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It's expensive, it's a hassle, some notable founders have publicly said they regret going public. I think letting insiders cash out is a great thing, but some disagree. From an outsiders perspective it seems like there's plenty of private liquidity for promising, growing businesses.

Seems reasonable to ask why they'd do it to me. I certainly wouldn't assume it's a "scam", but I don't think going public is the obvious good that (I hear) it once was.

Yes having to answer to the public markets and considering control issues of your company's shareholder composition can be a distraction.

I think you are underestimating what liquidity means. Liquidity means having access to the cheapest credit markets on the planet: commercial paper. Having access to the rest of the corporate bond markets too. Being able to dilute your shares and sell them at will. Being able to attract employees with tax efficient competitive compensation packages, again via share dilution so for free. People aren't just saying "liquidity" so that insiders can cash out of the stale balance sheet line items that they update once every 18 months.

A profitable company at a low valuation and larger addressable market is also a rare opportunity for non-accredited investors, solely because of the attitude of treating the public markets as an anethema and just using it to dump on everyone's mom's retirement account.

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