Act like you're already public
It's not easy for seat-of-the-pants startups to become public companies that answer to shareholders and regulators. Goldman decided to ease the transition by putting Isilon through the paces more than a year before it filed for an IPO, gaining months of valuable practice in adhering to onerous accounting requirements.
"I can whine about Sarbanes-Oxley with the best of them," Goldman says. "But I think that when you complain about regulations from a leadership position, that sends a signal to employees that compliance is something you have to do, not something you should do."