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Google Cancels Spring IPO

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the or-have-they dept.

Businesses 246

securitas writes "Google fans and potential investors will be disappointed to learn that they must wait a while longer before they can own a piece of Google. The Times of London's James Doran reports that Google's IPO plans are on hold. CEO Eric Schmidt appears to think that market conditions are not right. When pressed for details about the delayed IPO, Schmidt said, "An IPO is not on my agenda right now." A commentary about the delayed Google IPO follows. Mirror at Australian IT."

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I just cancelled my morning poop ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158161)

dammit...I have when there are people in the bathroom!!

Don't you hate it... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158654)

when you enter a stall, only to find the previous occupant's nest? Like, what were they thinking, just flush it down with your terd. Don't leave the tp on the seat, even if you did do a nice job of placing it neatly on the seat to shield your under-carriage from nasty germs.

Sometimes, I think it's left there as a suggestion to others that they should also be neat.

This is really weird.

Re:Don't you hate it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158727)

We've spun into off topic land, but it begs the question... why the hell do you care where your butt's been? Sure, other people's butts have germs, but so does yours, so... WTF?

oh yeah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158163)

fp

oh no (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158176)

yfi

ugh (4, Interesting)

Tirel (692085) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158164)

Analysts estimate, however, that Google's annual revenue is between $500 million and $1 billion, with profits between $150 million and $300 million.

Wow, where do they get that kind of money? Surely not the ads..

Re:ugh (4, Informative)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158189)

Deals with Yahoo, AOL, and other big sites... sales of their standalone intranet search servers... and I'd imagine they're doing well on the ads, too.

Re:ugh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158328)

Re:ugh (4, Informative)

akedia (665196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158206)

Any website you see with a search function that says "Powered by Google" under it, means that site is most likely paying Google a fee to use that, and make sure their site is indexed. Two I know for sure are AOL and MSN for their ISP software, they license their search functions from Google.

Re:ugh (3, Interesting)

PetWolverine (638111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158327)

Yahoo also uses Google. In fact, I read recently (probably in an article I found on /., though having not slept last night I have no interest in trying to find the link) that Yahoo traffic accounts for something like 20% of Google's queries.

If anyone wants to find the link, I think it was in the recent article about Macrosquash's efforts to develop a competitive search engine. Of course, it was probably a gross estimate anyway.

Re:ugh (5, Informative)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158490)

Yahoo may however be leaving google..

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/01/15/10738 77971434.html [theage.com.au]

Meanwhile, there are reports that Yahoo! and Microsoft are preparing next-generation search technologies to beat Google, the world's most popular search engine. Microsoft, according to one report, is working on a "Google killer" and analysing the Web with its own internet spider, a piece of software critical to building search engines.

Re:ugh (1, Insightful)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159186)

Microsoft, according to one report, is working on a "Google killer" and analysing the Web with its own internet spider, a piece of software critical to building search engines.

Anyone remember the days when Microsoft just wrote software? Why do they have to get their hands into everything? Can't they be satisfied just making umpteen billion dollars in profit a year on their operating system and office product line and leave the rest of the industry to try to eek out a profit on the crumbs leftover?

Re:ugh (2, Informative)

lonb (716586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158665)

Actually, most sites that say 'powered by goole' are not paying for this service -- Google provides it for free. Besides their advanced search [google.com] , which can be called via query composition, they expose a robust API [google.com] for free.

Google makes most of their money from ads [google.com] (keyword searches, etc.); licensing of their technology to third-party search engines like Yahoo! (although Yahoo! is dropping Google [com.com] ); and, selling search appliances [google.com] , which do lots of non-Internet work as well.

Re:ugh (2, Interesting)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158218)

It might be the ads - they're awfully expensive for a decent campaign. I think it's more likely to be sales and service to other companies; using Google's search feature is free to many (like schools and non-profits I think) but some companies pay big bucks for their search technology.

I think they're a great example of a business run well, not selling out (to MS) and really focusing on being the best damn whatever that they want to do.

Re:ugh (2, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158237)

Surely not the ads..

