I was thinking about the early days of Red Hat this weekend and the company’s IPO. That got me looking up Red Hat’s S-1 statement which was filed for their IPO. Two things made me laugh:
1. Red Hat all of 125 employees when it went public, and
2. Red Hat actually told investors it was banking on ad revenue from its website!
We seek to enhance our position as a leading provider of open source software and services by:
– continuing to enhance our Web site to create the definitive online destination for the open source community; [Emphasis mine]
– expanding our professional services capabilities to capture large corporate business on an enterprise basis;
– increasing market acceptance of open source software, particularly through technology alliances and sharing our development efforts and resources with third-party developers;
– continuing to invest in the development of open source technology; and
– enhancing the Red Hat brand through targeted advertising and public relations campaigns.
What makes this even funnier is that the S-1 also lists Google as a Red Hat customer:
Hmm, where do you think all of that web advertising revenue went?
The company is quite different today than the company that went public in 1999, which seems to have been more smoke and mirrors. I’m glad they finally figured it out because it’s good to still have them around!