Forget About 1999 and Buy Facebook Stock

TheStreet.com

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I'm not sure I'll ever understand why people can't just forget about 1999.

If you're an investor, you'll hurt yourself more hanging on to bad memories of the dot.com era than you will letting them go. I swear every bear who talks down a company such as Facebook FB suffers from post-traumatic stress.

Case in point: The nonsensical Barrons hit piece from September that set a $15 price target for FB. Now we've got at a $30 stock -- up roughly 49% since then -- and visioning Facebook at $100 no longer seems so absurd.

It's not like I didn't live through 1999 to 2000. I was there, in the thick of things, on the ground. I lived and worked in San Francisco for a company that sells sports hospitality packages. I did inside sales. Think of the fantastic Ben Affleck/Vin Diesel movie "Boiler Room." Picture me pitching presidents and VPs of sales while trying to avoid their gatekeepers.

On page two, one of the best movie scenes of all-time from "Boiler Room."

It was a crazy time. I was closing deals left and right because companies, large and small, were spending money like rock stars. That said, we tend to downplay all of the "good" that happened during those days while upselling the "bad."

Lots of people got rich. I'll never forget two of my favorite clients -- former VPs of Sales Woody Shackleton at Foundry Networks (purchased by Brocade Communications BRCD ) and Harry Silverglide from the still-independent Extreme Networks EXTR .

 Guys like Shackleton and Silverglide became instant IPO millionaires. Plenty of retail investors (like me) chased stocks such as FDRY and EXTR losing money in the process.

You're going to blame a so-called "bubble" because you broke Investing 101 rule number 9, Never chase an IPO?

An era that saw Webvan and Pets.com go bust also spawned Amazon.com AMZN , a company that pioneered an entirely new category and will be around forever. The late 1990s/early 2000s period also fueled other game-changing spaces such as search and social media. I look back on those days with a nostalgic fondness and very little pain, remorse or regret.

No doubt, investors and more than a few entrepreneurs learned some hard -- though incredibly worthy -- lessons, but we needed to go through that chaotic cycle to get to where we are today. And we're in a good place.

Facebook is one of the companies that defines this place, yet the snark people direct at Mark Zuckerberg will not abate. It's another symptom of our sucky society.

Consider reaction to Facebook's big Tuesday announcement. Not only did the stock drop on the news, but the Twitterverse couldn't control itself. Twitter's gaggle of Louie CK wannabes cracked themselves up by cleverly downplaying Facebook's quite promising Knowledge Graph Search. (Everything you need to know about the event and new feature is contained in the last three links).

Listen, I was somewhat underwhelmed also, particularly because I didn't think this announcement warranted so much pomp and circumstance. Heck, TheStreet sent Chris Ciaccia all the way to Silicon Valley from Wall Street for this. The development did not deserve Apple AAPL -like fanfare. Save it for something truly earth-shattering.

That said, it's important. TheStreet's Dana Blankenhorn does a fantastic job explaining one reason why.

But, more than that, the people who take shots at Zuckerberg need to step back and accept that he accomplished more before dropping out of college than most of our families could even dream of getting done across generations. The same people whiffing at the KGS, as Dana calls it, probably would have laughed off the idea of Facebook -- and social networking -- if Zuck tipped them off to it back in Cambridge.

The dot-com era of 1999-2000, in many ways, ensured that people like Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey could come along and change the world. Discount it all you want, but don't live in the past. Feel the present, embrace the future, stop hating and consider a position in Facebook stock. A double from Barrons' misguided price target is only the beginning.

NOTE: This clip is not safe for work (NSFW), but, man, Affleck nails it.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

It's Official: Action Alerts PLUS beats the S&P 500 with Dividends Reinvested! Cramer and Link were up 16.72% in 2012. Were you? See what they are trading for 14-days FREE.

View Comments (28)