Twitter’s big day, but would you buy in?
With Twitter’s impending IPO, the Hive reached out to local innovators to round up their answer to a simple question: Would they invest in Twitter today, and why or why not? Here’s what we heard. Want to weigh in? E-mail Hive@Boston.com, or (what else?) tweet us at @HiveBoston.
A new way to interact with the world around you
“I’m looking forward to the Twitter IPO, and will invest,” Emma Tangoren (@emmatangerine) wrote in. “Twitter has revolutionized the way we communicate and interact with the world around us, and will continue to do so in the future.”
Tangoren is with RoughDraftVC and a senior at Boston University.
“As an active and passionate Twitter user and soon to be stock holder, I’m excited for the future of the company,” she added. Next
By the users, for the user — and now on a national stage
“I would definitely invest in Twitter because the best part of their story is how users embraced and defined the platform for themselves from the beginning and continue to do that,” she wrote in an e-mail. “When we early users fell in love with it at SXSW in 2007 to connect and find the best parties and BBQ, none of us would have imagined world leaders would some day use it for a political platform as they did in the Arab Spring.”
She said that Twitter’s early, user-driven evolution set it apart.
“When a product is swept up by users and they create new ways to implement it, this is beyond customer satisfaction, beyond user engagement, this is something else entirely,” she explained. “Twitter will continue to evolve this way, increasingly be embraced and refined by its loyal customers — new and old.” Next
Echoes of Facebook — and an urge to be cautious
“I am not a public market investor, but I think Twitter has strong fundamentals and lots of growth potential in its core product — much more than Facebook had when it IPOed,” Serguei Beloussov (@sbeloussov) wrote in. “However, I also think Twitter might be overheated at the offering time, because of the disproportional popularity of its brand and service in comparison to its current financial results. So even if I were a public investor, I probably would still be cautious.” Next
Bruce Booth (@LifeSciVC), a Cambridge-based early-stage biotech venture capitalist, noted that Twitter’s market capitalization is now higher than all 40+ of the biotech IPOs so far this year, combined. Robert Coughlin chimed in: “And they don’t cure anything!”
Unbalancing things further: Twitter raised only a quarter of the capital that the biotech firms raised. Next
Democratizing speech online
“I will absolutely invest,” Peter Boyce (@BadBoyBoyce) wrote in. “Twitter is one of the most unique and important new communication and distribution platforms to have been created in the past decade. It’s changed the way we discover news and information, engage with traditional media (TV, music), and democratized having a voice online.”
Any IPO is just a gamble
Saul Tannenbaum (@stannenb) said buying into Twitter, or any other public company, directly is probably not the best way to invest.
“If you’re investing in individual stocks you might as well go to a casino,” he tweeted. “At least you’ll get a free drink or two.”
Invest in good instead
Julia Austin (@Austinfish), Akamai’s former vice president of engineer and VMware’s former vice president of innovation, says the IPO isn’t a bad investment — if you have the money to risk.
“In terms of Twitter, my thoughts are that if you have some discretionary cash and want to ’play’ the market then it’s not a bad choice. However I am not convinced it’s a sure way to make millions. Given US government challenges, I’m dubious about the market in general and think that unless you have a high threshold for risk and are in it for the long haul, there are better places to invest (i.e., social good causes where your money can have an impact on improving people’s lives or the world we live in).” Back to the beginning
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