There are three main ways for startups that raise money to return it to their investors. First, they can stay independent and just exist as private, hopefully profitable companies. Second, they can sell to an acquirer and be part of a larger organization. Or third, they can go public and exist at the whim (but with the liquidity) of public markets.

For along time, startups used the third option most, but more recently—and especially in the consumer goods space—going public has ceased to be the norm. This piece outlines lessons from venture capitalism and Wall Street, arguing that regardless of whether companies go public or stay private, balancing short-term needs with long-term objectives is the only way to maximize optionality in the long run.

Enter your email to read a sample of Espresso.

Subscribe to Loose Threads Espresso to read the rest of this article.