on January 26, 2001
About the book
Based on research questioning about 500 executives who took IPOs between 1986 and 1996. So, most IPOs came from companies who had been profitable for a few years. After the collapse of the Internet stocks, the context is similar, but I believe such profit records may not be as important as during 1986-96.
Published in 1999. So, it has comments to imply "being first makes the company valuable without profits".
About the authors and their style
Authors are experienced in their job of bringing IPOs.
This book is not at all in the class of books by Al Ries and Jack Trout, but more like a text book, covering every related point (from text book point of view). There is no prioritization or difference in emphasis of the importance of various issues involved.
Their diagram on cover of book is confusing because they have used 2-dimensions to show a linear 1-dimension process, which essentially are their recommended steps.
1. Define goal/success. IPO may not be the best way to achieve that.
2. Plan and start working on IPO at least one year ahead of the need.
3. Many specific to-do items: · Revise salaries as variable salaries that include stocks rather than just cash. · Plan personal estates. Give gifts before IPOs to family members to minimize future tax liability. Hire CPA for this planning. · Hire Earnst & Young early. · Clean books of accounts-use GAAP. · Build strong executive team. · Start working like a public company at least one year before-that is-create quarter-to-quarter profitability guidance and exceed them. Create reports such as needed by SEC. · Build external Board. Create committees of Board members.
If you want to read just 7 pages, read these: 25, 37, 56, 65, 74, 108, 170
on November 29, 2000
Aimed at executives considering an IPO, the `IPO Value Journey' is also of use to staff in pre/post-IPO companies to understand about market perceptions of companies & ideal "success factors".
The lightly referenced, well structured chapters span: the CEO's journey; the journey's early vital steps; chart your transaction strategy; chart your personal strategy; create the winning team; complete your IPO platform; be the public company; the IPO event; and deliver the value. Useful appendices span: outline for a business plan; selecting the stock market; registration exemptions and resale restrictions; overview of the SEC and SEC rules and regulations; simplified registration under the small business disclosure system; and glossary.
Strengths include: the concise factual (dry) writing style; good use of exhibits and checklists; and useful easily-accessible content addressing legal, accounting, reporting, board issues (amongst others).
Weaknesses include: need for more sidebar success story anecdotes (which integrate the steps); mostly US focus; and relatively superficial analysis evidence supporting the success factors and `journey' metaphor.
Overall, a very useful working book, to be read with something like `Confessions of a Venture Capitalist' (ISBN 0446526800) or `E-boys' (ISBN 0812930959), for a fuller life-cycle, energetic view of the IPO journey.