Suggested Investment Book Club Questions – PRIVATE OFFERINGS:
- What specific steps did entrepreneur Eric Coleman take in order to garner his earliest investment through the IPO process? Are any of them a surprise to you? What role do you think the government should play, if any, in research and development funding of advanced technology?
- How often have you read a press release and simply assumed the information contained therein was truthful? Have you ever questioned its veracity? Will you now? How can you verify its accuracy?
- What did you learn about how shares of stock are allocated to the pre-public investors? Did the various valuations surprise you? What are the implications of that common practice on a company’s investors?
- Were you aware of the term “liquidity event,” and how that drives many of the Silicon Valley venture capitalists to make investments? How does an IPO fit into that context? What does it mean for the individual investor in terms of making a wise investment decision?
- How many of you took a business class in high school or college? What was taught? Did it mean anything to you at the time? Was it relevant to the rest of your classwork? Who do you think is the best person to teach business and investment–a teacher, or a businessperson?
- Private Offerings contrasts two types of entrepreneurs–a corporation on a path to an IPO, and a sole-proprietorship/consulting firm. Both have their pluses and minuses. Would you invest in either of them at their earliest stages? Why or why not?
- As more money is poured into companies pre-public, the private equity market is fast becoming more influential than the public market. Is this a positive development? Why or why not? Who is actually funding this private capital?
- The impact of a foreign government’s political, military, and economic interests on a start-up forms the premise of the novel. Were you aware of this reality prior to reading the book? Do you think it is significant? Do you think the US government should intervene to stop certain entities from investing in US companies? Why or why not?
- Ultimately, the fate of the company rests on the vote of a single shareholder. Were you aware this could happen? Do you think that is fair to the rest of the shareholders? Why or why not?
- There is a risk to any investment, including the risk of a damaged product or service. Do you ever consider that when you make your investment decision? Do you separate out the strength of the market for the company’s shares of stock separate from the strength of the market for the company’s product? Should you? Why or why not?