Mike Isaac

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How Will Facebook Ring in the IPO? With a Hackathon, Of Course.


Just like Hoodiegate, Facebook isn’t going to bring in its first day as a public company in the typical bell-ringing fashion.

The social giant is doing things its own way: With a hackathon, of course.

Sources close to Facebook say that on Thursday night, Facebook will hold a company-wide hackathon at its Menlo Park campus, another one of many in the company’s long history of all-night coding parties.

Facebook knows that going public is a huge moment for the company. But just as its roadshow video was wildly different from any other pre-IPO company presentations, Facebook wants to celebrate in its own way — essentially, “the hacker way.”

“It’s because building things is what defines Facebook,” a source says. “It’s what matters most.”

It’ll be similar to most every other hackathon the company holds — engineers will spend the evening coding freely, encouraged to build anything that comes to them. But there will be a few huge differences: One, it’s the last hackathon as a private company. And two, everyone at the company is invited.

And yes, the boy genius CEO will most likely be there, our source says.

It makes sense: Some of the company’s most important features and functions have stemmed from company hackathons. Timeline, for instance, was the brainchild of engineer Sam Lessin, spawned from an all-night coding session and eventually growing into one of Facebook’s defining features.

“We hack, therefore we are,” one Facebook adage reads. Until the very end of being private, it seems.

Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus