EC HH The Pre-Cognitive Anti-Trust Violation: How The Decimation Of The IPO Market Has Hurt The Economy And Worse

So would have every other entrepreneur I knew.  We all wanted to go public. That was how you had a chance to get obscene amounts of wealth. Back then the goal wasn’t to be a billionaire, the term was simply “F*ck-You Money” Which was however much money it took to own a private plane and to not have to work again if you chose not to. For all but a few who built huge private enterprises, that goal was only attainable by going public. 

Was/Is that level of greed good? In my world, those same peers would reward their investors and employees just as I did.  So yes it was. Just as hundreds of my employees attained 7 and 8 figure net-worths, we were not unique. The same happened at many of those hundreds of companies that were going public every year that were able to execute on their business plans.

More importantly, it was a source of drive. It was motivation. Not just for me, but for all of our investors and employees.  We all could see what happened when companies we knew went public. We got to talk to their employees and hear the stories of the amazing wealth they had earned.  For those of us who wanted to achieve a high level of financial success, it made us work even harder.

Fast forward about 16 or 17 years and it had all changed.

It doesn’t matter how or why (I’ve written enough about the SEC, no reason to rehash their ineptitude here, again). What matters is that today’s entrepreneurs do not see taking the companies they have built public as a reasonable or even smart goal.  Instead they want to stay private as long as they possibly can.  They want to raise Series A, B, C, D, E, F, ? until when I’m not sure.

Their reasons are not many. They don’t want the reporting requirements which have gotten more onerous and expensive since we went public (even accounting for the new Reg A+ offerings).  They don’t want to deal with regulators (I can appreciate this one). They hide behind the straw man of not wanting to have to play “the game” of meeting quarterly expectations and hyping the stock to investors.  Neither of which is a requirement of going public. In contrast, ask any entrepreneur these days how much of her time is spent wondering how they are going to raise their next round.

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