Back in junior high school, when I first heard about publicly-held corporations, I wondered why any corporation going public would sell more than 49% of their voting stock.
The answer is pretty straightforward — it’s all about the Big Bet. Let’s say your share of your corporation is worth $10 million. Would you be willing to risk the possibility of losing control of your baby for the chance of your share being worth $100 million? How about $1 billion? What if I were to throw in a team of the sharpest corporate attorneys on Wall Street (or in Silicon Valley), who will slave away 80-100 hours a week, every week, to keep you in control?
They call it “selling out” for a reason. (And there’s a lesson in here somewhere for any of you Geeks toying with the idea of going to law school…)