There is the Google Search Engine Appliance [searchtools.com] thing, which must have a healthy profit margin. I doubt that's going to be all that significant a contribution though - so I guess there is more profit in throse Sponsored Links than might be expected.

Re:ugh (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158251)

Why not the ads? Think about the kind of traffic Google gets, and then realise that there are small text ads on almostevery results page they serve.

Furthermore, I get the impression that their business model uses google.com as advertising for their licensing model.

Re:ugh (4, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158442)

More to the point, with numbers like that why do they even need an IPO? Why bother whoring yourself out to Wall Street when you can already afford to fill your swimming pool with cash?

Re:ugh (3, Funny)

martingunnarsson (590268) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158611)

Fill another swimming pool?

Gov't regulation that's why (3, Informative)

jobugeek (466084) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158643)

Private companies that get to a certain number of employees and a couple other factors are required to file certain extra documents to the SEC.

I remember reading an online article about it. Apparently, it's a real pain in the ass. Basically you have to do the same amount of paperwork as a public company, but without the benefit of the extra money.

Re:Gov't regulation that's why (5, Informative)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158738)

Perhaps this will help [com.com] :

A private company must report its finances once it has more than 500 common shareholders--or stock-option holders--and $10 million in assets, according to section XII(g) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. That means a private company must file quarterly forms with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that disclose operating expenses, profits, partnerships, shareholders and many other details--a laborious process that can cost as much as $2 million annually.

Re:ugh (2, Insightful)

Freedom Bug (86180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158807)

Probably because of their employees, who have probably been indirectly promised a huge stock option windfall....

Bryan

Re:ugh (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158974)

To be able to compete against companies who have oceans of cash [slashdot.org] ?

where do they get that kind of money (-1, Redundant)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159071)

Wow, where do they get that kind of money? Surely not the ads...

Cocaine. Crack cocaine. Blow.

Oh Darn... (4, Funny)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158167)

Instead of getting my free advertising stock benefit with google, I think I'll just buy some more Krispy Kreme and get another free box of doughnuts.

SCO? (-1, Offtopic)

sik0fewl (561285) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158179)

SCO's doing?

I'm sure this announcement is at least partly resulted from SCO. It's pisses me off that SCO has to fuck up everybody else businesses, too.

Or this could be unrelated to SCO.. No mention of SCO in the article, but I don't think it's something one would make known.

Not terribly surprised (5, Insightful)

wawannem (591061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158187)

I mean, before the .com boom, companies usually only went public because they needed money to grow. Google seems to sustain a very healthy bottom-line and I think they have yet to figure out what they want to grow into.

Re:Not terribly surprised (4, Insightful)

goatasaur (604450) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158236)

Until of course they go ahead with the IPO, become so top-heavy and ad-driven in a couple years that they topple over.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

What they want to grow into? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158535)

What would the want to grow into?

[they]... become so top-heavy...
Well maybe the will transform into boogle [boogle.com] .

Wil Wheaton was invited to participate in the IPO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158268)

check out his online blog journal [wilwheaton.org] about how this happened

Re:Not terribly surprised (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158480)

They're probably going public so the investors, founders, and employees can sell some of their equity in the business. Public listing makes their ownership both more fungible and more valuable.

Re:Not terribly surprised (1)

daBass (56811) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158683)

I wouldn't be surprised if the main reason behind an IPO is to reward early employees, they would be able to sell their options publicly.

On the other hand, with as much cash as they have, it could be wise for Google to buy the options back directly instead of becomming an entirely different beast altogether, a publicly traded company with investor approved "short term share holder value" obessed CEO...

Bravo Google (5, Insightful)

Cr3d3nd0 (517274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158190)

Frankly I'm all for them never releasing an IPO. Sure it brings in extra cash in the short term but in the long term, your buisness focus shifts from your product and customers to the whims of your shareholders. One of the primary reasons people use google that I've seen isn't the qualit of searches, it's the lack of abusive adds, and genereal "customer friendly" enviroment that google provides. So the longer they put off selling stock the longer they don't have shareholders breathing down their necks for better profit margins.

