One more bubble, please.
April 29, 2004 11:55 AM   Subscribe

Word on the street is google has filled for an IPO. Hot Damn!
posted by chunking express (35 comments total)
I think google is sitting on a lot of unrealized potential. They could really compete directly with Microsoft in several categories. Namely, anything to do with groupware and their new gmail. With a slick web based interface, that would integrate with MS Outlook, I'd buy a gmail rack. Exchange is the only realy groupware solution that's easy on the employees. Otherwise if you go from a dated POP3 -> Novell you're switching e-mail clients and losing functionality previously enjoyed (notes, journals other MS crap), err, demanded by employees. I realize Google has that search rack you can buy but that would seem a pretty narrow userbase. Nearly every company needs mail and not every company can afford a $10,000 setup, nor do they have staff to keep up the technology. Come on google let's get on it.
posted by geoff. at 12:08 PM on April 29, 2004

I am proud to have google as my homepage but I would hold off fellas, do not let others come in and buy up all the stock. I just hope they do not lose any major control over this wonderful tool. Perhaps some stock, say 20-30% just to inject the coffers.
My question is, what does google need to buy?

best of luck ladies and gentleman.
posted by clavdivs at 12:08 PM on April 29, 2004

More at Google Blog from the Founders:

Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one... Now the time has come for the company to move to public ownership... But the standard structure of public ownership may jeopardize the independence [of Google]. Therefore, we have designed a corporate structure that will protect Google’s ability to innovate and retain its most distinctive characteristics. [...] we have set up a corporate [dual-class] structure that will make it harder for outside parties to take over or influence Google. [....] Google [] has a responsibility to the world.
posted by tranquileye at 12:08 PM on April 29, 2004

Long have I feared the coming of this day.
posted by Galvatron at 12:14 PM on April 29, 2004

*earth trembles*
posted by abcde at 12:16 PM on April 29, 2004

The end of the Google is nigh.

Who's up for making a new search engine?
posted by reklaw at 12:17 PM on April 29, 2004

My question is, what does google need to buy?

You can buy a lot of servers with $2 billion.
posted by tranquileye at 12:20 PM on April 29, 2004

It will be interesting to see how the dutch auction shakes out. It should ensure that the current owners get a fair price, and that individuals can get in on the IPO without being taken for a ride in the secondary.

I'm sure a lot of institutional investors are going to be pissed. IPO's like this used to be a license for them to print their own money...could this be a sign that those days are over?
posted by malocchio at 12:21 PM on April 29, 2004

People have been saying that Google was about to topple for years... but honestly, have you really used another search engine in the last 5 years? What other search engine lasted that long before that? Google knows what wins and works hard to keep it that way. The IPO will only benefit them, and their stockholders... and I believe it won't have a significant effect on their direction... people have learned to trust Google as well.

I for one welcome our googling overlords....
posted by psychotic_venom at 12:25 PM on April 29, 2004

true TE, but who will control them...
and do they need more servers?
posted by clavdivs at 12:33 PM on April 29, 2004

Messrs Page and Brin have done a better-than-average job so far of keeping their product front & center and focusing on continuous improvement. I'm inclined to think they have a plan here that's fairly well thought out as well.

That is, of course, absent of anything other than the speculation that's out there. Maybe they're the next Enron in an excellent disguise, but I'm willing to believe otherwise. As is everyone else, it seems.

It's hard to not get excited about something like this, though, eh?
posted by chicobangs at 12:34 PM on April 29, 2004

getting IPO to buy other companies. well that does make sense.
posted by clavdivs at 12:40 PM on April 29, 2004

I can't figure out what Google needs to buy either. It seems like they were already making enough money to finance their expansion. I suspect those two Stanford dudes are cashing in so they can sail around the Mediterranean in a big boat.
posted by MetalDog at 12:44 PM on April 29, 2004

It's my (limited) understanding that once you're publicly traded, you have to adopt a model of corporate governance that may not be consistent with your established management objectives. You can be sued for not acting in the best interests of shareholders -- whatever that is deemed to mean.

