01: STRUCTURE: Do not IPO


Public corporations are competitive albatrosses. Investment bankers, attorneys, accountants, VCs, Wall Street and the SEC are the only ones who really benefit from an IPO. The burden of public reporting overhead, the necessity to disclose competitively sensitive data, the operating restrictions mandated by quarterly performance horizons, the need to serve shareholders rather than competitive excellence, and the loss of discrete maneuverability all add up to extreme disadvantage. There are other ways to raise capital that do not create the competitive disadvantages inherent in a publicly traded enterprise. While IPOs are good exit strategies for private investment funds, they aren’t very good at providing real liquidity for controlling shareholders. If you own 70% of a public company, how exactly do you convert your equity holding into real money?