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How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business by Daniel McGinn, Harvard Business Review

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DOING SMART DEALS

IN THE LIFE OF BOTH A COMPANY AND ITS TOP MANAGERS, there are few decisions with higher stakes than whether or not to do a deal.

In the case of young firms, the deal in question is typically an initial public offering—a process that can make the founders rich but also subject the company to a disorienting set of new demands from regulators and shareholders.

For more established firms, IPOs are replaced by M&A—the decision to buy or sell a business.

The essays that follow offer the corner-office view of each of these kinds of transactions. Google CEO Eric Schmidt describes the unconventional Dutch auction its founders decided to utilize for its IPO—and how the entire process almost went off the rails due to an ill-timed interview ...

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