The good news: You can take a technology company public today. The bad news: It may be broken once it trades.
Clearwire went public yesterday at $25 and had a decent day, but then fell today and is struggling to hold $22. Sourcefire, a security software company, is trading at $16 just above with its offering price of $15.
Why does this matter? For starters, some folks expected a big year for technology IPOs. Broken IPOs don't help that case a bit.
But more importantly, if Clearwire and Sourcefire can't hold their own on the public markets they could be tarred with the Vonage brush. Vonage was arguably the most mishandled IPO ever.
Add it up and young technology companies--and their VCs--may be watching one exit strategy option close. And if you can't get the public markets to buy you there's only one option: Praying Yahoo or Google rescues you before the cash runs dry. And if you’re a struggling public company hoping to go private and return to the markets you may also be out of luck.