The Facebook IPO has raised a lot of questions: Has the social-networking giant's popularity peaked? Is the stock a “buy”? And is a hoodie acceptable fashion for a CEO?
We decided to consult the “experts” — kids at the Mackay Elementary Schoolin Tenafly, N.J. These kids don’t remember life before Facebook. They grew up on the Internet, so who better to tap as experts?
Of course, they haven’t looked at all of the company’s financials yet, but these pint-sized analysts used the social networking site's “cool factor” and outlook to determine whether or not the stock is a “buy.”
Of the 10 kids we polled, the consensus was a “buy,” though there were a few “sells” in the crowd.
“I think Facebook is a ‘buy’ because I think it’s going to be cool for a few more years,” said student Tristan Pitt.
“I would want to get part of the stock because I would want to make a lot of money,” added fellow student Matthew Wortmann.
When given the opportunity to invest their money in either Facebook, a jelly bean company or a pony, nearly all of the kids voted “Facebook.” There were no votes for jelly bean company and one very excited vote from student Sara Koll for a pony.
The kids were impressed that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberghad become a billionaire at such a young age, though with his T-shirt and hoodie style they had a hard time believing he was a CEO and billionaire.
When shown a photo of Zuckerberg in a hoodie and asked, “What is this guy’s job?” one girl yelled out, “construction worker!”
The kids were shown three photos — two stock photos of actors wearing business suits and Mark Zuckerberg wearing a T-shirt (below) — and asked which guy was the billionaire. Most pointed to the grey-haired man in a suit.
Aside from the obvious pitfall — being mistaken for a construction worker — is it OK for a CEO to wear a hoodie?
“If he has money, he’s supposed to wear that suit that that man has,” student Gabriella Linde said, pointing to the picture of the grey-haired man in the suit on the left.
“He can [wear a hoodie] because he doesn’t want to be noticed,” Pitt said.
“He can wear whatever he wants,” Wortmann added matter-of-factly.
Still, when asked if they had $1 million to invest, which guy they would give it to, most pointed at the guys in suits.
So, should Zuckerberg think about upgrading to a suit at some point?
“No!” was the definitive answer. Student Ben Gillon added that the real perk of sticking with the hoodie is that it has nice, deep pockets for stashing your money!
Zuckerberg has kept a 28.1 percent stake in the company for himself, valued at over $18 billion. How many hoodies could you buy with that kind of stash?
“700,000! Two million! 900!” the kids yelled.
Of course, kids are always on to the next big thing. So, is there something cooler than Facebook right now?
“IPads ! Twitter! My mom uses Twitter! Uh … Twitter!” the kids yelled.
“Skype because you can see the people,” said student Aram Brunson. “You can actually see them not just write messages to them … I would buy a share of Skype instead of Facebook.”
So what's the next really big thing — the thing we don't even know about yet?
"A super trampoline!" student Dhruv Singh said.
"A thingamajig!" Linde said, giggling.
"I would make a new sport!" Pitt declared.
"A soda can that you can bounce on that if you just step over it you still bounce up in the air and it never gets crushed unless someone throws something at it or shoots it," Gillon said.
"I wanna make a supersonic rocket that would blast off to the moon very fast!" Brunson said excitedly.
"A tree that's mechanical and could grow every fruit," said student Samuel Hsieh. "Then everyone would buy it and I would make a billion dollars!"
So, there you have it — the “experts” have spoken. Most of them would rate Facebook a “buy,” but they’re always on the lookout for the next big thing!
Good thing those guys at Facebook are holding another "hackathon" — at the rate these "analysts" are going, Facebook is going to need some new ideas — fast!
None of the "analysts" mentioned in the above story owns Facebook shares and had no plans to purchase at the time of the IPO.
More on Facebook from CNBC.com:
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- Complete Coverage of the Facebook IPO