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I agree that employees take the biggest hits.

I think that many organizations like FB forget that their employees also make up stakeholders.

Like investors, employees fund start ups with their time and talent in exchange for pay, etc.

When investors get pissed, shit hits the fan. Employees leak confidential information to the media or worse, revolt publicly.

I wonder if the poor leadership + brilliant product IPO pipeline will remain sustainable.

I’m biased but it’s high time tech startups stop relegating comms and PR to press releases and funding announcements functions.

Reputation building should be a foundational part of building a startup. But what do I know? 🙂

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Interesting and coincidental, I was mulling sending in another submission on this topic, after I read the Bloomberg article linked here, and Victoria Crandall's follow up to it, but guess I can just comment here instead.

A question I've been trying to find answers to in light of a potential Flutterwave IPO is:

"Did the ecosystem gain anything from Uber's IPO, or did everyone just provide exit opportunities for investors and a founding team who had burned a rocket ship, and all wanted to just get off"

I believe this is an important question at this stage because Butterfly company, is at that same stage Uber was in 2018/2019, and it honestly feels like de ja vu from where my observation desk.

The PR pieces all look the same. Rather than tell and show what is being done from a compliance and an operational clean up point of view, it seems almost everyone and their grandma is focused on selling the IPIO narrative.

Looks like everyone "invested in" and praying for a butterfly IPO and success for the absolute wrong reasons. These PR pieces further justify that, and it all seems pretty calculated to sell the IPO narrative rather than the sustainability narrative that I believe is better for the ecosystem in the long run.

I fear that we are letting early investors and PR teams sell us that an IPO is the best possible scenario for the industry in this butterfly fiasco. Its almost as if they have all resigned to collecting their returns and outsourcing the hard line leadership and management decisions to unsuspecting retail investors and the market.

I believe more work is to be done from an industry point of view to make sure another *bad* company isn't dumped on the markets, while founders and early investors ride out their proceeds and sever ties with the company, leaving a new CEO and management team to fight for their lives.

Its been 4 years since Uber IPO'd. The uber like clones we were promised did not materialise. Investors fled the sector in general, and only Travis and Benchmark were winners.

Do we want a repeat of this again? I know it'd make for good TV though whenever the time comes.

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This makes sense. While I don’t think there’s some concerted effort to spin an IPO narrative, I think it (an IPO) does more good for the ecosystem in the sense that it provides further validation for funding, much like Paystack’s exit did. But I agree with you that the priority shouldn’t be that, it should be on figuring out if/how the company is approaching all these stories internally and adjusting its operations to correct course.

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I had to wait a while to gather my thoughts on the original comment. While I waited, I saw the news that Az16 is funding another of Adam Neumann's startups called Flow. It took my mind back to a guest written article in April that argued that in the end, the people who take the biggest hits when companies like WeWork take investor money and dash the hopes of staff with regards to Stock options are employees themselves. We should rightly be wary of this trope that as long as the butterfly company does an IPO, then it's a win for the ecosystem. Of course, some part of it is true, but like Thanos rightly asks: at what cost?

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