In case you missed it Monday, Post columnist Vivek Wadhwa let loose on the perception that the IPO is an “elixir” for job creation and economic stability.
In his latest column, Wadhwa writes:
In the Valley, they call the IPO an “exit” and glorify the entrepreneurs who have reached this milestone. Young entrepreneurs are led to believe that, when their company goes public, they become rich and famous and get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Meanwhile, in Washington, the conventional wisdom is that the IPO is a job-creation and economic-growth elixir. One of the key provisions of the much-touted JOBS Act was an “IPO on-ramp” which eased regulations for certain companies wanting to go public. The President said the Act “will help entrepreneurs raise the capital they need to put Americans back to work.”
When it comes to the IPO, both the Valley’s entrepreneurs and our government leaders are misguided.
This is not the first time Wadhwa has spoken out about an IPO myth as it relates to Silicon Valley. In February, well before the social media company went public, Wadhwa wrote that, following the Facebook IPO, “everyone is going to be disappointed,” and that the “industry’s days of wine and roses” weren’t coming back.
But Wadhwa also wrote that hope was not lost when it comes to job creation. The jobs just wouldn’t be where most people expected
...we don’t need to be overly concerned if we don’t see a burst of IPOs. The innovation and job creation will still happen. These jobs just won’t be in investment banking.
It will be interesting to see if the other half of his prediction comes true.
(The Washington Post Co.’s chairman and chief executive, Donald E. Graham, is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)
What do you think, was Wadhwa on point when it comes to the Facebook IPO and the true nature of what it means to go public?
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