Since all selling shareholders signed a six month lock up agreement, sales of stock under Rule 144 are not an immediate concern. This is good, because all the people who will call you about their ``restricted securities program'' can be got rid of for at least six months. But 1986 will bring them out of the woodwork. Subject only to the constraints of the law, you will then be able to sell your stock through any broker willing to do the paperwork and abide by the rules.
You should be concerned, however, with sales of stock affecting the price. Remember that there are only 1.4 million shares out there. We hope that a large percentage of those will be in ``strong hands'', that is, long term holders. Thus the ``float'' or volume that actively trades may be quite small. As a result, throwing a block of 10,000 or 20,000 shares on the market may knock the price down significantly. As a result there may be an advantage in selling the stock through a broker who is a primary market maker in the stock, since they will sometimes have a better feel for how well the market can accept the stock and when is a good time to sell it. Initially, the market makers will be our underwriters. We hope to pick up additional market makers in the future (the more the better as far as the company is concerned), and we'll let you know.
Remember that brokers get a commission when they sell stock, and that people will be actively prospecting for this business. You will receive calls that begin ``I have a buyer for 20,000 shares of Autodesk stock. If you're interested in selling, we can do the transaction, and since I have the buyer already, the price won't blip down''. And when you agree to sell, he'll start looking for that buyer.
Anyway, watch out. From now on, assume you are a target. Not everybody who calls you up blind with a financial ``opportunity'' is a total sleazebag trying to loot the efforts of your hard work. I've made a list of those who aren't, and have already written the title at the top of the page. Now all I need is the first name. Let me know if you encounter one.
And remember, these guys can consume hours and hours of your time. Don't hesitate to be rude. I've found only one thing so far that gets rid of these guys immediately without overt hostility, and that's saying the magic words, ``That's very interesting, but I'm totally broke''. And now even that won't work. Anyway, your time is your own, not theirs.
There's a reason they're called brokers.
Peter Barnett drew this pump in 1984 to illustrate mechanical applications of AutoCAD. It has appeared on the AutoCAD sample drawings disc from Version 2.0 to date.
Editor: John Walker