MongoDB's First Day Of Trading Is Going Great, And That Is Bad

A great first day is just another symptom of the larger disease.
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So, despite our warnings, MongoDB went public today.

At first blush, the action on MongoDB stock for Day One makes us look as dumb as ever:

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That's not too shabby at all. It's also possibly an indicator that enough people actually understand what MongoDB does and that at least a handful of Millennial analysts survived their bullish calls on Snap to sell their confused bosses on "Open-Source." According to Forbes, it's even a sign from the Market Gods that Silicon Alley will be redeemed despite the sins of Etsy and Blue Apron.

So, like, yay?

We like MongoDB as a company. It's something of a pioneer in its very lucrative - and relatively low-cost - space, and it's by all accounts a well-run operation. While we might come off as soulless wonders who feed emotionally on the failure of others, we are genuinely pleased for MongoDB's stellar first six hours of life on the public market.

But...it's also just day one.

There is plenty of time for us to realize that no one actually understands what MongoDB does, and that many of those surviving Millennial analysts are operating from an instinct of panic and recommending MDB on a wing and a prayer. And we're mere weeks away from MongoDB reporting an operating loss in its first fiscal quarter, confusing investors who thought it was "like, a platform or something?" Essentially, nothing about this is different than the disasters that preceded it.

Being misunderstood on day one is a rite of passage for new tech IPOs. Etsy stock almost doubled on its first day. Snap finished up 44%, well above what MongoDB just did. Even Blue Apron traded up by a solitary cent on its debut. That one cent turned out to be irrational exuberance.

If we've learned anything from this recent spat of tech IPOs (Spoiler Alert: we haven't) it's that the first day is not only meaningless, but potentially a contraindicator. People get overly excited about stocks all time, but that doesn't mean for a moment that they will remain turgid for potential upside when they start to realize that they don't really know what they're looking at.

MongoDB is a stronger business than Etsy, Snap or even Blue Apron (evil giggle), but it's also way more difficult to understand than any of them despite the similarity of being not profitable. Maybe the market is actually bullish about MongoDB, but it very well might just be getting its head turned by the newest prospect in the dingy singles bar that is the NASDAQ.

We hate to be a fucking wet blanket, but maybe the best thing about MongoDB's trading day is that it was only up

Silver lining!

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