David Friend, chairman and CEO of Carbonite, an Inc. 500 company, discusses how he got ready and squeezed into the IPO window in August.
00:07 Abe Brown: Hi, I'm Abe Brown, I'm a reporter with Inc.com and we are here at the NASDAQ right at Times Square with David Friend, the founder and CEO of Carbonite. A Inc.500 company that went public back in August. What's today been like visiting here?
00:22 David Friend: I dreamed that we would be the first company in the online backup space to go public and we succeeded at that and we're coming back today to ring the closing bell, sort of a celebration of not just that event but having delivered our first quarterly financials as a public company and having met or exceeded the expectations of the street.
00:46 Brown: Six years ago my business partner Jeff Flowers and I had this dream that someday all computers would be backed up in the cloud and if we could make it simple enough and inexpensive enough everybody would buy it. And the fact that we're here today as the first public company in the online backup space is a testament to that dream.
01:10 Brown: When did you have the first inkling that you wanted to go public? You make it sound like you knew about it for a couple of years.
01:18 Friend: It's been my plan since we founded the company. Some companies are worth taking public, others are better to sell. If you're in a niche market where you can be kind of a big fish in a small pond, probably better to sell because the runway isn't that great. But when we started Carbonite we said everybody in the world needs to backup their computer and online backup is just the obvious way to do it and this was going to be a huge market. So when we started the company we said this is a company that is going to be worth taking public because it can be a really big company some day.
01:52 Brown: What was the process of getting ready for the IPO?
01:55 Friend: So it took about six months from the time that we decided we wanted to go public. It's a lot of accounting, it's a lot of preparation, legal stuff, and so forth. But it's quite an involved process. We had been kind of planning this for a long time so we've been... As the company grew, we've been upgrading the management team over the last five years and so we had a pretty good team all in place, including a really strong financial team. So we were all set in that department.
02:27 Brown: When you were preparing to go public in August, how did your role as the CEO change?
02:34 Friend: I don't think it's changed a lot. We have a good legal team, we have a good accounting team, and they did ninety percent of the work. So I was an observer, I participated when I needed to, and when it came time to get out there and pitch our company to the investment community, I loved doing that. So I relished going on the road, that was a lot of fun, and so I'm glad we have competent people doing marketing, and engineering, and finance, and legal. It makes running this company a real joy. I can be the chief evangelist and visionary, which is my role.