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How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business by Daniel McGinn, Harvard Business Review

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Google’s CEO on the Enduring Lessons of a Quirky IPO

by Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt is the chairman and CEO of Google.

The Idea

When Google announced its intention to go public, in 2004, all eyes were on its unorthodox strategy. Here’s how it played out.

It happened six years ago, but I still remember every detail of our journey to becoming a public company. It was a uniquely “Googley” experience that to this day says a lot about who we are.

An IPO can change a company. Many in the media seemed certain that if we went public, the Google ethos wouldn’t survive. A public offering would be “one of the worst things that could happen to Google,” said Danny Sullivan, editor of the Search Engine Watch newsletter and a well-regarded industry commentator. ...

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