Re:Bravo Google (2, Funny)

TwistedSquare (650445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158286)

Spot on! Yeah this can be modded redundant all you like, but I agree with that guy totally ^^^^^

Re:Bravo Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158300)

Let's click their unobtrusive ads once in a while, for support.

Re:Bravo Google (4, Interesting)

sphealey (2855) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158414)

Frankly I'm all for them never releasing an IPO. Sure it brings in extra cash in the short term but in the long term, your buisness focus shifts from your product and customers to the whims of your shareholders.
Problem is that without a public offering it is very difficult to reward the worker bees who created the company by working 20-hour days for the first x years. You can only distribute closely-held shares up to a point, as Microsoft found.

sPh

Re:Bravo Google (2, Insightful)

regen (124808) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159029)

Problem is that without a public offering it is very difficult to reward the worker bees who created the company by working 20-hour days for the first x years. You can only distribute closely-held shares up to a point, as Microsoft found.

Um...Ever heard of this thing call cash? You can give it to people in exchange for them providing you with goods and services.

Most "worker bees" would prefer cash to stock options.

Re:Bravo Google (4, Insightful)

1000101 (584896) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158509)

"Sure it brings in extra cash in the short term but in the long term, your buisness focus shifts from your product and customers to the whims of your shareholders."

You make it sound like every company that is traded publicly doesn't produce good products. I am a shareholder of a number of different companies and the only thing I care about is that they keep producing quality products so customers continue to buy them. Companies that fit your description typically don't last.

Re:Bravo Google (1)

PetWolverine (638111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158651)

Agreed, 100%! When I read, "Google fans...will be disappointed...", I thought, hey--I'm a Google fan, and I couldn't be happier with this news.

Let's try to leave the opinions for the comments, not the stories, hmm?

Re:Bravo Google (2, Interesting)

imlepid (214300) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158706)

It's a very good point. Sometimes companies fall into harder times trying to play to their investors, such as when the Virgin Group [virgin.com] went public they were constrained so much they eventually bought back all the stock they sold. Branson (Virgin's Chairman) talks about how they had to consult the board to authorize the signing of UB40 and since board meetings happened infrequently they could have lost the band to another record label. (For more info on Virgin's time as a public company look at Brnason's book Loosing My Virginity.)

Personally I applaud Google for not going public. I hope it turns out to be the correct move in the long run.

Re:Bravo Google (3, Informative)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159008)

I completely agree. Particularly in extremely technical corporations, the average stockholder is adrift in attempting to evaluate a given technically driven decision; thus a valuable technical decision can cause a shitstorm of selloffs, driving stock into the ground and reducing the credit rating of a company, making it impossible for them to get cash-flow loans, ultimately (in the worst case scenario) driving them into bankruptcy because of their inability to pay their accounts payable so that they can collect their accounts recievable.

It can make the decision makers who care about the product gunshy, and drive them to 'middle of the road, risk free' behavior. Innovation and advancement doesn't come from this type of behavior.

It's a sad day when the decision makers have to consider the value of their stock tomorrow more highly than the viability of their company in ten years. Why should the CEO care? He won't be there in ten years - he'll have moved on with his rapidly-excercised stock options and golden umbrella payouts; He's liquid enough already (unless he makes really stupid decisions) that he'll be rich even if he never gets another job.

Google didn't "cancel" anything... (4, Interesting)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158194)

...and their IPO has been a lot of speculation from the start, and wasn't ever "official".

While there have been some hints, it has largely been hype that is responsible for people thinking that Google would have an IPO.

Furthermore, it seems that it would be a smart move for Google to capitalise on this, and have their CEO say that an IPO wasn't even on his agenda. That would make people want it all the more, so it's a smart move that they've done that! Using the hype to their advantage without committing to anything... very shrewd.

Re:Google didn't "cancel" anything... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158426)

Aye, she's a sweet looking little virgin, but she surely kens how to shake the money maker...

