Google IPO PR & Jeff Skoll’s Jokes

The puffy profile piece on Google’s upcoming IPO that is the cover of the current Wired has an entirely appropriate URL. It is Notice, of course, the trailing “pr”, as in “printable version”, but also as in “public relations”.

To be fair, the piece does have some good tidbits about life in a soon-to-be-public company. Here, for example, is a quote from Jeff Skoll, eBay’s first employee and former president:

“Before we went public, I used to send out a company-wide joke each day, just as a way of loosening things up. The day after the IPO, I sat down at my computer to write that day’s joke and in walked the general counsel. He says to me, ‘You know that joke of the day thing? I think it’s very funny.’ Gosh, thank you, I replied. ‘Well, stop it,’ he said. ‘We are a public company now, and we don’t want to offend anyone. If you want to keep sending out jokes, they can only be about lawyers.’ So I tried sending out lawyer jokes for two weeks – and then I gave up.”