Sunday, February 5, 2012

Facebook Status: IPO and ILU

In honor of Valentine's Day and Leap Year, February 2012 is officially Romanconomics month! That means you get a little extra love than you were looking for - so naturally, you should be excited.

While I know you're probably still basking in the glory that the Giants won the Super Bowl, something else noteworthy happened this week: Facebook filed for an IPO. For those of you still stuck in internet lingo, IPO does not mean "I Powned Oprah," (presumably at Words with Celebrity Friends) but rather "Initial Public Offering." Heaps of financial analysis aside, this means that Facebook is going to start selling stock to everybody and their mother soon. And if you could see how many mothers are on the social networking site, you'd know this was big news.

The internet has been atwitter (pun completely intended) with excitement about the IPO and how many people are going to become millionaires without going through lawsuits from Harvard roommates. "Hashtag winning" to that! Facebook promises to be a hot stock - even if it's overvalued, they hype it generates will likely translate into dollars and status symbols. In other words, Facebook is the new girl on the stock market block. And that's an interesting place to be.

See, new girls have a distinct upper hand in the dating market for the same reason that kids want new toys for Christmas — novelty introduces rarity, and rarity is scarce. The problem for guys is that women are not like stocks: in other words, a diverse portfolio is not going to help you out when the new girl comes along.

Sure, if you want to talk risk analysis, it's great to not put all your eggs in one basket. Particularly for something new and untested. But if you ever want to put your money in something other than Coca-Cola, you're going to have to take some risks. The trick is taking the right risks, and taking them at the right times. I don't know any girls who appreciate would-be suitors giving other girls a lot of attention. Yes, some girls are easy and won't mind. But then again, some boys are dumb and won't get the girl.

Securing the right girl is less like buying stock, and more like investing in a great start-up: it's not a "diversification for many small dividends" strategy. It's a "select carefully and go all in and get huge, but delayed, gratification" strategy. Guys who diversify their dating portfolio may have good reasons for doing so—and not wanting to settle down may in fact be one of them.* But when the new girl is turning heads, you don't want all your reputation capital bound up in other ventures. You want to be able to move quickly—because novelty doesn't stay single for long.

If you want to mess around with a bunch of internet-start-ups (read: easy women), that's fine. Send some money to the Prince of Nigeria while you're at it - I hear he's run into some financial trouble lately. But don't go crying when your assets are all tied up and some fresh new innovation hits the scene. She's not going to want your "dates anything with a dot com" reputation — and if she does, chances are she's going to fold in the next six months. Watch for quality, and have some cash available when it comes along. If it's a good investment, rest assured you'll have competition - it's a free market, after all. Your goal is to take the IPO to an ILU - and for those of you who don't understand internet abbreves, that's "I Love You." She's got options - make yourself a viable one.

I heard about Facebook's IPO in:

Grayish pencil skirt, purple cami, navy blazer with purple piping, sheer pantyhose, purple hemp earrings, multicolored flower ring, and navy pumps with yellow lining.

*For the record, not wanting to settle down is kind of like believing in Santa Claus until you're 18. You can't keep living a fantasy forever without being hopelessly childish. For more on this, please see Manning Up by Kay Hymowitz.

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