Re:Google didn't "cancel" anything... (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158495)

What I heard frequently repeated was that the venture capitalists who provided Google's initial investment would be expecting Google to IPO at some point in order to maximize the VCs' return-on-investment, and that Google was to some degree under obligation to eventually do as they wished.

Is there some basis to this or was this just another Slashdot urban legend?

Good (5, Insightful)

wizarddc (105860) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158196)

I find this good news. The longer that Google's technology interests are held in private hands, rather than the public interest of their stock price, I think the world is a better place. I'll be crying when I see GUGL -1 3/4 running across the bottom of my TV screen.

Why would I be disappointed? (4, Insightful)

andih8u (639841) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158197)

Look what happened to Yahoo when they went public. An IPO is not a good thing. Letting a bunch of Wall Street financial people have a say in what to do with your tech company is just a bad idea.

Re:Why would I be disappointed? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158330)

It's "Cobain", nigger.

hmmmm (4, Funny)

graveyardduckx (735761) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158204)

well if google hasn't gone public yet, can I invest in booble?

Re:hmmmm (2, Funny)

LDorman (543715) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158663)

The Superbowl Halftime show has already bought it...

some SEC commentary (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158232)

is avaliable from the NERO Financial Report [nero-online.org] 's website regarding some possible scandals going on at Google

"Market conditions are not right?" (4, Interesting)

StyleChief (656649) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158240)

I wonder what exactly the "right" conditions might be? The market seems to be picking up, so does someone have insight into what we should be waiting for? Someone out there must have their finger on the pulse of good information . . . .

Easy answer (3, Insightful)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158273)

I wonder what exactly the "right" conditions might be?

Not being in SCO's sights, maybe?

Re:Easy answer (2, Interesting)

sphealey (2855) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158680)

wonder what exactly the "right" conditions might be?
Not being in SCO's sights, maybe?
Or it could be the other way around. With no IPO underway, Google would be free to file suit against SCO, Canopy, and their backers. With $20 billion of Canopy, Baystar, and RBC's money in their pocket Google would then have no need to go public.

Just a thought.

sPh

Re:"Market conditions are not right?" (3, Informative)

ill_mango (686617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158942)

If they are indeed intending to go public, they might be waiting for the tech market to peak so they can make the same amount of capital while selling less shares.

This is good for the company, because not only do the private owners still totally control the company, but they:

a) can buy back the shares on the open market for less than they sold them if they want them back

b) can sell more shares later if they need more capital (since they didn't sell as many shares on the IPO to make the initial capital)

Re:"Market conditions are not right?" (1)

StyleChief (656649) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159018)

Good info. Thanks.

Good thinking, Google (3, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158244)

I am happy to see Google not go on the market. I fear that Microsoft would simply try to buy all of the shares immediately. While google might be worth a few billion, to Microsoft it's worth a lot more, because they need a good piece of search to integrate with Hotmail and their other services... it's worth whatever they're losing!

Re:Good thinking, Google (2, Informative)

falconed (645790) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158462)

I imagine Google wouldn't release enough shares to the public for a hostile takeover. Like an earlier poster pointed out, they hardly seem to need the cash, so why take the risk? As long as they release fewer than 51% of the shares, a hostile takeover is impossible.

Re:Good thinking, Google (2, Interesting)

fhmiv (740648) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158471)

Speaking of Microsoft as a Google competitor, is it possible Google doesn't want to endure the news blackout during the cooling-off period if they did file their prospectus to go public?

Could the cooling-off period limit their ability to respond to Microsoft's publicity machine during a potentially critical time?

Re:Good thinking, Google (5, Informative)

tackaberry (694121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158487)

It's not quite as simple as that. First off, the IPO would only be for a portion of the shares now held in private. So Google insiders would still hold significant control. Second, there are disclosure rules pertaining to buying up shares. The SEC requires shareholders to file statements once they cross thresholds in ownership. Third, Google could implore a number of various defences against any "take-over", including a share rights agreement (aka poisin pill), staggered terms for directors, etc. For one company to buy out another, it either has to be a friendly deal between the parties, or hostile - offers shareholders $$$ to tender their shares to the acquiring entity.

