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"If you truly believe in the potential of your company to change the world for the better, there’s no excuse for settling for an acquisition."
I was reading through this month's Inc. magazine earlier when this quote caught my eye. My first thought was to challenge the notion. There are specific occasions when an acquisition is exactly what a company needs to move forward or to move on. This is just how things work, but the bold words sparked my interest enough to turn the page. I flipped to Issie Lapowsky’s feature with Vimeo founder Jake Lodwick. Lodwick was fired a year and a half after selling Connected Ventures, the parent company of Vimeo and College Humor, to InterActive Corp, an Internet company that owns the likes of match.com, Urbanspoon, and dictionary.com. After the acquisition, he felt stripped of his creativity. Where innovation once dwelled, process was introduced. Lodwick was fired a week and a half before he planned to quit. This experience backs his words of advice to entrepreneurs who think an acquisition means nothing will change within the mission of an organization. Lodwick bitterly states that "in fact the mission was lost, and everything will change."
There's been a growing resurgence of working areas of long tables with copious amounts of white boards. They call them co-working spaces. Since the coining of the phrase in early 2000s, they've grown into warehouse size places with cubical conference rooms and modern furniture, becoming a hip thing for entrepreneurial ecosystems and startups across the globe. But recently, I've come to a realization: Co-working spaces are lame.
Kansas City will soon receive internet connectivity that will be one hundred times faster than anywhere else in the world. What should they do with it?
Last spring, Athena Alliance, along with support from the Kauffman Foundation OECD, The Conference Board, and US National Academies, put together an inspiring conference on the role of intangible assets— information, workforce skills and know-how, effective management and marketing, business models, relations with suppliers and customers, software and databases, and intellectual property— in job creation and economic growth.
When considering the optimal number of founders for any new entrepreneurial adventure, the calculus extends well beyond simple formulas seemingly supported by observations of startup cohorts within specific industries. Famous technology twosomes that come to mind include David Packard and William Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple, Paul Allen and Bill Gates of Microsoft, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. In these examples, it is widely observed that these buddy teams complemented each other well in the early formative years of their companies.
With double-digit growth expected in the life science market outside of the U.S., China or India is a likely place for a medical business to expand. Here's how to deal with third-party intermediaries.
As digital health grows, healthcare business models are changing too. Read about healthcare business plans for digital health companies.
Pfizer Inc. is testing a pilot of a virtual clinical trial program that could be of interest to medical device startups and young pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
Digital health startups should wait to write a business plan until they've explored all of the possible business models and tested out a prototype business model, according to one expert.
Exit strategies for startups are limited these days, so a company should start working early to track down potential acquirers. Read about startup acquisition.
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