This is why Internet companies aren't going public.
Sure, private money is plentiful. Hedge funds, mutual funds and sovereign wealth funds are throwing around capital at monster valuations. Early employees have new liquidity options. In short, the prevailing story has become that there's no compelling reason to go public.
But the truth is that the IPO is dangerous, and Twitter is evidence.
Twitter is a phenomenon. In less than a decade, it's gone from a status update site that was more of a joke than a business, to a $23 billion company that's fundamentally changed how we consume information.
For outgoing CEO Dick Costolo, however, the reality is that $23 billion is a much lower number than $40 billion, the level at which Twitter was valued in late 2013.
Even though Costolo has helped Twitter become the sixth most valuable U.S. consumer Internet company, its growth and profitability challenges are reflected in an ugly downward stock slope that's updated in real time.