Randy Jones | July 8, 2009
One of the not-so-pretty laws of capitalism is that the new money calls the shots. It is not the creator of the genius idea or the smart manager who reaps the reward—it is the provider of the capital who gets rich. That is why another unwritten rule of M&A is “Shoot the founder.” All too often when lone-ranger founders, who think they can do it all, need—or are forced—to raise capital to get the business off the ground or to scale up, they quickly find themselves pushed out of the way, with nothing to do and as much to show for their efforts. Fully 94 percent of RMITS have the title “Founder” on their resumes; fewer than 20 percent, however, have taken their companies public.
Most who have retained ownership cite the short-term thinking of Wall Street as a key reason. When a company is forced to manage from quarter to quarter, as opposed to taking the long view, employees become commodities—and management becomes groupthink.