At this point, I’m not sure.
Not to say that Mr. Dorsey will not earn his place in the pantheon of Silicon Valley legends. He will.
What I’m less sure about is his understanding of the capital markets. So after taking Twitter public, is he going to take mobile payments company Square, public too?
My read of Twitter’s income statement and balance sheet indicates they have not used the proceeds from their $1.8 billion IPO efficiently (or even completely). Research and development expenses went from $594 mm in 2013 to $691 mm in 2014. Marketing expenses went from $316 mm to $614 mm. Even though Twitter posted a $577 mm loss in 2014, on a cash basis, its operating activities threw off $81 mm in cash.
Based on these numbers, the only indisputable by product of the Twitter IPO was to ensure the executives there would hold a discussion in public that would have been so much more productive in private.
And Jack Dorsey wants to do this again with Square?
So, when Visa finally raises one of its large lumbering paws to take a swat at Square, do we all get to participate in the discussion about what the company should do next?
Going public is exciting. Being public is another matter. Surely, Jack Dorsey knows this. Doesn’t he?