Facebook IPO Could Smash Records, Spur New Tech Wave

MTV News takes you behind the scenes of Facebook in a 2011 documentary that explores the company's unique non-corporate culture.

It's the biggest initial public offering since the late-1990's heyday of Internet 1.0. Hell, it's the biggest tech IPO ever. Everyone wants to get in on the long-awaited Facebook IPO, which is offering up more than 484 million shares that are expected to raise nearly $18.5 billion for the world's most popular social networking site.

By the time all is said and done, the bright idea hatched by co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in his college dorm room could turn his company into a $100 billion behemoth. Since launching as a campus-only network in 2004, the site has allowed more than 900 million users around the world to connect, post pictures and stories and keep circles of friends appraised on every move they make while fundamentally altering the way we spend our time, communicate and share our private lives.

When MTV News visited the company's Palo Alto, California, headquarters in 2011 for "Diary of Facebook,", we took viewers inside the matrix to find out how its young employees keep the engine running and what fuels their passion.

Among the revelations in the piece was an exploration of the unique FB phenomenon known "hack-a-thons," during which Zuckerberg said some of the site's best ideas are generated.

"Hack-a-thons are this awesome part of our culture," Zuckerberg said of the 24-hour marathons of coding and brainstorming. "Every month or two, everyone stays up all night just experimenting with things and building things quickly. And the only rule is that you're not allowed to work on the same thing that your day job is."

It's that kind of irreverence and corporate rule-ditching energy — those who can't code join in by cooking, juggling or drawing to stay energized — that has pushed the Facebook IPO from a financial and tech story to a metaphor for our entrepreneurial times.

With the college job market for new grads looking the best it has since the start of the recession in 2007 and tech start-ups blossoming like it's 1998 all over again, the Los Angeles Times wrote that the Facebook heat could help spark a renaissance of Internet heat. "Wealth has trickled down to employees and investors who cashed in their shares ahead of the IPO on private exchanges", the paper reported. "Others are spending in advance of their big payday, fueling an economy that's already humming thanks to the Bay Area's thriving technology sector."

Facebook's stock offering could mint dozens, if not hundreds of new millionaires. And it's a fair bet that those suddenly-flush geeks could go on to form new companies that will be on the lookout for fresh young faces (and minds) to help them, yes, become the next Facebook. So, get your résumé updated, you could be up next.