The Art Of The Exit: For Non-CEOs
Art Business

The Art Of The Exit: For Non-CEOs

Like most entrepreneurs, I wasn’t CEO of my first startup. While I had a fair share of the company, I owned far less than the CEO who, in addition to having had the concept, also initially bankrolled us. For the most part, this didn’t matter. Like most good founding teams, we had complimentary skill sets and mutual respect so decisions were by consensus. This worked fine until one of us wanted to sell. For context, the company effectively started in early 2000. We were hit hard by the dot com crash and one of the lesser casualties of September 11 was our term sheet. So we stopped taking even meager salaries and bootstrapped to profitability in 2002. The next few years, we lived the dream. Ridiculously high growth, increasing revenue per customer as we upsold new modules, competitors folding. Fun times. Nevertheless, by 2006 I wanted to sell. Six years was a long time but my decision was mostly about the trends. Our growth rate, while still high, had started to come down and the vibe at trade shows was that we were past the early adopters; still plenty of prospects but slower to sign. At the same time, […]

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