The reason for IPO-ing is either 1) to raise capital for growth, expansion, etc. - Google seems to be doing fairly well so far, and money is still cheap enough that they could tap the debt markets or private placements before going public, or 2) (which is likely more the reason), to provide liquidity for the current shareholders - the currently management team is sitting on millions of dollars, but they don't have any easy means to convert their ownership position into cash.

By having a public float, Google would have to disclose their financial information (as well as other stuff). With all that is happening, increased competition, maybe they take a wait and see approach, especially if they aren't in dire needs for cash.

This is good news (4, Insightful)

Tassach (137772) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158245)

Going public is very often the worst mistake a company can make. Knowledgable private investors are very often more forward-thinking and tuned in to long-term performance, whereas stock market investors are very fickle and often don't look any further forward than the next quarterly earnings statement.

I'm not interested in Google as an investment opportunity; I just want a search engine that doesn't suck. Staying private lets Google concentrate on what they're good at -- making good tools -- and not worry about having Wall Street yahoos questioning every decision they make and penalizing them for long-term strategy over short-term profit.

Investments (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158684)

Private and public companies.
Yes that may be true, and I know that some stats document this.
But nothing prevents a public company from acting with a long term strategy, or a private company acting with only a short term strategy.

It really comes down to what the owners want.
Many shareholders just want a quick buck, so the companies run that way.
I hope that with the changes in US dividend taxation people might start looking for good cash generating business to invest in, and maybe this will change.

glad they cancelled (3, Insightful)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158265)

I'm glad they've cancelled. Right now, Google have control over their company, and they seem to be pretty nice guys. After floating the company they can face greater market pressure which could easily spoil it.

Is it the right thing? (4, Interesting)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158288)

Going public is a major change for a company and while it can bring in a great deal of cash to work with, it also creates a new layer of accountability as well as more strict and public operations. It's not always in a company's best interest to go public and I question if it's in Google's best interest.

From everything I've seen of google, financials don't appear to be their weakness (though maybe it is and it's just not visible). So what do they need the cash for? Sure, the directors will make tons of money from doing it, but is it in the best interest of the company? Do they have acquisitions they want/need to make?

Frankly, Google has done quite well as a private company and I have some concerns about what may happen if they go public. As an example, there are some people that claim Google has unfairly ranked them and have sued. Google is, in many ways, a monopoly in the search business. Were they to go public, these kinds of suits might get further in court as Google would likely be under more scrutiny regarding this. I think Google does a good job of modifying page ranks of people trying to trick the system. I'd hate to see them lose that ability.

There are other areas as well where Google being privately held is an advantage. I could certianly be wrong about some of this. I'm not a corporate attorney nor an accountant, but this is my interpretation.

Re:Is it the right thing? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158800)

It can also create some internal friction when "old-timers" in the company are suddenly paper BIG_NUM-ares as the value of their stocks and vested options jump sky-high as the company goes public. (I'm sure it wasn't pretty at dot.bombs as the reverse happened!)

There's also more distraction when large numbers of employee-shareholders keep a stock-quote web page tucked behind the work they're supposed to be doing.

Conditions really aren't right (5, Interesting)

mcc (14761) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158343)

