Facebook’s stock trades at a rich 81x price-to-earnings multiple. Anyone holding shares at the IPO has seen their value more than double. (The chart below, published previously with the Fortune article, “A Tale of Two IPOs,” contrasts Facebook’s strong stock performance with Twitter’s lukewarm performance.)

CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his merry band of hackers pulled that off by taking…

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