This morning Facebook finally announced its IPO for $5 Billion. After about 8 years since its creation, almost 800 million members and changing the way humans communicate forever, Mark Zuckerberg has decided to take his baby and unleash it to the markets.
So big was the news, it crashed the SEC website in the States, and the topic immediately started trending on Twitter.
But what does this mean closer to home here in Australia? Well, us Australian’s seem to be some of the highest Facebook users in the world, with Gizmodo reporting that between 8 – 10 million users are ‘active’ in Australia. That’s a large portion of our population (approx. 36% - 45%) and this number is growing. We also spend lots of time on Facebook, clocking up approx. 7 hours and 19 minutes per month recorded in April 2010. This number will have surely grown since then, as we seem to be using Facebook more in 2012. So it is safe to assume that anything this IPO brings down the track, will impact a large and active audience here in Australia.
However, it won’t be the impact of the Mega Social Network on our daily social media usage, but rather the downstream effect this IPO has on our up and coming generations – of which only know the technological way of living.
Mark Zuckerberg has now created an array of billionaires and every Gen Y Social Tech Geek will now be influenced by his actions today. Young up and coming entrepreneurs dream of achieving the Zuckerberg success and today’s IPO hype will only fuel that fire which drives an entrepreneur into wanting to create the next big thing.
The Australian economy and environment is perfectly situated for this boom, with lots of exciting and potentially huge start-ups already popping up around the technology hubs of its Capital cities. For perfect examples look at Big Commerce, Annitel & SurfStitch – all of which have been growing in the hundreds % range.
The Facebook IPO will now trigger a wave of young and inspired Entrepreneurs to build, design, develop and collaborate on new projects that will seize the technology opportunity and help flourish these garage-based start-ups into powerful entities that too will one day trade on the Australian Stock Exchange.
No longer are there limitations on funding and starting up a business. Start-up costs have been severely reduced with outsourced services that Start-Ups can now utilise – such as Cloud Based Services, Start-Up Incubators, Social Media and Mobile technology (Did I mention that Australian’s also have a very high Smartphone penetration rate?!)
Thus, the combination of the Aussie culture to work hard and make something of yourself, the low barriers to market entry now available, the high level of usage of emerging technologies and the drive to build a company not driven by money is the perfectly flammable environment for young up and coming entrepreneurs to start their own conglomerate. And Mark Zuckerberg just lit the first match to get that fire burning.
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