With effort, I got the four reports needed for Super Service Awards in 2011, in Insulation and in Doors categories, maintaining a demonstration of validity to me as a commentor on weatherization policies. Where but at Angie's List, can I find that public comment on my exceptional work, the "carrots" I work for, and no one could buy.
It was hard because most customers would not join, even where I showed them backdoor "deals" permitting membership at $12 per year for ten years. For anyone, not just Groupon grabbers. And, why would one want only temporary membership? Perhaps the deals, and general power brokerage by phone staff, offend more even, than high prices. Knowing a business will take more from me than from another, by times-five or more, just for being naive, surely kills a deal.
It seems Angie's List could not go public, after all, to extract funds from unwary new investors, to repay it's then-majority owners, the existing investors:
March, 2011: $53.6 million, various investors including T. Rowe Price.
September, 2010: $22.5 million, investors including Milwaukee's Wasatch Funds.
December, 2008: $6 million, Prizm Mezzanine Fund, Chicago.
April, 2008: $35 million, Battery Ventures
The total from fund investors is nearing $200 million. Can't find that list seen recently. The nature of non-public ownership is evident in this comment on T. Rowe Price ownership. Say the borrowing is $200 million, and T. Rowe Price has 9.8% ownership at 601,174 shares (then of 6.13 million shares outstanding). That's an investor price of $33 per share. A share price has meaning only when the public is let in. And then, wouldn't the investors get protection in the IPO, with more share leverage. I don't know how it works, but know the public loses in an IPO.
Angie's List is in truth, the collective intelligence of it's reporting members, including me. We are being sold out for foolish, can't last, greedy investment in Wall Street, like everything else. We can resist, by asking that Angie's list never go public, but instead repay investors through income vitality. I think Angie's List could, should, must, have at least twenty million paying members. Then, even at just $12 per year per member, there would be hope the debt could be repaid. At average $30 per year, times twenty million, The List would prosper. This is my dream, and long-standing shunned-rudely proposal: Perhaps half, including new members would be Honored members, paying $20 per year. Those who don't care to actively participate, might not resist the ordinary $40 per year membership. Yes, declared same prices everywhere. No more offensive deal-making.