What milestones do you think would have been appropriate for Amazon.com to establish for itself to help evaluate the merits of the venture and to attract outside funding?
How would you characterize the various stages of development that the Company has gone through up to this point? How do you distinguish among the various stages?
1. What stages of financing has the Company gone through? How do the financing stages correspond to the milestones you identified in question 1, and the development stages in question 2?
2. How has the valuation of the Company changed over time? What roles do the special terms play in the venture capital financing and in the private debt issue?
3. Consider the IPO in the summer of 1997. Why do you think Amazon.com decided to do a public offering at that time? Why do you think investors were receptive to the offering?
4. In general terms, what do you think of the price of Amazon.com stock as of July 1998? What sorts of product market performance will the Company need to achieve to justify the price? Can you think of any reasons for the rapid increase in price beginning in June of 1998?