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Every engine out there went excessively commercial once the board of directors was made up of more real businessmen rather than techies - and that automatically happens with an IPO.
I've had this feeling for some time that they're clinging on to their quality results just until IPO and then become pure commercial PPC and Adwords...I surely hope they prove me wrong.
Hope this doesn't spell the end for quality results on the web, though.
Not a chance. You read it above - the most likely scenario if they go ahead is a change of the values that got them to where they are today. It would be downhill as far as quality is concerned as the new guys at the top seek short term financial gain.
We've seen the effects of that strategy with so many others. It would be the beginning of the end. The money guys really are blinkered at this game - they'll rape the real value of the company and won't even realise it until its too late.
Strangely enough, post IPO the best stock buy would actually be FAST or some of the others.
the vast personal wealth an IPO can bring.
I just hope they realize at what cost that vast personal wealth usually comes. I can't think of any search companies who didn't go downhill from the users' perspective after their IPO.
If Google goes public, the only reason I can see behind it is greed (oh sure, we're making a profit... but it's not a BIG enough profit!)... and that never bodes well.
If they go soft, there are many waiting in the wings to take over their market position.
"Greed is good" worked for a decade or two. Now it doesnt, but im not sure the potential public ownership realise that yet.
It has nothing to do with pessimism. When you go to a VC for money, certain events are expected/required in return and there are contractual obligations agreed to beforehand, hence my remark about their DNA. The only real variable is timing. They've made all the moves on the going-to-IPO punchlist.
Now, about the timing, note that they have likely lost the Yahoo deal. I could argue that they may be at their zenith in the first Qtr, the yahoo deal not fully factored in.
The one big concern with going public is their increased exposure to disclosure and the related legal problems ...I was reading an article that touched on just that issue somewhere recently.
To twist an old joke punchline around, Google already knows what they are, they're just haggling over the price. That's business! And my kudos to them for their execution so far.
I think G is a success and will probably continue to be so after they go public.
Their "personality" sure would change though I think. From bubbly G to big bro G :) On their pedastool it will be hard to maintain SERP quality and shareholder peace!
<edit> Lived this, worked a company that does 5 BILLION in sales a year, they went public.. and all control was lost </edit>