Google’s Expensive Roadshow

I agree, mostly, with Bill Burnham’s comments about Google’s expensive roadshow. The company did forget that it had to make money for people, and that is why no-one carried the company’s water through the quiet period, not i-bankers, and not institutional investors. The people who most should have wanted Google to succeed ended up being ambivalent about the offering — and ambivalence ain’t greed.

The perverse upshot of the mismanaged process, however, is that Google is now much more likely to make money for IPO buyers. The company has driven the offering price down low enough that there will be more first-day buyers than there would have been if the company had run the offering properly.

More broadly, it will be too bad if the lesson people take away from the Google offering is that Dutch auctions don’t work, and there are no alternatives to the old-boy IPO-allocation network. There are alternatives, including open auctions, and one indifferently managed IPO doesn’t change that.