...decentralization is about to happen in publicly traded companies. During the 1990s approximately 4,000 companies "went public" in the United States. These corporations were newly funded by the investment of many small shareholders, who collectively contributed about $250 billion to these companies' equity. Right now, very old-fashioned hurdles prevent many smaller companies from accepting equity investments by the public. Some of these hurdles are legacies from the industrial era when communication and information were scarce. Some obstacles are simply the selfish protections of investment bankers and others who reap billions by their monopoly on controlling the process of taking a company public. Network technology is radically altering the stock market, causing a widespread reevaluation of the role and worth of stock brokers, traders, and a centralized market itself (such as the New York Stock Exchange) in a world where economic information is ubiquitious and instant. Secure, reliable, and trustworthy offerings of publicly traded companies can happen on the net without most of the traditional Wall Street rigmarole. Network technology will make it possible for qualified companies to take their company public from a desktop, directly soliciting the investments from billions of individuals and organizations worldwide. This will happen sooner than Wall Street thinks.