Losing over $400 Million by Deploying Buggy Code

This story was sent to me by Chris. It is an article written by Doug Seven entitled Knightmare: A DevOps Cautionary Tale.

It is a well written explanation of how a company, Knight Capital Group which is now Knight Capital Holdings (NYSE:KCG), lost over $400 million in 45 minutes. The loss was due to an update in their software and a glitch that did indeed lose them over $400 million. If you need a good story to bolster your desire for proper testing and deployment, read it here on Doug’s site.

The loss of over $400 million is validated by the New York Times and others.

Where are they now? GRUB, RUBI, 2U

Three companies I wrote about this year that went public are GrubHub (NYSE:GRUB), Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI) and 2U (Nasdaq:TWOU). Let us start with the first to go public out of this group and see where they are now.

2U : TWOU

As you can see from the chart there has not been too much volatility.

twou

Rubicon Project : RUBI

For the most part the Rubicon Project has had an up and to the right trajectory.

rubi

GrubHub : GRUB

GrubHub has been the most volatile with a range of $29.86 to $40.80.

grub

These are three to continue to watch.

GrubHub Goes Public

GrubHub goes public today 4/4/14. They priced 7.4 million shares at $26 per share. That would put their market capitalization around $2 Billion.

Ticker symbol will be GRUB on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:GRUB).

Grubhub is Profitable

grubhub

5 Easy Steps to Create Your Own Billion Dollar Company

Now you may think this is a joke and you may giggle after reading the incredibly easy 5 steps. However after you read the steps be sure to look at the case study of how one company followed the steps, loses money, and is now worth $6 Billion.

5 Easy Steps

  • 1. Create a Product or Service that people want (hereinafter “Stuff“)
  • 2. Give Stuff away for Free
  • 3. Keep track of how many people accept your Free Stuff
  • 4. Make money, lose money, it doesn’t matter
  • 5. Go Public


Case Study : Pandora

I know what you are thinking. That’s crazy and could not possibly work, right? Wrong. Case in point Pandora. Pandora is listed on the NYSE:P and loses money. However it is worth $6 Billion. Here is how they followed the above 5 steps.

  • 1. Pandora is a “…personalized internet radio.” aka cool Stuff (from Pandora’s site here)
  • 2. “Pandora is free personalized internet radio.” note it is Free (from Pandora’s site here)
  • 3. Pandora releases audience metrics every month (here are the March 2014 metrics)
  • 4. Pandora is not profitable, they lose money, some choose to make money and some choose to lose money in my 5 easy steps but in this case they said “we’re cool with a $6 Billion valuation, let’s just lose money”
  • 5. They are public under NYSE:P


Do These 5 Easy Steps Work in Every Industry?

Unfortunately no. Let’s look at three examples.

Example 1: Beverage Industry. You could create a new soft drink and give it away for free. Like Pandora you could put advertising on your drinks. If it is delicious and people drink your free drinks daily then you are worth billions, right? Wrong, it does not work in the beverage industry.

Example 2: Housing Industry. You could build homes and give them away for free. Like Pandora you could tell the new home owners that there will be one box next to their house that only you can put advertisements in, in exchange for the free house. If they are nice homes then people will accept them and you are worth billions, right? Wrong, it does not work in the housing industry.

Example 3: Car Industry. Make cars and give them away for free. You have the home addresses of the new car owners so you can send them advertisements. If they are nice cars then people will accept them and you are worth billions, right? Wrong, it does not work in the car industry.


What is the Takeaway From This?

Be a Billion Dollar Company in 5 StepsIf you give away stuff for free and no one wants it, then you are worthless. But public markets reward those that give away stuff for free and is accepted by a lot of people as long as it is an internet based company, or at least has “technology”.

So follow those 5 steps, I have a feeling we will see multiple IPOs this year of companies following these 5 easy steps. I myself would like to give it a try.

IPO for Rubicon Project

The Rubicon Project company has been around for quite a while. We wrote about how to use their platform on your own site and setup networks within Rubicon Project to earn revenue and maximize your websites ad space, and other items of note about Rubicon. In our opinion they provide an impressive platform.

Now Rubicon Project is Public
rubicon goes publicThe ticker symbol is RUBI on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:RUBI). As of the writing of this article the market has closed for the first day of Rubicon trading. Trading started at $17.12 and ended just over $20 having hit a high of $21.20. I read that they raised about $90 million in this public offering. They provide an automated advertising platform to match buyers and sellers and decrease the associated costs.