What Facebook's IPO really means

July 17, 2012: 9:04 PM ET

From left: Fortune senior editor Dan Primack, UBS Managing Director Mark Zanoli, Lise Buyer, Principal and Founder of Class V Group, Scott Cutler, Head of Global Listings, NYSE Euronext, and Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff. Photo: JP Mangalindan/Fortune

The social network's trouble Wall Street debut could have lasting effects on other startups. 

FORTUNE -- To call Facebook's IPO "rocky" might be kind. Since the social network went public in mid-May, its shares have dropped nearly 27%. But will the company's Wall Street outing hold back other fast-growing tech startups on the near-inevitable road of going public?

At a panel this afternoon at this year's Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, panelists agreed Facebook's (FB) IPO was a botched one but were mixed as to whether it would affect companies' prospects. The topic has been in the air throughout much of this week's conference.

"The issues Facebook ran into are not the issues 99% of companies will," said Lise Buyer, Principal and Founder of Class V Group. "It was another example unfortunately of the system itself undermining trust and confidence, but I don't think it will shut down the IPO window at all," agreed Scott Cutler, Head of Global Listings at NYSE Euronext.

MORE: Trying to work with Facebook? Good luck.

While many may be quick to point at the company's current $28 share price as a more realistic share value, Zillow (Z) CEO Spencer Rascoff implies that doing so would be premature. The real question will be whether Facebook can successfully innovate on the mobile side -- a challenge the company admits. Because although some 500 million users access the social network on the go, its apps are notoriously sluggish.

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff argued that a more accurate pricing for Facebook should be determined from whether it succeeds or fails at mobile. Said Rascoff: "That's what matters."

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JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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