Dear Josh – I’m stuck on a tough decision. A major corporation wants to acquire my startup. It would mean my co-founders and I never have to worry about money again. But who knows what will happen to our company if we merge with a big entity and move out to Redmond. Should I take the offer?
Dear Meg Ryan,
The first misnomer that makes me LMAO is the “never have to worry about money again” line. Trust me, before I deployed the balance of my $40 million into the ether, I worried much more about money than now (flat broke). In fact one of the worst days of my life is when I got my first $2 million. Checked my balance at Chase before bed (-$4.25) and woke up and the Chase voice-bot exclaimed “$2, 145,000.35.”
That night during my celebratory dinner at Mr. Chou’s with two beautiful woman, Mike Tyson was right next to me just one mediocre floozy, I got cold sweats upon realizing that the cash was in my checking account and my checkbook was sitting loose on top of my desk.
Back to you. By definition once you sell your company to the Borg it is assimilated and resistance is futile (that’s why they call them “Microsurfs”). My suggestion is to negotiate the earliest possible exit strategy while still maintaining “good faith” to carry through on your deal.
Balance the payout with your precious time on earth. Listen to your little hidden voice that says: walk the walk, talk the talk but get out of this place at the first possible instant. Remember it is reasonably unlikely that you will thrive in that sort of corporate environment but rather you should view this as a high class prison wherein you are just doing time.
Josh Harris is the founder of JupiterResearch and Pseudo.com and the ceo of The Wired City, a web tv network in New York.
Need some advice? Email Josh at askjoshharris at gmail dot com.