It’s just one lesson he could have done with learning from the Lancashire lad.
The more important ones were these.
One: don’t be greedy with your IPO valuation. THG floated at a conservative 500p a share last September. After an overexcitable surge to nearly 800p, it’s now settled at 700p. Investors are delighted.
Deliveroo? Not to intrude on private grief, but having floated at 390p, they’re now 266p.
Two: time your float for a moment when the wind’s at your back, making it likely that you’ll be able to deliver your new investors a flurry of good news for months to come. THG has upgraded revenue forecasts three times in its six months as a plc, capping that today with surging first quarter sales.
By contrast, Deliveroo’s first market update today contains all the cheer of the Book of Revelations: “we are mindful of the uncertain impact of the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions... we are taking a prudent approach to our full year guidance.”
If it were a THG fashionshoot, Moulding’s playlist would be Walking on Sunshine to Shu’s Girlfriend in a Coma.
How so, when two weeks ago, Deliveroo was going to the moon?
In fairness, Shu is in a jam. Having been pilloried for absurd optimism ahead of the float, he doesn’t now want to be accused of delivering more wildly upbeat forecasts. He needs to show humility.
Besides, THG’s times of troubles haven’t happened yet. We’re yet to see how Moulding handles it when his warehouse burns down, or China bans makeup.
For Shu, perhaps it’s reset time, where he learns it’s best to underpromise and overdeliver rather than the other way round.