Friday, August 13, 2004

Google IPO Auction Struggles to the Start Line Despite Multiple Miscues

The Wall Street Journal Reports along with other majors (see also CNET's diverse coverage) on the "Perils of Pauline"-like twists and turns of Google's debut as a public company. The finishing touch was the release of an interview of Google's founders by Playboy Magazine on the verge of the auction that may violate the SEC "quiet period" for releasing information pertinent to investors not in SEC statemetns prior to an IPO; if Google's found to have violated this rule, they may be liable to buy back issued shares and start all over. None of this bodes well for Google's still-learning team in the short term and a little humble pie is in order for them to be sure, but it's still rather amazing that a good idea whose time had come is now seeking to transform itself in such a glaring media spotlight. Would Yahoo! have survived if it had tried to go public so far along in its growth? Or Microsoft? There will of course be some tanking of this stock as media scrutiny continues to follow a negative lead and growing pains continue to disappoint, but at the end of the day it's the phenomenal success and loyalty that Google still enjoys on a daily basis that's the real story here. Allowing Google to be just another company for a while once the spotlight dies down may be the best gift that it can receive to allow it to get back to concentrating on its core content missions.
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