In 1999 I experienced how lack of focus on exit planning was expensive. I was an investor in a venture backed pre-revenue semiconductor innovator that got a buyout offer for $3B. Fueled by lack of thoughtful consideration of what the future might hold we pushed for $4B, which the acquirer rejected. A year later the company went bust. More fear and less greed would have served us in this situation. Accelerating innovation and the systemization of startup creation (hundreds of incubators in today’s world) are shrinking the life cycle of most companies, as are the uncertainty of the world order (Ray Dalio writes about this) and a likely upcoming recession. Planning for your exit now is a value protection insurance policy.

John Grillos
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