  • Microsoft has been making constant noises about their new, upcoming search engine and how great it's going to be, basically doing the full-tilt vaporware thing, almost certainly with the purpose of adding uncertainty to Google's IPO. Microsoft would do something like release, with a huge media blitz, their new search product the day before Google's IPO. Waiting either pushes MS to actually release their product or allows Google, on the not wholly unrealistic possibility that MS drops the subject and then suddenly starts making noises again when Google reschedules their IPO, to accuse MS-Search of being vaporware.
    .
  • SCO is being the computer industry loose cannon, until the money from their donation from Microsoft (and, hypothetically, Sun) runs out; they are under no obligation to do anything at all to make more money; and they seem to be desperately, greedily obsessed with doing exactly two things: Hurting linux in any way, public relations or otherwise, and getting press attention. They've been making noises about suing Google; this is probably because making such noises keeps them in the press and because they know Google's about to IPO so they want to push Google to pay SCO some money so they'll go away and stop making uncertainty. However, it's not inconcievable they may well actually sue Google; their case with IBM may be about to unravel, and if so they need to start up a new lawsuit of some sort to keep up the illusion they have some sort of revenue model; and doing so on a nearly-IPOing Google would greatly help MS, which, how shall I put this, SCO at least seems to feel grateful toward, what with the fact their only documented profit ever happened solely because if MS's donation. SCO's a minor consideration, but still delaying IPO at least gives them time to die or deflates their lawsuit threats.
    .
  • The economy is changing, and since the president may well change or nearly change in about six months it may be set to change a lot more in a very unpredictable and drastic way. This is a big deal. IPOs are of much less good if the economy changes drastically shortly afterward. (Can you say "Andover"?)
I'm sure you can think of more reasons if you think about it.

Of course a skeptical person.... (3, Interesting)

Angostura (703910) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158386)

...might wonder whether Google is afraid of IPOing because of the level of detail about their business operations and technology that they would have to reveal.

There has been speculation about the Internet search engine's ability to scale, or the lack thereof. Filing for an IPO forces any company to come clean about the potential shortcomings or problems that it faces. Not always nice.

Probably nothing of the kind, but worth keeping at the back of your mind.

Re:Of course a skeptical person.... (1)

xenon_135 (688745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158542)

FYI.....you are not too far off with your skepticism. Especially on the technical operations side. I won't say too much more than that. If you like reading between the lines, look at the job listings in Engineering, Operations and IT on Google's site.

Re:Of course a skeptical person.... (2, Funny)

happystink (204158) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159196)

Yeah, I don't think google can scale very well, I mean it's all very well when they have maybe a half dozen people using them per hour like now, running off a few servers in their backroom, but wait till they want to really get some people in.

SCO related? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158392)

I wonder has this anything to do with the rumours recently about SCO targetting Google?

In the midst of an IPO, impending court action would cause the price of stock to plummet. I'm guessing Google are holding out until this whole SCO debacle has been laid to rest.

Re:SCO related? (1)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158748)

I have to agree. After so many people got burned by the dot bomb companies of the late 90's, my guess is that Google wants to wait for this whole mess with the litigious bastards [sco.com] to blow over.

If I were in Googles shoes, I would wait for the litigious bastards [sco.com] to be reduced to smoldering crater [caldera.com] by the likes of Red Hat, IBM et al.

Thank goodness. (1, Interesting)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158413)

Once Google goes public, expect greedy investors to destroy the things we like about it.

I predict the technical side of Google will be outsourced to India within two years of it's IPO.

Go ahead and waste your mod points silencing this post. It's not a troll, but happens to be what I think.

SCO (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158430)

NOTICE: SCO has suspended new sales and distribution of SCO Linux until
the intellectual property issues surrounding Linux are resolved. SCO will,
however, continue to support existing SCO Linux and Caldera OpenLinux
customers consistent with existing contractual obligations. SCO offers at
no extra charge to its existing Linux customers a SCO UNIX IP license for
their use of prior SCO or Caldera distributions of Linux in binary
format. The license also covers binary use of support updates distributed
to them by SCO. This SCO license balances SCO's need to enforce its
intellectual property rights against the practical needs of existing
customers in the marketplace.

The Linux rpms available on SCO's ftp site are offered for download to
existing customers of SCO Linux, Caldera OpenLinux or SCO UnixWare with
LKP, in order to honor SCO's support obligations to such customers.

Here's the deal (5, Insightful)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158440)

People are asking why Google wants/needs to go public.

Here's the deal...private Google stock is held by too many people. They are at the threshold of legally be required to make their books public, and for all intentensive purposes acting like a publically held company.

As long as they will be required to act like a public company, there is a large financial incentive for them to take the next step and trade publically.

Whether they need the money or not...it is knocking on their door (both corp. and personally) asking to be taken. This knocking is (or maybe was) too hard for them to resist.

