EPISODE 8: First CEO of oDesk (The Largest Global Freelancing Platform in the World) 5 Pitfalls of Company Acquisitions

Craig Slayter, Jeffrey Slayter’s father, has more than 30 years as a Silicon Valley startup entrepreneur and raised more than $50 million dollars in venture capital. He’s assessed hundreds of companies for potential acquisition, and participated in acquisitions ranging from $5 million to $100 million. Slayter discusses 5 unique deal stoppers preventing entrepreneurs from making the $100,000,000 exit.

Key Questions in Regard to the $100 Million exit:

  • Are our investors and founders clearly aligned?
  • Based on timely research, is our business in the right price range?
  • Is our cap table in order? 
  • Do we have a messy set of books?
  • Can we prove we have clear title to intellectual property, and product  specs?
  • Are we demonstrating integrity in all our dealings with prospective buyers?
  • Can we come to a satisfactory agreement with buyers about our ongoing company culture?

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DISCOVERY OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction of special guest Craig Slayter, Jeffrey Slayter’s father.

[01:32] Deal Stopper #1: If founders and investors are not aligned, buyers will sniff it out and walk away.

[07:45] Deal Stopper #2: Do your homework to make sure your expectations for a buyout are in the correct price range.

[13:28] Deal Stopper #3: Clean up your cap table.

[19:18] Deal Stopper #4: Get messy books in order.

[23:40] Deal Stopper #5: Make sure you have clear title to intellectual property or product specs, and that you can prove it.

[28:57] Bonus Deal Stopper: Keep integrity in all your dealings with buyers.

[30:57] Bonus Deal Stopper: Being transparent helps build relationships and seal the deal.

[33:20] Bonus Deal-Stopper: Find an agreement with buyers for a cultural integration strategy that works for both parties.

[37:43] Parting wisdom from Craig Slayter.