Martin Bryant, over at The Next Web picked up on this story that first ran on TechCrunch a US startup buying a UK-based rival. What worries me about this is that we are hailing an exit, any exit, as a success. But is it? Is selling out to your rival something that we should praise?
I don’t want to look like I am attacking a fellow journalist for a piece he wrote and I didn’t. I also don’t begrudge the entrepreneurs for selling — well done them for exiting, and let’s hope their next company smashes it.
But what troubles me about this whole story is the idea that we should praise a startup for exiting, no matter what the nature of the exit is.
It reminds me of that great line, whoever said it, “Congratulating an entrepreneur for raising money is like congratulating a chef for buying the ingredients.”
Martin is right that an exit will inspire others, but will it just inspire others to early money? Wouldn’t it be better to inspire others not to take the money? Wouldn’t that be more inspirational and better for the whole ecosystem?