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​Silicon Culture Wars: Snap IPO Up 60% versus Facebook IPO Down 47%

In another sign of how Silicon Beach is winning the geek culture war with Silicon Valley, the Snap, Inc. stock price is up 60 percent in its second day of trading versus Facebook IPO shares price crashing by 47 percent in the first three months after their IPO.

The Snap, Inc. initial public offering not only raised $3.4 billion on a $24 billion valuation, but the company’s shareholders and engineer that hold stock options are ecstatic with the stock jumping up by 65 percent to a $38 billion valuation.

Breitbart News reported Snap, Inc. lead underwriters, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, had indicated that demand for shares in the IPO was oversubscribed by 1,000 percent in what was being called the hottest tech deal since the 2014 IPO of China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. But rather than raising the IPO price dramatically, Snap management chose to leave a fortune on the table for its shareholders and employees.

But, the appreciation of shareholders and employees by Silicon Beach’s most iconic company compares to the bitterness and great gnashing of teeth against Silicon Valley’s disastrous 2012 Facebook IPO.

Facebook announced in May 2012 that they would go public at a price per share of $28 a share, according to the WSJ. But the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg chose to wear a hoodie sweatshirt during the investor roadshow, rather than a business suit. He also avoided answering technical questions about the business by making potential investors listen to a 30-minute video that some described as a celebration of the cult of Zuckerberg.

With spectacular demand for the IPO shares, Facebook decided to harvest the maximum amount of cash by raising the expected offering price several times to $38 a share and then increasing the number of new IPO shares offered by 25 percent.

Facebook’s first stock trade was at $42.05, but shares fell continuously for the rest of the day, closing at just $38.23. Facebook’s stock price fell in 9 of the next 13 trading days and by August 20, 2012, the stock closed at $20.11, a 47 percent loss from the IPO price.

The Bay Area may still be home to the world’s most advanced software coders, but Silicon Beach tech companies are increasingly benefiting from being next to Hollywood, an industry that knows a lot about creating engaging content and positive customer experience.

Venture capitalist Adam Lilling, founder and managing partner of Culver City-based Plus Capital, told NPR that it used to be horrendously difficult to get top software engineers to relocate to Los Angeles because they thought it would be career suicide. “Nobody, not one person, would move down no matter what the offer was. Even though they wanted to move to L.A., some people felt like they weren’t going to get another job if our company went away,” Lilling said.

But when the critical mass of L.A. start-ups just reached over 1,000 companies in 2015, engineers had plenty of options if their current startup went bust. He called the culture of Silicon Beach a lifestyle play, because “people who are traditionally thought of as liking cold, dark, quiet spaces like ocean views as much as everyone else.”

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