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VA

VA Linux Files For IPO 53

Dredd13 writes "This time, it's really official. According to this story on Yahoo! News, VA Linux Systems is filing for its IPO. Wonder how they'll handle the IPO "Friends and Family" shares considering how the Red Hat fiasco went..."
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VA Linux Files For IPO

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  • I sure hope I am on this list of people. After all my name is in open Sources in the acknowledgements section, which is written by Chris Dibona, which is like VP at VA. They also sent me a nice care package, thank you chris, the nerf gun is elite. Now you can toss in some stock options, ;P.

  • Indeed there is, thanks, I missed it in my rush to post.

    "The underwriters have reserved for sale, at the initial public offering price up to [BLANK] shares of the common stock for employees, directors, other persons associated with us and a number of open source developers who have expressed an interest in purchasing common stock in this offering."

    Wow. I wonder how I express such an interest?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I do understand the motivation to get funding via the IPO. But to my understanding that can lead to the control of the company being in the hands of the stockholders. I am not an investor or anything of that type so I may be completely off base. If so tell me.

    The thing that this brings to the forefront of my mind is the fact that if you get involved in the stockmarket your aim as a company will shift. The shift being from the aim of turning out a quality product or service to that of raising the IPO's value and thus keeping the investors happy. But what does that do to me as a consumer? Will the company (in this case Redhat and VA) be willing to have its behavior be dictated by the stock? Will this in turn affect what the quality of the code and workman ship is?

    I sincerely hope not seeing all those prime examples out there i.e. M$, Walmart and the like.

    Ok those are my 2 cents, Moderate away =^)
  • The stock ticker symbol is a first-come first-served namespace similar to domain names. AT&T's ticker symbol is "T" [yahoo.com], which stands for "telephone", and is a bigger example of a company which has done the same thing.

    Prior to the announcement I would also have guessed VA-something as a more intuitive symbole for VA Linux Systems. Now it's obvious they want the symbol to convey an association with Linux. They could also have been trying to avoid confusion with another company that has the ticker symbol VAL [yahoo.com]. But since the LNUX symbol wasn't already taken, they can do that.

  • One hint that VA probably paid attention to the RHAT IPO problems was that VA did not use E*Trade as an underwriter for their IPO. Not to come down too hard on E*Trade, RHAT's IPO was the first time anyone had tried such a thing. But this looks like an explicit show of disapproval with E*Trade's performance.

    I think a bigger hint that VA wants to improve on the RHAT IPO experience was comments by VA employees and managers at SVLUG meetings. They said they wanted to do better and asked for suggestions back in August. Undoubtedly, they will have learned from some problems and they'll encounter new ones in whatever different approach they take. So it should be interesting to watch.

  • by zbo ( 99921 )
    yah well I have $4 and .57 cents!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There are no rules about similarity of stock tickers. It is interesting that, since traders generally come up with monickers for the companies they trade based on the tickers, LinuxOne didn't choose LNUX. Now they'll be known as Linx. As to whether or not VA should have asked for LNUX, the question really becomes whether they will be a more trustworthy steward of that symbol than another company, since someone would take it sooner or later. Notably, ESR seems to indicate in his writings that they take the community's concerns seriously. For what it's worth, their filing indicates that they believe that it makes good business sense to do so.
  • How about they start with those people who lost out on the Red Hat deal?
  • Hrm... how about all still-active slashdot posters with ID's 500? The Orignial Public Relations People ;-).

    Or how about anyone who's been active on irc.debian.org #debian helping newbies?

    About the IPO itself... this is fantastic. I really think this could be even more significant that Redhat. And it's a much more sound investment. VA has turned a profit; Redhat hasn't. VA is working with an industry-tested model (direct PC manufacture/delivery), whereas Redhat is in uncharted waters (selling free software). And VA has grown faster than Dell its first months.

    I'm buying; I just hope I can pull together the pennies. Donations are welcome, of course ;-).

    --

  • Damn HTML filter. Takes the less-than symobol out.

    --

  • i'm thrilled that VA is finally having thier IPO. hey, i'm all about the money, and i plan to invest in VA, and let me tell you, it's *only* because they're gonna make money!

    god, if everyone talks like this, it's no wonder that the mainstream media keeps mistaking open source guys for communists!

    please, nobody take this too seriously--THIS IS NOT A FLAME, OKAY :) i just think that you techies should try and make some money off your work, that's all. hehe, okay, 'nuff said.

