Tooting His Own Horn

Quiet period? Andreessen's minions are mum on that issue.

The rumblings from Loudcloud began back in February. "It may seem like weve had frequent contact over the past few weeks, but we want to make sure you receive the right information at the right time," wrote Loudcloud spokeswoman Jodi Baumann in a Feb. 27 e-mail.

Attached were press releases announcing the companys "latest customer and partnership news," including deals with America Online and BEA Systems.

But was it really the "right time," being a week away from Loudclouds March 9 IPO?

There was no mention of the forthcoming IPO and, it seems, no concern about the so-called pre- and post-IPO quiet period, during a long, friendly, discussion about Opsware and other Loudcloud innovations. Three of the companys big guns—but not co-founder Marc Andreessen—came to the phone.

Was it just coincidence that two more press releases hit the wires in the days preceding the IPO? On March 8, Loudcloud announced that News Corp. was using it to outsource its Internet operations. The next day brought another release detailing how will do the same.

Asked about all this quiet-time chatter, Baumann said the rules do not preclude an IPO-ing company from discussing routine business. So, if youre waiting to go public, save those deals (or at least announcing them) until IPO day approaches.

Then, get a little loud.