Why did SmartBargains.com pull the plug on its upcoming IPO over the weekend? It's not as though Goldilocks wasn't staring at perfect porridge.

Last year was prolific with venture capital investments surging and 182 companies -- nearly as many as the last three years combined -- going public. When you factor in the dot-com-friendly tailwind provided by Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) successful IPO this past summer, it's easy to wonder why SmartBargains filed to withdraw its registration statement with the SEC.

Then again, just as we've seen promising candidates in The Apprentice and American Idol bail on their golden opportunities, there is obviously more than meets the eye. In the case of SmartBargains you had a growing online retailer that wasn't exactly showing its best face at the moment.

Last year the company grew its sales by 22% to hit $92.2 million. While that may sound impressive, its larger rival Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) more than doubled revenues to reach $494.6 million. Even a less nimble behemoth such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) -- with nearly 30 times the sales production of SmartBargains -- grew its top line by 31% last year.

You also had an executive shuffle. SmartBargains is blessed to have a board of directors ripe with field experience -- former CEOs of Federated Department Stores (NYSE:FD) and InterActiveCorp's (NASDAQ:IACI) Home Shopping Network. It's Home Shopping Network's former chieftain James Held who was appointed interim CEO of SmartBargains last month.

So between the uncertainty at the helm (the stated reason) and its market-share-surrendering ways (the unstated reality) it was in the company's best interest to pull back. While Overstock has seen its shares perform nicely -- the stock is up better than 22% since being singled out back in October in our Rule Breakers newsletter service -- its popularity is a byproduct of its heady growth.

Until SmartBargains proves that it can keep up with the big dogs, it's better off working out in the incubator.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is always on the prowl for a dumb bargain. Smart bargains require too much thought. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.