Today Yahoo is worth $36 billion. In its quarter ending 12/31/03 Yahoo made $75 million in after-tax income on revenue of about $664 million. Very impressive.
Today Google filed for its IPO. In its quarter ending 3/31/04, Google made $64 million in after-tax income on revenue of about $390 million. More impressive.
I love Google. I've been reading the S-1. I love that the entire IPO will be done through an open auction. I love the founders' philosophy: the "don't be evil" by letting commercial interests skew natural search results, the idea of bridging the "digital divide" by offering free services (including gmail), the Google foundation which will get about 1% of Google equity, the long-term view they will take in managing a public company.
As a start-up company, the technology bets you make can sometimes make or break your company.
Back in 1990 when I co-founded Infobases, we bet that the Folio VIEWs search engine would help us create better CD-ROM products for our customers than other search engines like AskSam, WordCruncher, or Dataware. Our bet was a good one. Folio VIEWs was perfect for us. Our develop costs were low; our royalties were reasonable; and our customers loved our products. Within a few years we were generating nearly $4 million in revenue.
A few more interesting facts from Google's S-1:
We provide advertising, web search and other services to members of our Google Network. The net revenues generated from the fees advertisers pay us when users click on ads that we have delivered to our Google Network members
BYU just held its graduation ceremonies last week with more than 6,000 students finishing their undergraduate college experience. I'm glad the traffic is gone. I have some advice for graduating college students everywhere.
Dr. Rick Farr, with whom I teach a business course at Utah Valley State College, gave a great lecture two weeks ago on sales. He has been a highly successful salesman in his career. I just ordered the book that he said is the best book written on successful selling: SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham. This approach claims that asking the right questions is more important in the selling process than anything else. The SPIN Model is this:
I missed this filing from March:
Alibris, which operates an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of used and hard-to-find books, filed to go public on Wednesday. The Emeryville, CA based company recorded $45 million in revenue during fiscal 2003 and generated an operating loss of -$5 million. The IPO price will be determined via WR Hambrecht's Dutch auction process, which is also known as OpenIPO. Terms and timing for this deal have yet to be announced.