James Ledbetter firstname.lastname@example.org
Uber’s IPO in May was one of
the most anticipated business
events of recent years. How
does Uber’s public debut stack
up against big IPOs of the past?
See our chart on page 22.
ne of the great privileges of working
for Inc. is getting to meet entrepreneurs
at every step of their journey.
In May, Inc. held our frst Fast Growth
Tour event, in Chicago, at which my colleagues
and I were pleasantly surrounded by entrepre-
neurs from all ranks: from those who are just fguring
out their business plans, to Inc. 5000 founders like Angela Keaveny of
Rowdydow bbQ (No. 1,701 in 2018) and Christina Stembel of Farmgirl
Flowers (No. 739), to titans like Adam Lowry of Method and Ripple
Foods and Kendra Scott.
This issue of Inc. extends the same privilege to you. Our annual “How
I Did It” package introduces you to entrepreneurs big and small, who
are eager to share with you their tales of toil and triumph. The package,
which was overseen by executive director of editorial Jon Fine, begins
on page 26. It includes key leaders you’ve been reading about for years,
like Jef Raider of Harry’s, which sold in May for $1.4 billion. But equally
inspiring are some you’ve probably not heard of, like Jerry Jao, who willed
himself to immigrate to the U.S. from Taiwan at the age of 13—by himself—
and then co-founded Retention Science, which, after several false starts,
landed on last year’s Inc. 5000 (No. 894).
We also focus this month on entrepreneurs who’ve managed to sell
their businesses and keep a smile on their faces. Too often, we hear
about private equity companies that take over businesses only to strip
them of their assets and dump the existing employees. It doesn’t have to
be that way. That’s why, under the guidance of editor-at-large Bill Saporito
and senior editor Graham Winfrey, we have assembled for the frst time
a list of 50 private equity frms that believe in founders. Our special
report, starting on page 70, features business owners who took private
equity money and are happy they did.
All of which is to say: Whether you are starting, growing, or selling
your business, Inc. is with you, every step of the way.