A public market with a mission to support companies and investors who share a long-term vision

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Nine years ago, I proposed the idea of a Long-Term Stock Exchange in the epilogue of my book The Lean Startup. The objective was to create a public market designed for trading the stocks of companies organized to sustain long-term thinking.

The concept arose from the many conversations I had while researching the book. I heard from fellow company founders and executives, long-term institutional investors, managers, workers and others, who all told me their stories about the problems we see in the public capital markets today.

They described the immense pressure on companies to pursue short-term results over creating value for future decades and generations. They described innovation held hostage by boom-bust cycles, abrupt changes in governance, struggles to maintain constancy of purpose, and the difficulty for public companies in knowing who their long-term shareholders even are. One of the few things that pretty much everyone agreed on is that the focus on the short term undermines the building of sustainable businesses. …


Companies and investors who share a long-term vision can join together to finance the greatest recovery in U.S. history

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By Eric Ries and Ryan Beck

In 2001, Apple’s revenue fell by 33% in the depths of the dotcom bust. That same year, Steve Jobs decided to increase research and development spend by 13% — even as many public companies slashed budgets. The rest is history. Over the next five years, Apple created iTunes, the iPod Mini and the iPhone.

COVID-19 has driven the global economy into the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression. Instead of pulling back, our corporations should follow Jobs’ lead and invest in the very initiatives that can help get us out of this crisis: research and development, employee upskilling, and critical infrastructure. Visionary leaders see the light of long-term opportunity in dark economic times. …


Guaranteed long-term equity would help companies and investors go long on America

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April 3, 2020

Bleak news headlines have become one of the only consistent messages we have in these troubling days. The ones tallying the health effects of the coronavirus are heartbreaking. We owe the greatest respect and thanks to the people working to preserve life through science, medicine, logistics, and sheer compassion.

The headlines announcing economic damage are also frightening. In just the last two weeks, nearly 10 million people have filed for unemployment, shattering previous statistics. Restaurants and retail businesses have shuttered. We know a recession is coming, though no one can predict its severity or length.

And while $2 trillion of government relief programs will help, they’re not nearly sufficient to keep the economy afloat, let alone help us rebound once the crisis has passed. We need something more. Thinking about recovery and growth right now may feel like thinking about spring blooms just as the first frost of winter is covering the foliage. But now is precisely the right time to do it. If we want to see those blooms when the crisis has passed, we need businesses to plant enough seeds now. …


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Sky Memory by KOZO NISHINO, WTC4

The Long-Term Stock Exchange exists for one simple reason: to provide a public market option for companies who believe, as we do, that vision and value should be measured over the long-term. We’re excited to offer a new listings venue built to foster sustained growth.

That’s why we’ve entered into an agreement with IEX to take our listing standards live as quickly as possible. While the LTSE continues to move through the process of registering with the SEC as an independent securities exchange, we are delighted to work with IEX now to create LTSE Listings on IEX: the LTSE’s unique, long-term focused listing standards powered by IEX’s platform. IEX was designed to serve companies and investors by leveling the playing field through technology, a mission aligned with the LTSE’s. …


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Photo: SFGate.com

I’m traveling away from San Francisco for the next several weeks to promote my new book, but the devastating fires that continue to savage Santa Rosa and Wine Country just north of my home are constantly on my mind. Thousands have lost their homes and their livelihoods, and the effects are felt as far as 60 miles away. It is a constant reminder as even kids near where I live in San Francisco can’t go outside because of poor air quality.

I wanted to do something, and I was inspired by the Bay Area professional sports teams’ #BayAreaUnite campaign. So I asked some of the other Bay Area authors I know to see if they’d be willing to join me to raise some money for fire relief, especially since many of us are on book tour or about to be. Together, we are raising money for two worthy organizations, both of which are supporting the mid to long-term needs of those impacted by these devastating…


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Today, I’m thrilled to share that the Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE) is on track to open as a new public markets option in 2018. What began as a wild idea seven years ago — transforming the public markets paradigm to realign investors and companies around long-term value creation — is now a reality.

The journey started in 2010 when I was deep in research for The Lean Startup. …


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Jason Henry for The New York Times

As the Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE) continues to make major strides toward becoming a new public markets option for companies and investors, an increasing number of market participants are recognizing the pitfalls of the status quo — and the need for a solution.

Today, Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times declares that public stock markets are fundamentally broken and refers to the LTSE as “perhaps the most ambitious and provocative effort” to address this issue. The column quotes CEOs of prominent private companies — from Slack to Blue Bottle Coffee — who share their reluctance to take their companies public under the current paradigm. …


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The Lean Startup, p.282

Something dramatic is happening to the public markets. Since 1997, the number of publicly listed companies in the US has declined by 45%. This trend has been consistent — downward — through extreme cycles of boom and bust. Fewer companies are choosing to IPO, and the companies that do IPO tend to make that choice later in the company’s life. Experts continue to debate the many causes of this trend, but I am confident about one of them: today’s best companies dread going public.


The following is a q&a between me and Steve Case. He has a new book out, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future.

This book isn’t the first book with the title The Third Wave. You’re clearly playing homage to the futurist Alvin Toffler. Tell me about him, and why his book influenced you.

I read Alvin Toffler’s The Third Wave when it came out in 1980 and I was a senior at Williams College. He imagined an electronic global village where people could access an array of services and information, participate in an interactive world, and build a community not based on geography but on common interests. …


I was really happy to get an early copy of Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas In Just Five Days, by three design partners at Google Ventures, Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz. Several years ago, Jake developed the sprint, a process that allows you to quickly answer critical questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. In a lot of ways, it’s a greatest hits of business strategy, innovation, behavior science, design thinking, and more — packaged into a battle-tested process for any team. It’s a process they use with their portfolio companies at GV, including Slack, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Foundation Medicine. …

About

Eric Ries

Trying to change how startups are built.

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