MIT Sloan Executive Startup on How To Sell Themselves

MIT Sloan Executive Startup

Brian Eastwood from the MIT Sloan School of Management recently discussed how TechEmergence founder Dan Faggella metabolized important lessons contained within the Negotiation for Executives program to sell his first startup, the e-commerce platform, The Science of Skill.

First things first, build a personal relationship with your broker so they believe in the dream as much as you do. The article notes how “Faggella made it a point to take his broker out to breakfast, explain his future goals and convey that he trusted the broker to get the job done.”

Secondly, make it known that you’re a bona-fide operation. Faggella advises entrepreneurs to prepare “a transparent offer, using common and authoritative methodologies to calculate a value that neither the broker nor the potential buyer could refute.”

Third, delegate operational tasks that may not require your eyes and ears so you can focus on the primary end goal. Faggella says, “You want to be a director, not a doer. If someone followed you around with a pair of binoculars, what are the things they would say you are doing?”

Faggella distilled his sprawling to-do list down to three objectives—“get his hours down, find someone to run 100 percent of sales and sell the business for more than $1 million by a certain date”—and saw his productivity soar.

After the sale of the startup, Faggella notes that he doesn’t plan on slowing down.

“’I’m a guy with a bigger moral purpose on the global governance of AI and neuroscience, not someone who wants to get rich and buy a car,’ he said. ‘I have a grand moral contribution, something I’m eager to do, but the key thing [to realize that] is to sell the business that I started it as an alternative to needing equity for my life’s work.’”

“Looking at the list every morning would help me see the straight line between those tasks and what I really wanted to do. When you get through these things, it’s the goal at the end of the rainbow.”


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