It’s not even lunchtime and Mark Zuckerberg is already richer than Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Zuckerberg rang in Facebook’s IPO this morning from the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Bloomberg reports that the $104 billion initial valuation makes Zuckerberg worth $19.1 billion, based on the 503.6 million shares and options he owns.
That beats out the internet’s other two rock stars Sergey Brin and Larry Page by a few hundred million bucks. But think about this: when Google launched its IPO eight years ago it was valued at about a quarter of Facebook’s opening day value—about $26 billion to Facebook’s $104—and it raised a tenth of the cash—$1.6 billion to Facebook’s $16 billion.
Google’s value has climbed almost ten times since—it’s currently valued above $200 billion—and its founders’ wealth with it. Imagine if the same happens to Facebook? Zuckerberg’s fortune only has to triple for him to match the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, and it’s only Facebook’s first day of trading. Could we be looking at a Zuckerberg ripening into his 40s as the richest person in the world a decade from now?
Of course, many on Wall Street seem to think Facbeook’s IPO is drastically overvalued, and are predicting the stock price will deflate pretty quickly in the short term. But Facebook isn’t even in China yet. All that country would have to do is make a few policy decision and flip a firewall switch and Facebook’s growth would explode to a crazy new level.
Either way, while the rest of us may be fascinated by Zuckerberg’s wunderkind story, one person who really doesn’t seem fixated on his wealth is Zuckerberg himself. “Zuckerberg doesn’t think about his wealth,” says David Kirkpatrick, author of “The Facebook Effect,” which holds true with most of the stories we hear about him. At least that makes one of us.