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Tech Pro’s Sound Off on Google IPO

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Source SF Gate

Tim Bajarin
President, Creative Strategies Inc.

In Silicon Valley’s grand scheme, Google keeps the valley’s legend alive. It mirrors the garage shop rags-to-riches of Hewlett and Packard, Intel’s Noyce, Moore and Grove, Apple’s Jobs and Wozniak and Yahoo’s Jerry Yang and David Filo. It keeps alive the hopes and dreams of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and engineers by suggesting that they, too, could someday emerge as billionaires if they could only invent the next great technology that captures the hearts and minds of the ever-expanding digital universe of users around the world.

Its role in the world of technology cannot be underestimated. Its search engine places this technology at the heart of the way we find things in context in a truly unruly World Wide Web. By inventing a much less obtrusive way to tie advertising to search results, that makes advertising practical and in many ways a welcome part of the search process..

Craig Newmark
Founder, Craigslist

Hey, the Google guys are doing great, both from a technology perspective and how they’re trying to do the right thing for their community. As companies get more successful and bigger, they often forget that their customers are people and should be treated as such. I can see the Google guys trying hard to remember that and to make their moral compass an everyday part of their operations, a la “Do no evil.”

They were being really smart and fair with their IPO, trying to democratize it, to give everyone a chance. I really like that, since I figure the Internet should be for everyone, and this helps change things. Sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing, but I figure Google’s a pretty decent role model..

Chris Anderson
Editor, Wired magazine

Although I applaud Google’s attempt to use its clout to try an interesting experiment with alternatives to the financial status quo, it was so badly handled that the results are ambiguous at best. More likely, they’re counterproductive, possibly even setting back the cause of auctions.

By trying to change too many variables at the same time — challenging the convention of an investment-bank-led IPO, hugely increasing the usual number of underwriting banks and trying to come up with some novel auction rules on the fly — Google was bound to run into hitches.

And when it did, the Wall Street establishment, which had been basically asked to dig its own grave as a condition of participation, bit back with glee. The end result is that auctions, long a campaign of real financial rebels such as Bill Hambrecht, now look messy, dangerous and inefficient, which is a shame..

Esther Dyson
Editor at large, Cnet Networks

Of course those analysts want to paint the whole IPO as a dismal failure because it more or less bypassed Wall Street and its gatekeepers.

(But) the market worked. My read of it is that the initial hoopla was driven mostly by the press. Perhaps foolishly, the company responded by pricing the deal at a premium to what rational analysts said it was worth.

That made sense for a while. Indeed, some people suggested the stock was still underpriced. Then the backlash began, as potential investors talked down the price and the (technology) stock market overall started retreating.

Google made and revealed a number of blunders, including an atypical bout of excessive openness — an interview with Playboy. I’d rather criticize Google for excessive secrecy. But in the end, the company is open about what it says, if a bit smug, and open about what it will not tell..

Bill Burnham
Managing partner, Softbank Capital Partners

No matter how hot an IPO is perceived to be, the company still has to listen to Wall Street. Companies have to remember that investment managers have more than 10,000 potential stocks to choose from. That means a company has go the extra mile to convince these money managers that its stock is going to make them money

Google is a U.S. company, and it helps cement the pre-eminent position of the U.S. in the global Internet industry. The tens of thousands of domestic, skilled jobs that Internet companies such as Google have created not only help offset some of the job losses from some forms of outsourcing, but also help the U.S. industrial base migrate from old, slow-growth industries toward new, high-growth industries. Google, with its freewheeling, inventive culture and strong technology, is a great example of how U.S. industry can grow and prosper even in the face of increasing competition from overseas..

Robert Shaw
Chief executive officer, ArcSight

I’m very excited about the company. It just shows that great ideas and innovation, experienced management and profitability still drive great valuations. The auction process, jealousy, poor press and a number of minor administrative missteps probably handicapped the opening, but I see tremendous upside once the dust settles. Their careful use of cash and a relatively cheap infrastructure give them a huge advantage. Now it’s time to let the innovative genes drive them to the next level..

Christopher Lochhead
Chief marketing officer, Mercury Interactive Corp.

This is not a return to 1999. Silicon Valley is in a very different place, and there are very few billion-dollar startups. The bubble has burst. There has been a nuclear winter in technology spending, and we’ve moved from the new economy to the show-me economy.

The Google story yet to be told is that when the company started six years ago, the general industry opinion was that the search market was mature and the players had been chosen. By building this company during the worst economic downturn in modern technology history, they proved that with an innovative technology and business model, you can build one of the fastest growing startups of all time in any economy.

After four years of a technology IPO wasteland, this is Revenge of the Nerds, with the geeks running away with the money and the bunnies.

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Robert T DeMarco

About the Author

Robert T DeMarco is CEO of IP Group in Herndon VA. IP Group offers software communication tools for use on the Internet. These include: PowerTools, Watch Right, Always on Time and IM Frame. Mr. DeMarco is the author/editor of several Weblogs and is also a member of the High Tech Crimes Industry Association (HTCIA). Mr. DeMarco has university level and corporate training and teaching experience, spent 20 years on Wall Street, acted as CEO of a small software company, and is currently discovering the world of blogging.
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  • Gee, I came here because I saw the headline and wondered who turned off which tech pro’s sound, and now it turns out that it isn’t that at all. In fact, there is more than one tech pro, and apparently they do not possess the sound which is off, but rather are sounding off.

    So then it seems that instead of: Tech Pro’s Sound Off, it should be: Tech Pros Sound Off. As in, no apostrophe.

  • Phil..

    Perhaps if you had taken the entire headline into consideration you would have noticed this post is about the Google IPO (so you won’t get confused, IPO stands for initial public offering).

    As far as I can tell the word Pros means: an argument or evidence in affirmation. In other words like Pros and Cons. The word Pro’s in this context connotates professionals. It is not unusual to shorten words in headlines due to space constraints. Next time I will take your comment into consideration and instead put Professionals in the headline, instead of Pro’s insuring less confusion on the part of some.

    Any comment on the Google IPO or the comments of the pro’s (professionals)?


  • bhw

    Philip is correct. You make “pro” [abbreviation of “professional”] plural by adding an ‘s’ without the apostrophe. So “pros” is the plural form of the abbreviation, and “pro’s” is the possessive form of the abbreviation [singular, not plural].