Another sign Facebook IPO's getting close

What's expected to be the biggest Internet IPO in history is upon us...any day, any week? Clues abound.

Paul Sloan Former Editor
Paul Sloan is editor in chief of CNET News. Before joining CNET, he had been a San Francisco-based correspondent for Fortune magazine, an editor at large for Business 2.0 magazine, and a senior producer for CNN. When his fingers aren't on a keyboard, they're usually on a guitar. Email him here.
Paul Sloan
CNET's startup panel from last night. From left: Paul Sloan, Naval Ravikant, Dave McClure and George Zachary James Martin/CNET

Facebook's upcoming monster-size IPO has led to plenty of speculation -- about demand for the stock, about what it will mean for Facebook, about how it might drive up the valuations of the zillions of startups hoping to ride the Facebook exuberance wave.

And, more to the point, about just when exactly it will happen.

For all you tea-leaf readers out there, clues abound, and I'm here to offer up some fresh ones. Check out the video clip below from a panel I hosted here at CNET headquarters last night with three big startup investors: Dave McClure of 500 Startups, Naval Ravikant of AngelList, and George Zachary of Charles River Partners.

Zachary just yesterday watched one of his companies, Millennial Media, enjoy a 1999-like IPO debut -- a process that was pushed along by investment bankers in a rush to deal with another big -- wink, wink -- IPO in the wings.

"When we were doing the Millennial IPO, the bankers were the same as Facebook," said Zachary. "They said, 'We got to get this done by the end of March.' I said, 'Why the end of March?' They said, 'We've got a lot of other stuff we've got to take care of.'"

And how about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's current "vacation" to China with his girlfriend, Priscilla Chan? Oh, please. The always opinionated McClure has some thoughts on that one -- and, for that matter, why we should all just shut up about Facebook already.

Watch this: Looking for clues about Facebook's IPO