There are times in a startup when you have to deal with big companies (investments, alliances, buying outs).
In the novel Moby-Dick, Captain Ahab goes in search of the great white whale Moby Dick. Captain Ahab is the startup, and the big company is Moby Dick - unpredictable and hard to catch.
The behavior of big companies is largely inexplicable when viewed from the outside
- Its complex system consisting of thousands of people
- You can't identify all the factors that will come to bear on a decision, so it’s difficult to understand, predict, or influence their decisions
What to do?
- Don’t do startups that require deals with big companies to make them successful.
- Never assume that a deal with a big company is closed papers are signed and/money is given.
- Be patient.
- Beware of bad deals.
- Never assume a big company will do the obvious thing.
- Be aware that big companies care a lot more about what other big companies are doing than what any startup is doing.
- If doing deals with big companies is going to be a key part of your strategy, be sure to hire a real pro who has done it before.
- Talk to big companies about all kinds of things but be ready to have the conversation just drop and to return to your core business.