Yes, I'm late on commenting on this -- I've been out of town.
this is the best post I saw about the Google IPO because it includes key portions of the Google filing.
My favorite quote from the filing:
"We will not shy away from high-risk, high-reward projects because of short term earnings pressure."
How refreshing! What if a lot of other companies followed this basic rule? Imagine how much more competitive the market would become -- the amount of disruptive technology, business practices, etc. would skyrocket.
Perhaps this is the best advice to small companies looking to make it big. It's an old principle, really; commonly known as risk-reward analysis. The higher the risk, generally the higher the reward. It's just that most large corporations have to answer to stockholders, boards, and people that may not have invested in a high risk game.