With all due respect to Apple co-founder and tech legend Steve Wozniak, a man who will be leaving a legacy of genius behind that the rest of us can only dream of, his commentary on Facebook as an investment should be ignored by all who read it.
Here is his take on the Facebook IPO, being widely trumpeted by Bloomberg:
Apple Inc. (AAPL) co-founder Steve Wozniak said he will buy shares in Facebook Inc. (FB) when the social networking company sells stock to the public in what may be a record initial public offering for an Internet business.
Wozniak, who built the first Apple computer with Steve Jobs and co-founded the company with him in 1976, said he would buy Facebook’s stock regardless of its valuation.
“Regardless of valuation.” Right.
It’s not that Wozniak isn’t a smart man (he is) or that he doesn’t understand Facebook (he clearly does), it’s just that his circumstances and objectives are markedly different from just about anyone else.
He is worth $100,000,000 and chances are, you are not. He can afford to say things like “regardless of valuation,” like Daddy Warbucks could storm through his mansion yelling “Money is no object!” while his obsequious gal friday Grace loped behind him taking copious notes. For the rest of us, money is an object and valuation will matter.
Also, he is biased. Mr. Wozniak is the lead technology player at Fusion-IO, a next gen storage and cloud outfit that counts Facebook as its biggest customer. So yes, of course he loves Facebook. The guys behind the counter at A&S Pork Store love me as well, unconditionally, so long as I continue to fill tennis ball hoppers with raw meat every weekend.
I’ll also mention that, as we discuss here repeatedly, success in one area of business does not automatically translate to success in another. We’ve already seen post-Apple Wozniak the investor in action, not sure if you remember his failed SPAC deal to buy Jazz Semiconductor. I’m sure he’d like to forget it as well.
Lastly, do you really believe that Wozniak is buying Facebook in the secondary market with the rest of the steerage class? No f*cking way. Valuation of the opening tick is not a concern to him, regardless.
I don’t doubt that Woz believes Facebook is a good investment for him. But we are not him and he is not us.