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The Almighty Buck

Cygnus going public in the next six months? 19

Lazzaro writes "Red Herring has an interview with the VC Firm that's funding Cygnus, the last paragraph quotes the VC as listing Cygnus along with a few other companies in their portfolio, and saying "most of these companies will go public in the next six months"." There definitely will be a wave of open source IPOs in the next year. The questions are who? (Red Hat and Cygnus are prime candidates despite the fact that neither is saying anything) and others like VA who are up front that going public is their future. And the other question is when.
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Cygnus going public in the next six months?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is the reason they are looking for sugestion for changing their name. I spoke with someone from Cygnus about this last week.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    if an open source company goes public, it means they own you - you are responsible then to shareholders for making PROFIT, and you are judged on that basis. if you decide to do something open-sourcish, and the shareholders don't think it makes enough profit, they can fire you from your own company... maybe i'm just niave in these matters, but i think this really changes things. you can be a publically traded comapny and do open-sourcish things (like IBM for example), but i don't think you could say that a public companies motivations are the same as those as a truly open-source company. there always have to remain comapanies that are not owned by their shareholders in order to do some of the right things.


  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually, I thought the point of the GPL was to avoid the problems caused by proprietary code. In fact, if one of the effects of the GPL was to keep companies from being driven by profit motives, then no companies would agree to use it, and it would be relegated to the fringes.

    Money is not bad, and in fact, if you have a lot of money (from your company going public, perhaps) you no longer have to worry about paying the bills, and are THEN free to do what you like without having to worry about pleasing anyone else. Look at Woz, for example.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 08, 1999 @04:39PM (#1899835)
    First flash of the obvious, even companies that aren't public are driven by the desire to make a profit. Can't pay folks very well if there's not positive cash flow.

    On the topic of Red Hat, Cygnus and VA.

    Red Hat claims not to be interested in an IPO. However the evidence indicates otherwise.

    • They re-incorporated in Delaware a year or so ago, a standard move on the road to IPO for many, many companies.
    • There is VC money involved. VC's don't invest unless there's a chance of return in the relative near-future, almost always IPO.
    • After the VC's came to the table a new President was hired. He is known for taking software startups public.
    • They have begun seating a board of directors. Not a move exclusive to public companies, but another sign pointing down the same road.

    As far as Cygnus, I have no information at all.

    On the matter of VA;

    • They've placed a board
    • They've got funding
    • They're growing like crazy (they just gobbled up LHS)
    • Their website says they're an IPO track company.

    As they say, "The rest is left as an excercise for the reader."
  • yeh, it means they have some ownership of the company. However, directors have a tendancy to keep a controlling interest (>50% in theory, but you can usually get away with 35%)

    Besides, the work they've done is GPL'd so we wont loose it anyhow.
  • by Micah ( 278 )
    Red Hat, Cygnus, and the other OSS related companies already are making profits. And they have an open source business model.

    They already are businesses, and they need to keep on being as profitable as possible - regardless of whether or not they're public.

    I don't think that just because they're going public means they have to change their business models. They ALREADY HAVE models that work!
  • As I understand it, Redhat and Cygnus are prime candidates BECAUSE neither of them are saying anything.

    But the real question noone is asking is, does Alan Cox have Redhat stock options? And if not, why not? Dude needs a bigger house.

  • When they asked people for a new name they also gave a place to suggest a stock ticker symbol. A bit of a giveaway, that.
  • Well, can we be blamed if we are excited about a company? And exactly what have we said that "manipulates the percieved value of a company"?

    I can't wait for this. I think it would be very interesting to start an Open-Source mutual fund. That would be very interesting.

  • Yeah I'm worried about this too but on the other hand these guys deserve some money and if they have enough money not to worry about day jobs alot more open source programs will hopefully get created. They just better keep controlling interest...
  • All I can say is that I am sure many of us would like to get in on a piece of the action. I'm hoping that Slashdot will have these IPOs posted as soon as they happen. Before they happen would be preferable :-)
  • Ok, most of you might disagree with me, but it sometimes is bad when a company goes public. Look at Disney. Way back when Walt ran the company and it was all about what he wanted. Now Disney is public and it's all about making more money. When companies go public they turn from being someone's vision into just a way for their shareholders to buy a new boat. I always thought the point of the GNU license was so companies wouldnt be driven by getting more cars in their garage but by really liking to do what they do. I'm not trying to say making money makes them evil bastards, but if you do the work and make the money thats great, but shareholders own the company and dont really do any work, they meet every few weeks and tell everyone what to do.
  • by tm23 ( 17908 ) on Saturday May 08, 1999 @07:49PM (#1899844)
    The point of the GPL is freedom. Freedom from onerous copyright/intellectual property restrictions. The freedom to hack the program for your (and then other people's) benefit. Nothing in the GPL says you can't make money off of a GPL'd product (there are bits about distribution). Who says Cygnus isn't interested in making money now? People pay them money to hack egcs. Those hacks get incorporated into egcs. Cygnus employees get to put more cars in their garages. The company that contracted them now has a compiler for their architecture. Everyone is happy.

    And if Cygnus has VC backing, they already have someone telling them what they should do (or not, depending on the VC firm). Also, it's always good to have an employee stock option incentive plan to retain and reward employees--and stock option plans don't work unless the company goes/is public.

    People like you seem to have a distorted view of capitalism and seem to think that just because a company wants to use Wall Street to raise money, they've all but sold their soul and that somehow before this they were giving away product for free, and that employees eschewed salaries in favor of prancing around in a cyber-commune, as opposed to cashing paychecks so they can buy copyleft t-shirts and the latest gear for their home computer.

    The bottom line is, you're wrong. Making money and the GPL can coexist. And for linux to take over the world, they have to, because starving and hacking for nothing only gets you so far.
  • Looks like the wrong Cygnus, Inc.

    Cygnus, Inc.
    400 Penobscot Drive
    Redwood City, CA 94063-4719
    Nasdaq National Market
    Common Stock

    Develops and manufactures diagnostic and drug delivery systems, primarily a painless, bloodless and automatic glucose monitoring device and transdermal drug delivery systems which provide for controlled release of drugs directly into the bloodstream through intact skin.

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