More than 72 hours after the epic Facebook IPO, there has been a string of postmortems trying to understand what went "wrong." I put that last word in quotation marks because I've been surprised that the outcome has been portrayed as some kind of failure.

More than 72 hours after the epic Facebook IPO, there has been a string of postmortems trying to understand what went "wrong." I put that last word in quotation marks because I've been surprised that the outcome has been portrayed as some kind of failure.

Right after trading began and the stock began to wobble, Reuters had a story posted using the word "fizzle" in the headline. Later, other stories used "Faceplant" to describe it. My own newspaper used the world "flop" in its headline. And the stock dropping almost 11 percent Monday was just seen as more proof of its shortcomings.

Yes, there were some technical problems with the trading. And yes, it appears bankers were over-optimistic about demand for shares Friday. But the Facebook IPO was not a disaster. The bigger problem here seems to be our expectations.

The dot-com boom conditioned us to believe an Internet IPO should skyrocket on the first day of trading. I'll confess, I fell into this trap, telling some folks I thought Facebook's stock could reach $100.

But I wasn't alone. The 67 people who submitted guesses on the San Jose Mercury News' website projected an average closing price of $81.22. Another site, Facebookipodayclosingprice.com, attracted 2,261 guesses averaging $54.

Instead, Facebook closed just above its $38 offering price Friday amid technical glitches on Nasdaq and reports by my colleague Peter Delevett that its bankers were furiously buying shares to prevent the embarrassment of it falling below that threshold.

Kathleen Shelton Smith, chairwoman and co-founder of Renaissance Capital, an IPO research firm, said in an email that the banks blew this one, noting that overall, IPO stocks have not done well this year.

It was a mistake, she wrote, for the banks to raise the share price to $38 and increase the amount of stock being sold just before the IPO.

"The underwriters should have seen this weak background as a sign to be more conservative about setting the initial price for the Facebook IPO," she wrote. "Add to that unexpected problems with Nasdaq trades and worries about going into the weekend with long positions when Greece is near default, and the result is a failure to properly launch the biggest-ever tech IPO."

I won't argue with that. And the bankers paid a price, given that they spent a ton of money Friday trying to prop up the share price. On the other hand, is anyone out there shedding any tears for investment bankers? Didn't think so.

Still, the lack of a big first-day jump has been interpreted as a harsh verdict about Facebook. The general public came to expect that during the dot-com bubble, when, according to an article in the Journal of Finance published in 2003, the first-day rise in IPOs was 73 percent in 1999 and 58 percent in 2000.

But these first-day jumps were engineered by the banks to a large extent. One way they did this was by allocating unusually small percentages of stock — so-called "low floats" — to the public, much less than the demand, creating an artificial scarcity that drove up the bidding for the stock.

Just a year ago, LinkedIn went public and saw its stock jump 109 percent on the first day of trading when it sold 8.3 percent of its stock, compared with an average of 24 percent for tech IPOs.

Facebook sold 19 percent of its shares Friday.

When a company underprices an IPO and offers a low number of shares and they skyrocket the first day, that means the company left millions of dollars "on the table," money that instead went to people who bought and sold the stock on the first day of trading. Facebook and the insiders who sold stock raised the maximum amount they could, which is, after all, the point of an IPO.

"I would imagine the people at Facebook are very happy today," said Lee Simmons, an industry specialist at Dun & Bradstreet.

Facebook's IPO performance was also probably affected by the fact that the company waited so long to go public, a delay that was enabled by the emergence of secondary markets that allowed insiders to sell stock over the past several years. According to Dow Jones VentureSource, Facebook raised $2.2 billion in venture capital, more than any other company in history.

A big chunk of that money, however, represented insiders selling pre-IPO shares on these secondary markets, where the share price jumped 13-fold in the four years before the IPO, according to SecondMarket. Looked at it this way, one could argue that Facebook stock has been on a rocket ride, just one that happened before the IPO rather than after it.

But even so, we need to stop focusing on such short-term metrics like an IPOs first day, which may provide some empty thrills, but don't really convey much substance. If we want companies and the economy to focus on the long-term, then so should we.