Mark Zuckerberg talks Facebook stock, regrets

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by Doug Delony

khou.com

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg gave his first interview following the social network’s rocky initial public offering.

Zuckerberg was interviewed by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. Right off the bat, Arrington asked Zuckerberg about the fact that Facebook’s stock lost half of its value.

“Just get right into it,” Zuckerberg joked.

“If you could have done anything differently, in hindsight, would you have?” Arrington asked.

Zuckerberg emphasized the importance of the long-term growth of Facebook, saying that the company wants to build value over the long-term and much will be determined over how well Facebook will do with mobile over the next 3 to 5 years.

One of Zuckerberg’s great regrets was “betting completely on HTML 5,” adding that Facebook burned two years building a mobile app using HTML 5 instead of programming natively for iOS and Android devices.

Zuckerberg admitted that he only writes code in his free time, citing a rule at Facebook that once code is submitted the coder must follow through when code breaks.

“Does Mark Zuckerberg’s code break?” Arrington asked.

“Everything I make breaks. But we fix it quickly,” Zuckerberg replied.

When asked about Instagram, Zuckerberg said that Facebook’s motivation was to get the mobile photo-sharing app in-house, so that it could be prioritized. And for Instagram, the app’s engineers now have direct access to Facebook’s code, so that they can build products more quickly. Zuckerberg reiterated that Facebook wants to help Instagram grow.

Arrington pressed Zuckerberg for answers of whether or not Facebook will release a phone.

“It makes no sense,” Zuckerberg replied.

For his final question Arrington asked: “Are you still having fun.”

“Yeah!” Zuckerberg exclaimed.

Facebook filed for its IPO on February 1, with Morgan Stanley as its lead underwriter. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social network has 901 million users and reported $3.7 billion in revenue in 2011. An estimated 488 million people access Facebook via mobile products.

On opening day, Facebook offered 421,233,615 shares of common stock at $38 per share under the ticker symbol “FB.” Facebook’s after market price on Tuesday was $19.43.
 

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