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On April 27, 2019, Smartsheet celebrated its first year as a public company. It was an exciting year: We experienced 60 percent year-on-year revenue growth, launched new capabilities, opened additional offices, and completed an acquisition. All these changes happened while we also navigated an update to our selling motion, significant growth in our global headcount, and support for an increasing number of customers—and we began reporting our quarterly results to Wall Street for the first time.

Being in the public arena can be daunting. It exposes the CFO to increased visibility and probing questions from investors and others. I learned in business school that markets are efficient, but my real, on-the-ground experience has taught me that people are emotional and react to information in sometimes unexpected ways. When a company’s news or results don’t match Wall Street expectations, that disparity can lead to volatility and unintended consequences.

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