IN OTHER WORDS
It wasn’t a mistake. That recent newspaper reporting that two Stanford graduates have decided to become billionaires by taking their Internet company public was not some reprint from the ‘90s. It sure read like one, though, including the pledge by Google’s founders — Sergey Brin and Larry Page — that their one-of-a-kind company with the “Don’t Be Evil” motto will remain committed to making the world a better place. Such idealistic talk out of Silicon Valley, so seemingly empowering back in 1999, seems embarrassingly naïve now that the party’s ended, at least for the rest of us.
Google has created the most popular Internet search engine, one so dominant that “google” it has become a common verb. Thanks to its advertising revenue, the privately held company is quite profitable unlike many of the ill-fated dot-coms. Many of those companies did so to raise operating capital, but not Google. The sole reason for this initial public offering is to let employees and investors cash in. It’s hard to begrudge Google insiders their rewards for building an admired Internet blue chip comparable to Amazon. But investors should not be carried away by their nostalgia for the halcyon bubble days. Nor should they pay much attention to the hype about Google’s auction-like IPO, which will make it easier for investors to “get in” as if it were a sure thing.— The New York Times