Milestone CEO Book: Why He Aborted the IPO and Chose Canon

By John Honovich, Published Sep 15, 2015, 12:00am EDT

Milestone's CEO just published [link no longer available] a 205-page book titled 'Business Magnetism'.

Why? No idea. Would assume he had better things to do...

The first 150 pages are painful, with statements like:

"They realize the rarity of this opportunity, and feel the pressure to succeed, but delving into this unchartered territory is also liberating."

and:

"As I go about my daily life, I try to exemplify Kierkegaard’s idea by never becoming complacent and always challenging the status quo."

One of the ways he did that was:

"In a meeting which is likely to be difficult or tense, I equip the room with a small pillow. When people feel frustrated or angry, I explain, they should feel free to release that tension by yelling loudly into the pillow"

But right after teasing about the original ending of the book, it starts getting very interesting as he explains the issues in the IPO process and why it was aborted in favor of choosing the Canon acquisition, including how Avigilon hurt their IPO prospects.

Problems **** *******

************* ***** *** ********* for ** ***. ** ******* ******* on ****, ******** *** CEO:

"********** **** *********, *** I **** **** ******* this ****** ****’* ** style. ** ****’* *********’* style. ** *** ************ to *** ************ ********** style ** ************* **** we *** ***** *** company ****."

*************

*****, *********'* *** ****** the ******** ** *** public:

"[*****] ******, *** ********** would ** ****** ************, and **’* ********** ** under ******** ** ***********. To ** ******* ******, it ****’* ********* * was ******* ******* **."

**** ** * **** problem, ** **** ******** and **** *** ****** to. *** **** ****** go ***** ** **** numbers *** *** ***, everyone *** **** *** and **** **** ****, creating **** ********** *** field ******.

Showing *****

****** *** **, ***** entreprenuer ******** *** ********* cheered, *********'* *** **** it ** ********* ** Denmark:

"****’* ** ********, “*** original ****** **** **** a *** ** *****.” It’s ******* ********* ** the ** ** ********* in *** *****. *** here **’* ******* ** what *** *********** **** ‘Tall ***** ********’ – cutting **** *** ****** that ****** ******* ** its *****."

Avigilon *** ****** **** *********

** *** *** *** in *******, *********'* ******* cut *********'* *********, ** the *** ********:

"**** **** **** ** provide ******* ** ******** their ***** *********, *** in **** **** **** pointed ** * ***** American ********** ** **** (whose ***** ***** ** the **** *** ********* downwards), *** ***** *** *** ********. ** **** **** that **** **** ***** forced ** ***** ***** valuation ** * ****** of **** ****** ********."

********'* ****** *** ** not **** *********** *** triggering *** ***** ** Avigilon's ******* *** ****** a **** ** ********* the ************** ** * Milestone ***, ** * falling ******** ***** ***** served ** * ****** comparable *** *********'* *** price.

Lack ** ***

*** ************ ******** ** Milestone ******* ** *** time *** *********, ***** leads ** ***** ********* than ************ **********. *** bankers ****** ** ********* / *** ************ ** more ********* ******* ***** Milestone *** ********* ** do:

"**** ******, *** ***, really **** ******, *** stood *** ******. *** bankers **** ********** **********, determined **** **** **** going ** *** *** to ******* **** *********** about ‘********* *******’, *** he **** *******, **** after ****. *******’ ******** was ** *** ***** that ** ** ******’* provide **** ***********, **** we ******’* ***** *** a ****** *********."

Canon *** * *** *** ** ****

** ********, ***** ******* a ******* ****, ***** they ***** *** **** to **** ****** *** price **** *** **** they **** ***** (****** Danish *** ***** ******** annual ********** - *** *********'* **** ********** ********).

******** ****** ******** ** say *** **** *** in *** $*** ** $500 ******* *****, ***** would ** * ********* ~5x *********'* *******. ** course, *********'* *** *** not ******** *** ***** but *********** ***** *** overpaid *** **** **** than * **** *****, we ***** *** ** surprised ** ** *** a ****, ********* ****. 

The ******

*********'* *** ***** *** book ******* ***** *** future. ** *** **** post, ** ******* *** ***** ** 'the ***** ** ****** services' *** *** ***** against '*****.*'.

Comments (13)

Btw, this is Milestone's CEO best writing ever: Milestone Seeks Global VMS Market Dominance (2011).

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CCTV 2.0? Is this a reference to HD-TVI, HD-CVI, etc?
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According to Milestone's CEO: "bundled solutions look as if they are making a comeback. I call this CCTV 2.0" He laments that this is "return to Proprietary Jail"

More on that in the follow up to this post.

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I sure could use a pillow every now and then to scream at. Although, I'm sure my collegue would start to give me weird faces.

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Who knew there was actually a pillow for this purpose?? Maybe it'll become their new source of revenue.

Scream into Pillow

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"Maybe it'll become their new source of revenue."

Perhaps a pillow of the month club to get some RMR?

Here's the real deal:

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Canon's Fujio Mitarai doesn't look like your typical pillow-screamer:

Of course that may change when Axis reports Q3 earnings...

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Maybe their RMR will come from laundry services for those pillows? Yucky stuff would build up over time.

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John's too modest to mention it, but IPVM figures "prominently" in the book:

Not only were many of our partners there, a large number of security industry press were in attendance as well, and one of the more prominent websites had run with the Sky News story. I needed to nip the speculation in the bud as it risked overwhelming the message of the conference, which was the work we were doing with our partners. We put together a statement, approved by our banking team.

This is what I said onstage: “You have most likely seen today’s home page of the website that is one of the prominent industry watchers in our business. As you can see they are asking a question about us –is Milestone going to IPO? “Milestone is a successful company with a 17-year solid track record in our business. Our primary focus is the continued development of our business but we are also lucky enough to be at a stage in our growth where IPO is one of the options available to us. But it’s just one option and no decision has been made....

Though Security Today remembered it slightly differently:

Taking the stage for an opening keynote speech, Thinggaard asked how many people in the audience follow this analysts’ blog. So few hands were raised in the air, you couldn’t populate a six-year-olds’ birthday cake with an equivalent number of candles.

Security Today also make Lars' denials much more gratuitous and damming, and has him taking a final shot at a certain person in his close:

“We’re not preparing for an IPO this week, in two weeks or two months. An IPO is not on our plate at this time. We’re focusing on a lot of things that pertain to our business structure at this time. Period.” Taking advantage of attending MIPS, Thinggaard reiterated more than once that an initial public offering was not in the works and that everything a person might read on a certain blog just isn’t true.

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Milestone has now released a video trailer for the book:

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Milestone, unsolicited, sent me a hardcover copy of the book. It includes numerous photos of Milestone's CEO posing like so:

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Independence is one of our core values so when we say stand-alone, we mean stand-alone. If Canon Japan wants Milestone software, they can choose to do so: by being a distributor, or coming to an OEM or other commercial arrangement. They can’t demand that we deliver something to them for free.

Sure they can Lars, they already paid you for it.

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Milestone's CEO Lars Thinggard is no longer Milestone's CEO but he has a new book out, called Tech For Life.

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