How to get acquired by Yahoo! or any of the other Valley Giants

Headquarters of Yahoo! next to Mathilda Avenue...

Image via Wikipedia

When the guys at e27 asked me if I would write a few posts for them and the first suggestion was that I write on how to be acquired by Yahoo! it seems like a great idea and a great way to kick start my blogging. I have been considering setting up a blog for a while now and this was a great reason to get started. Hopefully I can maintain a blog and get a few interesting posts out, although admittedly this was a lot more effort than I originally anticipated. Lesson #1 is to write less…

Partnering and working with other companies, which is generally the precursor to acquisition, is something I have a bit of experience in and so something I feel comfortable writing about. Of course, I am by no means an expert, but I have worked in partnership business development at Yahoo! Southeast Asia here in Singapore, as a global product manager for online partnerships with the Symantec Consumer team and developed products licensed from partners to take to market for Cogeco, a Canadian Cable TV company.

As such, I have had some experience working inside multi-national tech companies and I understand what the product team’s needs are when acquiring a company and the business development process and its challenges. Being acquired by Yahoo! or any other Silicon valley giant such as Google though is not easy, but there are some steps you can to increase the likelihood of it happening.

So I have put together a three part post for those of you with little exposure to these valley giants but who dream of building a company and selling it to them. The first post covers how these companies work and some of the internal challenges they face. You are going to have to sell your company to these guys so it always pays to know your customer. The second post covers the easiest way to start working with these companies and what is often the easiest lead-in to an acquisition: partnering. The final post covers some strategies that I have seen used to actually get acquired.

A couple of disclaimers: I have far more experience partnering with companies than acquiring them and I am by no means an expert in this area and writing based on my own personal experience and opinions…. :)

Finally, I am trying to write this from a non-US and more of an emerging market perspective.

I hope enjoy and looking forward to your comments and feedback.

Part 1: Getting to know your customer

Part 2: Partner First

Part 3: The acquisition

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About Patrick Williamson

A Singapore based independent consultant and startup advisor. Previously in business development at Yahoo! SEA and a global product manager with the Symantec consumer in California.
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