    -sh
  • The real question is, who made RHAT skyrocket: geeks, or businessmen?

    ... and there's plenty more where that came from.

    Of course, I was one of the privileged few who E*TRADE shafted, but even if they did accept my money, I would still have no problems finding some loose change under the mattress, for this stock.

    I tend to put my money where my mouth is, and I've been mostly investing in Linux-related stocks. I have a long term buy-and-hold on Applix and Corel, and so far the stocks are doing very nicely, and I certainly intend to add LNUX to my portfolio at the first convenient opportunity. As far as RHAT goes, well, the little matter I have going with EGRP makes that a bit touchy to talk about, so I better not say anything without running it by my legal-eagle, first :-)

    One thing I can say is that I'm absolutely delighted to see VA Linux's selection of underwriters. I'm sure the EGRP folks understand that this IPO could've been theirs too, so they must be wondering whether or not those shennanigans were worth it.
    --

  • Right on. Spoke with Donald at the oreilly conf, and he got screwed on the RHAT deal. VA is probably using his driver code in every system they sell, and he should damn well be rewarded.
  • I hope that VA Linux will not neglect to include The Don in their directed share program. It's not widely known, but Donald Becker did get an invitation for RHAT's directed share program, but he ended up joining the ranks of the privileged few who E*TRADE screwed over completely. His story is included in the feedback portion of my web site. It would be a class gesture on VA Linux's part to make sure that something like this won't fall through the cracks again.
    --

  • VA Linux Systems Inc S-1 Filing [freeedgar.com]

    I don't see any friends-and-family program in there.

  • I'd love to get my hands on some VA shares; they've done far more in areas I'm concerned with than SuSE, RedHat or some other such company. But I suspect that I'm once again screwed because I don't live in the US. Oh well, such is life.
  • Isn't one of the great things that not only are great things happening and we can be part of them but that we can actually be comfortable financially in the process? Sometimes we seem to have bought into the old myth that says to make money is inherently evil.
  • Yes, I agree, it is a bit suspicious. It's probably too late to go back and change it now though..
  • Actually, I don't think that's rich enough anyway. When I filled out the application, I had to check the lowest amount in "assets."

    It was "under $50,000."

    As for the AOL comment, it's silly. The whole point of the stock market is that you never can tell what the AOLs are.
  • The idea of giving back to the community this way was great, it's really to bad it backfired like it did.
    Let's hope that VA is also willing to try, and that it goes better for them.
  • We are all too excited about the $$
  • I know this is kind of offtopic (prepare to be moderated down) but the same thing that happened to the geeks with the RedHat IPO debacle happened to me with the Andover.net IPO: I was rejected for not being rich enough, despite the fact that I was risking a relatively small amount of money.

    Seems to me the whole OpenIPO thing is a farce. It sounds nice, but it's still only for the rich folks.
  • God forbid. I worked at that awful place for six months, and let me tell you, there's nothing there that resembles journalism (not that there's really any of that here) or insightful commentary (which /. is brimming with, of course).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you want to post something, You can easily get it to the linux.com staff, and they have been very helpful in accepting virtually anything as far as articles go. So get out there, post something to l.c, and let your voice be heard. :) Some dude.
  • Hmm...wonder if they will get the LNUX symbol. It seems as if they want people to think that they are GNU/Linux.
  • I've been using their systems for a while now. My VPN architecture runs on VALinux boxes.

    I'd asked my sales guy a few months ago when they were gonna IPO, but of course he couldn't comment.
  • I'd have to agree with this idea. Mine is 37, baby.

    Seriously, though:
    Sure, VA is working with a well-tested and certainly proven model, and this move will turn profitable for them, but VA isn't pushing anything new. Red Hat had name recognition even before their ridiculous IPO, and once they filed, they benefited from the fact that there weren't any other publicly-traded free-software companies. VA can't count on the same kind of reception, since Dell and others are already dealing in Linux-compatible hardware

    Be wary, in any case. Don't get too excited.

