Sometimes selling out isn’t just about the money

Big companies often like to acquire great startups. Sometimes for good reasons or bad reasons. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t.

An overly simple way to think about selling out is comparing the desire to remain independent vs the acquisition price. There are many other factors but let’s just leave it as a simple choice for now.

But the truth is its never that simple.

Recently I heard about a startup that turned down a higher offer from one company in favor of a lower offer from a different buyer. And i know some startups that would rather remain independent than selling out to a specific larger company that will remain nameless.

It’s simply more than the money.

This is a healthy wake up call that big companies need to consider. It’s not enough to wave a huge checkbook around. That isn’t sufficient for the best startups. Big companies need to show startups how they will fit into the bigger picture, give the startup employees challenging & important positions, demonstrate why the combination will be in everyone’s interest.

And of course make pre & post acquisition process clean and smooth.