Is an Acquihire a Good or Bad Outcome for Entrepreneurs? | by Aaron Dinin, PhD | Nov, 2021

In theory, Google’s failed acquihire of Dodgeball shouldn’t mean much to other entrepreneurs. After all, every startup and situation is different. However, thanks to a series of unplanned events, the failed Dodgeball acquihire had ramifications that are still influencing entrepreneurs today. According to Dennis:

In case you’re interested, here’s the picture Dennis posted:

And here’s his original caption:

Nothing too terrible there, right? But, that’s not how the events were interpreted by the startup community. Instead, Dennis told me that:

According to Dennis, the actual term “acquihire,” and the negative connotations associated with it, aren’t just a way of describing what happened to Dodgeball. The term actually comes from Google’s failed Dodgeball acquisition. It’s a way of describing how a massive company can ruin a promising, young business by gobbling up the talent before it has a chance to mature and build something truly impactful, which is what happened with Dennis. After all, Dennis eventually turned his vision for Dodgeball into the massively successful Foursquare. But is it fair to assume Dennis’s story represents the likely outcome of an acquihire?

Personally, I had multiple acquihire offers during my startup career that I rejected in order to keep building companies that eventually failed. In retrospect, I often find myself wondering if I would have been smarter to take the acquisition offers.

I doubt I’m alone. In reality, entrepreneurs shouldn’t avoid acquihire offers because of what happened with Dennis Crowley. Building a company like Foursquare isn’t the norm. It’s an aberration. It’s the exception to the rule because few startups ever come close to achieving what Foursquare did. Instead, we all know that the vast majority of startups ultimately fail. In that context, is getting absorbed into a big company really such a bad outcome? I doubt it.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button