Chapter 10

Acquire Early

Whether you incubate new products and services from within your enterprise, acquisition is another important tool in the lean enterprise kit. Purchasing a startup can buy you products and services that you don't have the capacity or speed to develop yourself, not to mention cutting-edge technology that can rocket the enterprise ahead of competitors and provide an entrée into new markets. It can bring in people who possess an entrepreneurial spirit so often missing at businesses that have grown and matured. Better yet, those people arrive already organized into teams that have a track record of working well together, ready to be deployed toward your company's priorities. Moreover, a purchase can bring in (at least for awhile) independent-minded talent who wouldn't otherwise dream of working for a large organization like yours.

Who Are You Looking For?

The typical enterprise acquisition is geared toward buying a company and integrating it into an existing business unit or scrapping it for talent or technology. The thinking is that the enterprise can leverage its considerable strengths in favor of the acquired company. After all, the enterprise's advantages come from its distribution channels, painstakingly developed over decades; its marketing expertise, honed through intensive experience serving a particular sort of customers; and its sterling brand, nurtured through enormous expenditures on advertising and product development. Put that power behind the ...

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