In the spring of 2004, Google was one of the most-talked-about IPO ideas since Netscape had gone public in 1995. Bullish investors believed Google could set off a string of successful IPOs following a lull in tech-offering activity since 2000. Executives at Google faced several questions in the following months: Should Google go public? What options did Google have for taking its shares to market? Was the traditional form of book-building necessarily the best course of action? Could a sealed-bid auction (e.g., W.R. Hambrecht's OpenIPO) yield superior results?
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