-Pete

Intensive purposes? "Intents and purposes." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158506)

for all intentensive purposes

What the hell is an intensive purpose? Try "for all intents and purposes." It makes a lot more sense.

Re:Intensive purposes? "Intents and purposes." (2, Informative)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158634)

I used to think that was how it was said for the first 20 years of my life too. Then, Marvel Comics educated me. A sad story.

Altavista as an example (5, Interesting)

Tarwn (458323) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158452)

Before I knew about Google I was using Altavista. In the beginning they had a simple search interface, similar to how google is setup now. Basically it got the job done. After a while they started to get more widely known and started adding ad's to the front page and basically changing their mode of operation. People switched to google.
I see the same possibility occurring. If google goes down the same trampled path that Altavista went, then a lot of people will be moving on to find another search engine with a clean interface that simply does the job.

Google: Thats what we want. When we go to a search engine we want to search. We don't want links to buy garden tools when we are searching for benchmarks, or links to tech consultants when we are searching for a definition for an error message. Just a search. It's not broken the way it is.

Re:Altavista as an example (1)

azaris (699901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158716)

It's not broken the way it is.

Actually, it sort of is. Many times when you search for something general you get:

1) Metapages that point to "useful" search engines.
2) Shops trying to sell you something.

I think it's high time Google implement the feature that's already in some more experimental search engines: category classification of results. It's especially important when searching for some term which is used in two or more completely different meanings.

Re:Altavista as an example (1)

stry_cat (558859) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158955)

After a while they started to get more widely known and started adding ad's to the front page and basically changing their mode of operation. People switched to google.


I didn't leave Altavista b/c of the ads. It was that Google produced better results. I suspect others switched for the same reason.

Re:Altavista as an example (1)

tekunokurato (531385) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158992)

I have to say that I think Google has their own success, and altavista's comparative failure, to demonstrate that their current formula is more successful. I don't really buy the argument that they'd necessarily fall into the same trap just because they have public shareholders.

Will this be like the Netscape IPO? (2, Interesting)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158537)

When Netscape went public, everybody knew it was a hot stock. It was offered at $16 and quickly went to $70 (sorry, these figures are from my head, so propably a bit inaccurate). However Joe Public had no chance to buy the stock at $16. Only the people on the inside (big stockbroking companies, etc.) had a chance to buy at the initial price. By the time, normal private investors got in, the stock had already gone up to $50.

Re:Will this be like the Netscape IPO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8159024)

That's sort of THE POINT OF an IPO, isn't it?

Re:Will this be like the Netscape IPO? (1)

jbrw (520) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159049)

Based on your figures, J. Public buying at $50 and caught a 40% increase in value, and everyone made out like pirates.

Sounds good to me.

Re:Will this be like the Netscape IPO? (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159184)

Everyone but the company who's stock was sold for extra resources...

Cross-referencing logs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158555)

If Google is bought by or buys a major ISP (Comcast in my case), all of a sudden they will be able to use each other's logs to associate your real identity with all the Google searches you ever did.

Why? (2, Interesting)

NoGuffCheck (746638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158583)

Still cant understand the reasons why Google would float. They already have 90% market share, that doesnt look like it will change.. Not sure the figure but there must be allot of people out there who think of Google when they hear the word "internet".. They dont sell a tangible product so they cant buy more stock of it.. So what is it??? Prestige of being a public company??? If so weve seen this formula is fundamentally flawed.. no-one will forget the dotcom crash or is it a case of survive an IPO increase you share price and THEN youve made it?? its almoast egotistical.

Good move (2, Insightful)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158590)

Likely, Microsoft's interest in aquiring Google is reason for the IPO delay. Microsoft could easily buy Google out on the open market, by staying private they are a little safer from being aquired in a clandestine fashion.

Re:Good move (2, Insightful)

no_space_in_time (748336) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158936)

What makes you think they would float even 50% of the company? Can't "buy Google on the open market" if you can't acquire a majority.

