An Acquisition Anonymous Amoeba

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There is a business. It sells things. From the outside it looks just like a business should.


This business has something.

This business has potential.

Who notices the potential?

Maybe the current owner. Maybe she knows that some parts are humming along and some parts need some work. Maybe she’s up for it.

Maybe she’s not.

The gap between the business and the potential is the acquisition appeal. Another person sees this. Another person wants to buy the business from the owner and grow the business.

They want the business to reach its potential.

They have ideas.

Even better, they have cash.

Hopefully they have experience too.

Experience matters because some parts of the business are at their potential. “Do not change these things” the buyer’s silent voice says. “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Don’t just do something, sit there.”

“Look here” says the silent voice, “work on this.” The buyer looks. Over there the business has not reached its potential. Over there is the success gap. “Work there,” says the silent voice.

This post came about after listening to a lot of the Acquisitions Anonymous podcast. Businesses truly are unique opportunities and success seems to come from someone having the time, space, and skills to notice where a business can grow and where it cannot. Technology sometimes helps a lot and sometimes doesn’t (though behind the scenes it seems like it always helps). Hire sales and scale sometimes works, and sometimes doesn’t. E-commerce best practices sometimes help a lot, but sometimes a business is at its potential.

And sadly, my favorite brunch place no longer has the digital queue. Servers slinging names is the potential.

Every Business is Two Businesses

From Bill D’Alessandro on Circle of Competence #149.

The latest ILTB podcast here, provides examples specifically around media and content companies. Dave Portnoy being the starkest example.

And regarding franchising on Business Breakdowns. Along with never get in a land war in Asia, never take your burrito to Latin America— but your processes will probably do fine.