Alternate Reality

Facebook’s IPO Flop Brings Employees to the Brink of Poverty

Facebook’s stock market faceplant last month has shattered the dreams of Simon Wainmaring and thousands of other Facebook employees just like him. An eSarcasm special report.

By (@tynanwrites)

June 13, 2012

The story you're about to read is not (entirely) true. It is, however, more accurate than most things on network television.

Simon Wainmaring thought he’d be living on easy street by now.

As Facebook employee number 32, he had seen first hand the company grow from an obscure third-tier social network inhabited entirely by college students into one of the most dominant companies on the Internet.

Wainmaring did more than just watch. In late 2006, the 29-year-old invented the sophisticated I-poke-you-you-poke-me-back algorithm that put Facebook on the map with adolescent male virgins. He was later instrumental in making the "Like" button an outward facing right hand instead of an inward facing left hand.

And when the initial public offering loomed closer, Wainmaring started making big plans for what to do with his new found wealth. Buy a private island. Join the exclusive Bohemian Grove Club. Hire a team of private mercenaries to parachute into Atlantic City, kidnap Donald Trump, and shave that ridiculous shit off his head.

"After the IPO I fully expected to be lighting my Cubano Robusto’s with $100 bills," he said. "Now I’ll be lucky to be lighting Tiparillos with food stamps."

Wainmaring is just one of thousands of Facebook employees who expected to cash in after the IPO and got sucker punched instead. Even CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg was not immune.

As the share price zoomed past the $40 mark, Zuckerberg’s net worth zoomed to nearly $20 billion, catapulting him into 29th place on Forbes’ list of Richest White Dudes. Now with the stock hovering closer to $25, he barely cracks the top three dozen.

Having exercised his options at the initial share price of $38, Wainmaring now owes Facebook hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even he doesn’t how exactly much.

"All I know is that it’s a lot," he moans. "I’ll be working for free and stealing food other people leave in the refrigerator for the next five years.

The worst part, says Wainmaring, isn’t the loss of riches that were nearly within his reach. It was the loss of friends.

"After the IPO flopped my friends list dropped like in half," he says. "Can you believe that? If your Facebook friends won’t stick by you in times of crisis, who will?"

Image of hipster barrista stolen gently borrowed from

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