Goldman began planning Isilon's public stock offering as soon as he walked through the door. At his first meeting with employees in late 2003, he handed out bottles of wine to everybody there with a handwritten note: "Ten quarters to IPO." (Goldman didn't deliver on schedule, but he wasn't far off -- Isilon went public 13 quarters after he joined.)
By launching his IPO plan early, Goldman got everyone focused on growth. "One of the things I really banged the drum on is that going public was not the endgame," he says. "The IPO was a step in the road on the way to building a company of lasting value."