Such is the confidence Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has in the leadership abilities of Facebook’s boss Mark Zuckerberg that he would buy shares of the social networking giant when it goes public on May 17 no matter the opening price.
The famous engineer who created the Apple I computer and co-created the Apple II system in the mid-1970s also sees the 28-year-old Facebook CEO closer to the combination of himself and Steve Jobs.
Specifically, Wozniak called Zuck a “real acute” businessman who mixes technical ability with the vision and corporate acumen of Steve Jobs…
The Woz told in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday:
I would invest in Facebook. I don’t care what the opening price is.
I’m glad they held out so long. You don’t have to think that your only goal can be an IPO.
That’s saying a lot from the guy who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs and investor Ronald Wayne in Jobs parents’ garage.
It should be noted that Wozniak is now chief scientist at flash storage startup Fusion-io, whose biggest customer Facebook makes up 36 percent of its revenue. Apple accounts for an additional 24 percent and Hewlett-Packard for 14 percent of Fusion-io’s revenue.
Wozniak sees certain similarities between his partnership with Steve Jobs and Zuck.
I was thankful to have a partnership with Steve Jobs and I see Mark Zuckerberg closer to the combination of us.
When he speaks he speaks with a lot of idealism for the users and a lot of good ideas for the product overall.
Zuckerberg recently wrote in a letter to prospective shareholders that “we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services”, also adding:
And we think this is a good way to build something. These days I think more and more people want to use services from companies that believe in something beyond simply maximizing profits.
The young CEO was als surprisingly frank concerning the Beacon scandal back in 2007:
We’ve made a lot of mistakes building this feature, but we’ve made even more with how we’ve handled them. We simply did a bad job with this release, and I apologize for it. While I am disappointed with our mistakes, we appreciate all the feedback we have received from our users. I’d like to discuss what we have learned and how we have improved Beacon.
Though mostly friendly, the Apple-Facebook relationship can be strained at times.
For example, leading up to a major iTunes update, Jobs had allegedly invited Zuck over for dinner to discuss how the two companies could collaborate better.
But when iTunes launched with the built-in Ping social network, the social network pulled Facebook Connect support on its end in a matter of hours.
Apple reportedly wanted to integrate Facebook Connect deep into the bowels of its iOS mobile operating system powering the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
As you know, iOS 5 instead brought out Twitter integration because “Mark Zuckerberg is a ****ing a**hole”, as Apple folks allegedly put it.
Reacting to Steve Jobs’ passing on October 5, 2011, Zuckerberg referred to him as “a mentor and a friend”.
In an interview with Charlie Rose a month later, Zuckerberg said Jobs advised him on how to sharpen his company’s focus and build the right management team for the job.
Facbook’s recently unveiled organ donor tool that lets users specify their organ donor status on their Facebook Timeline was directly inspired by Steve Jobs.
Jobs fought a years-long battle against a rare form of tumorous cancer on his pancreas that eventually resulted in a liver transplant.
Facebook is filing for an initial public this coming Thursday, hoping to raise $11.8 billion, giving it an instant market capitalization of an astounding $96 billion.
So, would you invest in Facebook, the opening price be damned?