FORTUNE — Facebook
is just one day away from pricing the most highly-anticipated IPO since Google
, so I reached out to Lise Buyer — one of the lead architects of Google’s offering — for her thoughts.
This is what she wrote back:
The story I haven’t seen yet is that this may be the last of its kind, at least as far as individual investors are concerned. Google and Facebook only went public because of 500 shareholders, but now that constraint is about to be gone.
So we can expect early investors and high-net-worth folks to hold on through the entire growth phase, since by the time a company has 2,000 shareholders, it is much more likely to exhibit growth patterns associated with more mature entities.
Of course there can be exceptions, but I believe it to be a safe statement in general. So, for a while, this may be the last time that individuals will have access to the biggest and most clearly successful venture backed companies while they are still close to their rapid growth phase.
Buyer currently is founding principal of the Class V Group, which provides strategic and logistical guidance to companies interested in going public.
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