On the recent Gillmor Gang (MidTail Gang), you can catch me disagreeing with Jason Calacanis on rollups. He argues that only “loser” entrepreneurs sell their companies into rollups.
I argued that this is simplistic — that sometimes a rollup is the best choice for a company to make. He conceded that in a weak market (and again, if you are a loser), this might be the way to go.
Interesting that Jason articulates his point purely in terms of the entrepreneur: if you are strong, you find a way to win or fail trying.
Failure is a part of being an entrepreneur, but successful companies are made up of more than just the entrepreneur(s).
What about other stakeholders? What if the options are: “fail” or “rollup”? Your employees all get jobs and maybe the investors get to let their money ride.
I think that this will always feel like losing to the entrepreneur. This will never be the grand vision he or she was working towards. But winning and losing is not so black and white.
Am I defending a loser mentality? No, I think I’m just defending pragmatism.
Disclaimer: I have never been a part of a rollup nor am I seeking one out!