An acquisition is always a failure

April 3rd, 2013

Jake Lodwick argues that an acquisition is always a failure:

I typically refer to the IAC sale as “the worst business decision of my life.” I’m not sure IAC is worse than any other large company in this regard. An entrepreneur is someone who, almost artistically, designs a living entity which embodies the values, beliefs, and ambitions of the creator. It’s impossible for a larger entity to swallow a smaller one without completely reshaping it. When this process begins, a wild visionary – the entrepreneur type – is the most toxic, indigestible actor imaginable. And this is why I roll my eyes when a new acquisition is announced: Because I don’t see it as a triumphant graduation but a sacrifice to an industry that is afraid to dream big.

I started this article wanting to disagree, because while I think acquisitions are rarely the right choice for both parties since they are so difficult to do, I also think that sometimes—sometimes—they are the correct choice. But Lodwick is convincing: the technology industry has created an efficient process not for starting visionary and “disruptive” companies, but rather an efficient process for established companies to hire new talent.

This piece combines nicely, I think, with the Matt Stone quote I linked to earlier.

Dream bigger.