So, imagine for the moment that you’re the CEO of a major company, and you’re taking that company public. More specifically, imagine that you’re the CEO of Facebook, and you get to ring the bell to open trading on the day of your company’s IPO. What do you do?
Apparently, you post about it to Facebook. Or, more specifically, you have your people (after all, you’re the CEO; you’ve got people) rig the button that rings the bell so that the instant you press it, a post goes up on your Facebook timeline. That is exactly what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did this morning. The moment he pressed the button to ring the bell and start NASDAQ trading, a post went up on his Facebook timeline saying “Mark Zuckerberg listed a company on NASDAQ.” The post also tagged five people: Vice President of Product Chris Cox, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman, Treasurer Cipora Herman, and Deputy General Councel Dave Kling. Check out the post and the tags below:
Apparently, though, getting the button rigged to publish the post on Zuckerberg’s page was trickier than you might think. In a post on TechCrunch this morning, Facebook engineer David Garcia discusses the project and how it was done. The idea was conceived over lunch with Garcia and some co-workers. The first step, of course, was to run it past The Boss. Not surprisingly, Zuckerberg approved, calling the idea “epic.”
Through a complex series of steps, Garcia and his fellow engineers rigged the button, which NASDAQ brought to Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters on Wednesday, to a mobile phone that was signed into Facebook. The two were connected via the phone’s headphone jack. After a complicated bit of work, they managed to get it working. Now, in addition to ringing the bell and switching on the light to open trading, pressing the button would send a signal to the phone via the headphone jack that created an Open Graph event on Zuckerberg’s timeline. As you can see from the post above, it worked.
While one might wonder whether it would’ve been easier to just have a random Facebook employee standing by with a phone to make the post manually, you’ve got to admit, this was much cooler.