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This Is How You Ace an IPO

Jon Oringer, founder of Shutterstock, talks about how he solicited advice before taking his company public.

This is the story of entreprenuer Jon Oringer, as told to Inc. editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan.

About six months before the IPO, I started listening in on quarterly analyst calls. I listened in on 50 to 100, including Google's and those of companies that had growth numbers similar to ours.

I would find a quarter where a company had done really well on EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) or a quarter where it did well on revenue but not EBITDA, and listen to the differences in the analysts' tones.

It seemed like as long as you explained things in detail and people understood what you were doing and why, they would be OK.

I wanted to talk to some public-company CEOs. But they are pretty busy. So I mostly got advice from one CEO, of a bank, whom a friend introduced me to.

He told me that investors are going to do what they are going to do, and that I should just concentrate on my business. And if it means making some momentum investors unhappy in the short term because we're running this with a long-term vision, that's OK.

Since we went public, I've been asking a lot of people here whether anything has changed. Not a lot has. 

IMAGE: Courtesy Company
From the July/August 2013 issue of Inc. magazine

LEIGH BUCHANAN | Staff Writer | Editor-at-large, Inc. Magazine

Leigh Buchanan is an editor-at-large for Inc. magazine. A former editor at Harvard Business Review and founding editor of WebMaster magazine, she writes regular columns on leadership and workplace culture.

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