You may want to manage the company for its long-term health and growth and the benefit of customers, employees and long-term investors who hold the stock, at the expense of maximum near-term profitability for speculators. They may not let you do that. I hope Google makes its management objectives clear in their prospectus in order to head off such problems... if that's even possible.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:56 PM on April 29, 2004

Much like seating at Wimbledon, only insiders will be able to purchase in the "public" offering.
posted by four panels at 12:59 PM on April 29, 2004

Google's revenues are higher than Yahoo? That's surprising.
posted by smackfu at 1:04 PM on April 29, 2004

Maybe they can take all that extra money and get themselves a decent logo. I'm thinking something with a swoosh.
posted by quadog at 1:14 PM on April 29, 2004

I uh, know someone who has a lot of Google stock options. Now I know I'll be able to hit them up for a huge loan. C'mon, bubble!
posted by beth at 1:18 PM on April 29, 2004

Here's a contrarian view.
posted by electro at 1:41 PM on April 29, 2004

I know a bunch of the early employees at Google so it's nice to see them finally enter Midas Mode, but it is sad that an era is ending.

"Do No Evil" will slowly but surely transform into "Make Those Numbers". Within a ferw short years Google will be as utterly evil, unredeemable, user hostile, and morally bankrupt as Yahoo. And that's even assuming Google, Inc is financially successful enough to get a chance to turn to the dark side. The alternative is to follow Netscape into the abyss of obscurity.
posted by meehawl at 2:08 PM on April 29, 2004

"Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one"

please don't be liars. please don't be liars. please don't be liars. please don't be liars. .......
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 3:04 PM on April 29, 2004

it stinks that the auction isn't open to everyone..This says only people with accounts at Morgan Stanley or Credit Suisse First Boston can do it.
posted by amberglow at 5:04 PM on April 29, 2004

That gives you about 3 months to open an account at MS or CSFB, doesn't it?
posted by clevershark at 5:41 PM on April 29, 2004

What clevershark said.
posted by kfury at 5:43 PM on April 29, 2004

sure...they let you open an account with 100 bucks, like schwab?
posted by amberglow at 5:58 PM on April 29, 2004

Morgan Stanley's minimum for an online account was $2K last time I checked.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:22 PM on April 29, 2004

the demise of i-banking
posted by VeGiTo at 6:41 PM on April 29, 2004

interesting related thing on what search engines can't find (from crooked timber) Maybe Google will get better at those with the gazillion dollars it'll have from the IPO?
posted by amberglow at 8:33 PM on April 29, 2004

My very limited understanding is that once a company reaches a certain size, they're required to file with the SEC, public or not. So I think Google is at a point where they have all the disadvantages of being a public company without any of the benefits. It's not entirely about raising cash.
posted by danny the boy at 9:37 PM on April 29, 2004

danny the boy is correct -- the "threshold" in question is the point where a company has over 1000 investors. From that point the company has to go through the same amount of reporting and filing as a publicly-owned corporation.

That's what I was told anyway, by someone who knows :-)
posted by clevershark at 10:45 PM on April 29, 2004

Normally employees also get the stock at a lower price as set by the underwriters. So in the case of Google, what is the strike price for employee stock options? Is it the opening bid price, the closeing day price, some pre-determained price? This could be good, or bad, for Google employees.
posted by stbalbach at 12:05 AM on April 30, 2004

My favourite thing about this is the amount that they're going for: $2,718,281,828
posted by sauril at 5:16 AM on April 30, 2004

Great links, amberglow. The first one answers a lot of my questions as to how this deal is going to be structured.

I wouldn't fret about not being able to participate. The dutch auction system is still gamed against the individual investor, but it does shift the potential of large gains from the favored institutional client to the current owners of the company offering the IPO.
posted by malocchio at 8:22 AM on April 30, 2004

2.718281828 is e to the ninth place.

That's totally cool.
posted by waldo at 12:12 PM on April 30, 2004

so is there any way for the average person to make money from this?
posted by centrs at 10:40 PM on April 30, 2004

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