Traveling to space or embarking on an expedition to excavate lost Mayan ruins are normally the stuff of adventure novels.
But for employees of Facebook, these and other lavish dreams are moving closer to reality as the world's No. 1 online social network prepares for a blockbuster initial public offering that could create at least a thousand millionaires.
The most anticipated stock market debut of 2012 is expected to value Facebook at as much as $100 billion, which would top just about any of Silicon Valley's most celebrated coming-out parties, from Netscape to Google Inc.
Facebook's headcount has swelled from 700 employees in late 2008 to more than 3,000 today. Given its generous use of equity-based compensation in past years, people familiar with Facebook say that even by conservative estimates there are likely to be well over a thousand people looking at million-dollar-plus paydays after the company goes public.