Re:Good move (2, Interesting)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158997)

What makes Oracle think they can still take over peoplesoft? Clearly PeopleSoft has no desire to be aquired - however Ellison would appear to be insistent on owning them. There are more ways to aquire a company than through a purchase of stock on an exchange. I didn't mean to imply that just buying all of their stock on the market would imply that they would "own" google. There would clearly be a majoity held by the principal of Google itself. However, by owning stock in Google Microisoft could start to guide it's direction and eventually set the company up for an aquisition.

i've got 5 mod points (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158604)

and nothing to do. trolls, get out there and impress me!

Privately negotiated acquisition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158607)

Who is to say that Microsoft or some other company isn't in private acquisition talks with Google?

Greed and arrogance will be their undoing (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158690)

There will never be a better time for Google to go public. SCO and MS FUD are minor blips. Google are in their honeymoon period. All those articles about how there's never been another company like Google and isn't it great they have a cook will turn, like they did for Netscape before them. The fake economic recovery will end, interest rates will rise and the hype will cool. People (Not ma and pa, but the fund managers who matter) will realize that Google can never live up to the expectations they've set for themselves.

Don't get me wrong, Google will still go public and still make a ton of money, but there will be the inevitable "didn't match the hype" and "running a 1200 person company is a lot harder than running a 300 person company isn't it?" type articles. What Google does _is_ hard, but just like MS or IBM before them, they forget that they don't have all the smart people and that brains aren't the only things that matter.

Distributed search machinery (1, Interesting)

Maljin Jolt (746064) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158725)

I predict a decline for Google and all other centralised search engines with the ascent of P2P anonymous network dedicated to indexing and search services. It's only a matter of time when someone will get an idea. Bye bye, Big Brother.

So, I would not invest a single eurocent not only to Google, nor to any other search portal.

answers (1)

NoGuffCheck (746638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158856)

anyone else getting jacked with googles search's returning page after page of crap from, kelkoo,toxiclemon,chilliwhatever..etc.etc.. ??obviously this is a major source of revenues for google, but its also shooting itself in the foot as soon as there is alternative (and as powerful)engine that doesnt return this sort of crap, im switching.

I hope the postpone it indefinitely. (2, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158905)

The minute they get investors involved, they'll start doing all kinds of stupid stuff to increase their bottom line. They'll end up like Yahoo

Not disappointed at all (4, Insightful)

sacrilicious (316896) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159001)

Google fans... will be disappointed

Nope. I'm a huge fan of google, but I'm quite happy at this turn of events. Going public puts pressure on a company to push for maximum short-term profit, and I like google just the way it is. If they needed the money to stay alive then that'd be one thing, but they don't.

Re:Not disappointed at all (1)

NoGuffCheck (746638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159046)

If they needed the money to stay alive then that'd be one thing, but they don't.


youd invest in the IPO of a company that cant survive on its own two feet?

IPO and the pressures of investors (1)

NoGuffCheck (746638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159006)

Hotmail, how many times do you have to refuse a sales pitch, just to get a free web based email account, with 2MB storage limit, then its filled with spam and they deny you access twice a day. Alternatively you can buy more storage or buy a better spam filter..

Google fans will be disappointed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8159027)

Hardly. The day Google goes public is the day it lobotomizes itself.

It used to be that "going public" was a mark of failure.

the evil element in the triangle. (-1, Redundant)

cabazorro (601004) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159092)

A public company has 3 main elements:
The customer
The employees
The Shareholders
This last element is the evil one
Why?
The shareholder don't give a shit about customers (selling crap? that's okay)
The shareholder don't give a rat ass about employees (India, Taiwan, Brazil, who cares?)
The shareholder wants profit and ANY mean justifies the goals.
There's an excellent article in the NYT on Bill Gates vs. Google
Making Google public makes the it an easy prey for Gates
Hold the millions Google! The best things in life are priceless

oh I see (1)

harumscarum (675595) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159140)

Instead of being "stinking rich" he wants to wait so he can be "filthy stinking rich". I am currently "filthy stinking" and just waiting for the rich part.
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