    -Ben
  • by konstant ( 63560 ) on Friday October 08, 1999 @02:23PM (#1628249)
    The real question is, who made RHAT skyrocket: geeks, or businessmen? If geeks, then that might explain the currently static state of RHAT. They don't have sufficient funds to continue buying, and they may also have a more-than-common dose of common sense about daytrading since it isn't their typical investment pattern. But by the same token, if it was the geeks, then VA probably can't expect anything nearly as spectacular as RHAT - the geek money is already spent! The only way VA could win big under this scenario (they'll win regardless because they're a respected company, but they may not win 'big') is at the expense of sold RHAT stock, and thus a drop in the RHAT value. If businessmen (aka "Wallys" and "PHB's") then damn! Buy me summa dat stock! The clueless enthusiasm of daytraders can't have all been spent on RHAT if it is indeed they who sent the price up. With IPOs fairly poor recently, look for VA to be a big financial win under this scenario. However, I personally vote for C - a mixture of the two but heavily biased towards geeks. If that is correct, then VA will do moderately well, but will only be worth investment in the long term, if at all.
    -konstant
  • by Anonymous Coward
    the following is a list I compiled throughout my 2 week journey using Linux:

    1) not multi-tasking!
    2) not user friendly (wtf is up with RedHat?)-> 3) User friendly my fuckin' ass!!!!
    4) security? HAHA! I LAUGH AT YOUR "SECURITY"
    5) no tcp/ip support AT ALL!
    6) no C++ library!
    7) no ability to run EXE's!!!!!
    8) no console screen savers with password protection!!!
    9) no USB support!
    10) no support for good video cards
    11) no ethernet card support AT ALL!
    12) no winmodem support!!!!!!!
    13) no ActiveX or DirectX support
    14) no cdrom support
    15) scsi support? ha! what a sham!
    16) very little IDE support...
    17) no support for commodore64 executables
    18) mIRC does not run under X! I tried and it just core dumps! what the hell!?
    19) Internet Explorer is useless under X
    20) no programs compile! no such file libc6.so!?
    21) no compilers
    22) kernel is too hard to compile
    23) when I use lilo it corrupts my MBR
    24) Linus Torvalds is a nazi
    25) made by children in sweatshops around the globe
    26) Jeffrey Dahmer was a strong supporter of it!
    27) and John Wayne Gacy
    28) oh yeah, John George Haigh
    29) oops, Pedro Alfonso Lopez
    30) not a quality Microsoft product

    for these reasons, and these reasons only, I would prefer to use OpenBSD 2.0 (unpatched, because we all know it's secure).

    F
    E
    A
    R

    hah.
  • by NovaX ( 37364 ) on Friday October 08, 1999 @02:27PM (#1628251)
    hmm.. I don't think I really like a company taking names like "LNUX," it implies to much of a connection. VALX or something would be better... Sure, when people think of linux they don't think of VA Linux, but VA is trying awful hard to position themselves so they do. I didn't like them buying Linux.com, mostly because when they first released the site, it had contained FUD, and at times still does. Linux.(xxx) should be independant, not corperate's portal for manipulating new users to buy into whatever they want to sell them.

    Using the symbol LNUX seems to try to get stock traders, especially day traders, to view Linux and VA as the same... ignorance. Maybe I'm off, but I just have an uneasy feeling towards VA.
  • Note that LINX has already been requested by LinuxOne [linuxone.net], who seemingly will be the first IPO based soley on vapourware. I wonder if there are any rules about symbols being too similar?
  • That #22 is pretty funny considering I compiled a kernel on my first day using Linux :P
  • They sometimes have some good stuff on l.c, but not enough to make me read it frequently. When I think of VA L. in a positive light, its when they sponsor events, and that I think is an extremely noble thing for any company making profit off of OSS to do.

    On articles... well, I'm more inclined to work on my own project. I've already recieved a bit of encouragement where it counts, and maybe next year when there's enough material compiled, it can happily be slashdotted. Gotta start on the basic outlining this weekened. :-)
  • I don't know if you can have five letters in your symbol, but if you could, then VALIS would be an excellent choice for this company.

  • It sure worked for MP3.com - early traders after their IPO suggested that it was a good investment because they thought MP3.com owned the MP3 "technology"

    Geeks make a few bucks of dumb suits. Story at 10
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Finally, we hear from Bill
  • hahaha, this i just becuse...

    My roomate thinks Dot Planet is the next AOL, due to their rocketing network marketing stratagy.

    I pointed out to him that Altavista's *free* ISP started later than them, and already has more members than them. I liked pointing it out to him.
    ^~~^~^^~~^~^~^~^^~^^~^~^~~^^^~^^~~^~~~^~~^~
  • Thats not true. My Id is 1093, but I was more like one the original 50 or so. I read slashdot since it was chips and dips, long before it was slashdot. When it was on robs original homepage. I just didnt get my account registered until 1093. So its really unfair to some of us, who have been reading alot longer then the people who have ids under 500,1000, whatever..

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