I never learned why SPY went public in the first place all those years ago. I imagine it was because a group of people who may not quite have understood the industry saw potential fast growth and a chance to make a lot of money. Those were different times. I have some experience with that way of thinking from the snowboard industry.
The benefit to me, and to you, was in being able to follow a smaller niche player with a solid brand and see how they could compete among the big players in an industry where meaningful product differentiation wasn’t easy to come by.