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Don’t Try to “Pull an Instagram.” Here’s Why …

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Great article by Mark Suster. This is something for all founders to consider when going through financing or the acquisition process.

I think it's great advice that Suster recommends transparency when chatting with investors.

This note is right on the money:

“We are deeply committed to building a long-term, valuable business. We wanted you to know that we have, as you would imagine, have inbound interest in acquiring our company. We would like the opportunity to carry on these discussion for 30 days. I doubt we would consummate a deal. But I owe it to my existing investors and co-founders to listen.

In the event that they do purchase us now I would obviously pay all of your legal costs associated with this transaction.

And I want you to know that if we do complete the funding as we intend to – we’re not looking back. We’re not going to keep up the M&A discussions at a small mark-up to your round. We plan to double-down and build the huge company we know we can.”

Those words -- don't look back; build the huge company we know we can -- are simple, clear, and beautiful.

love this article. on a different tangent, one could think of it as "blowing up" (in the sense that the downside of an "instagram" is actually quite bad).


my favorite quotes of all time:

"Despite his envy and admiration, he did not want to be Victor Niederhoffer -- not then, not now, and not even for a moment in between. For when he looked around him, at the books and the tennis court and the folk art on the walls -- when he contemplated the countless millions that Niederhoffer had made over the years -- he could not escape the thought that it might all have been the result of sheer, dumb luck."

"He's making money every day. One day, lightning strikes and he loses five times what he made. Still, on three hundred and sixty-four out of three hundred and sixty-five days he was very happily making money. It's much harder to be the other guy, the guy losing money three hundred and sixty-four days out of three hundred and sixty-five, because you start questioning yourself. Am I ever going to make it back? Am I really right? What if it takes ten years? Will I even be sane ten years from now?"

This is also a central theme of Sarah Lacy's Once You're Lucky; Twice You're Good

No one wants to admit that luck plays a huge role in our outcomes.

That said, there are ways you can improve your luck:

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