Actually, Getting Acqui-Hired Can Be A Huge Opportunity For Founders

Ron Conway and David Lee

David Lee of SV Angel spoke at Lerer Ventures’ CEO Summit yesterday.He only had 10 minutes to present, but he made some great points:

  • Five years ago, only 5% of Ron Conway’s portfolio companies were based in New York. Now 25% are.
  • It’s never been easier to start a company. And it’s never been harder to build one. Talent is hard to come by.
  • Companies that leverage Timeline and Open Graph see explosive growth. If your startup doesn’t utilise those, it’s like playing baseball against players who are using steroids.
  • Facebook, Google and Apple aren’t the only companies that are acquiring startups.  Lee says his portfolio companies get calls from Twitter, Dropbox, Airbnb and Foursquare too, which all have the cash to acquire companies.
  • Being acqui-hired is *NOT* like getting a big signing bonus. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed either.  “A lot of founders say, ‘Oh, I feel like I’m quitting. I feel like this is a failure,'” says Lee. “But I don’t consider Brett Taylor (of FriendFeed) a failure. He sold early to Facebook and had a huge impact on the product and the world.” If entrepreneurs want to change the world, Lee thinks getting acqui-hired can be the best way to do that.  They’ll learn from the best, brightest people in the world too. It depends on the situation, but founders should always optimise for impact.

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