It's the question on everyone's lips today: Is LinkedIn the next Netscape? When asked, it carries a negative connotation -- i.e., will this be the new bubble starter to lead us into greed, ruin, etc, etc.
My take? Yes, LinkedIn is the next Netscape, for all the right reasons.
When I started to cover the Silicon Valley tech beat, Netscape was close to going public. When it did, it unleashed a huge wave of IPOs, but more importantly, it literally took the tech industry public.
Everyone wanted in (and yeah, that wasn't the best thing), but more importantly, everyone learned about the internet, and recognized it as a force to be reckoned with, both on the productivity side, and the financial side.
And that's what LinkedIn is doing. Yes, the stock price seems a little frothy, and yeah, the company's underwriters probably left a bunch of money on the table, but you really can't predict investor sentiment, so let's look at it this way: LinkedIn is now showing the world that social networking companies can deliver when it comes to the big dollars.
If you're Zynga or Facebook, this is great news, and probably not a surprise. But if you're a smaller social networker, this is an opportunity to get things in order, staff up, get profitable and take advantage -- now, everyone knows about you, expects a lot from you, and is ready to reward you.
The stock opened at $83. It jumped to $122 before leveling off at $106. Check back to see the closing number.