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On December 9th, Venture Archetypes and Greenberg Traurig pulled together a panel of some of the top entrepreneurs and most active acquirers in Silicon Valley to answer your questions about start-up M&A. So whether you’d like to know what the serious players are looking for or how to position your start-up for a healthy acquisition, you’ll find the wisdom right here!. Read the rules.
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What would be your pitch to describe your culture and what kind of person or company might be a fit?
Asked by John Chu

Panel Answers

Amin Zoufonoun
Director, Corporate Development
I think we’ve become a little less homogeneous than we used to be. Like you [Yahoo] we have so many different teams doing different things…so within Google there are nuances in terms of the culture. I can’t tell a startup here for Google as a whole what kind of culture, but I think you could probably guess what they are: smart, passionate. If I was advising a startup here, I’d say focus on your business, hire the best people – hire people who know how to code, know how to work together as a team, and who know how to adapt because it’s moving so fast. Even if you come to Google, things are going to change and move fast and to be able to adapt and move in new directions I think is an important skill to have.
Taylor Barada
Senior Director, Corporate Development
Ours is a little broader [than Facebook’s] in that the company for many years has had two sides to the business. The hardcore technology side with labs and the scientists and all that. We absolutely want a core of the same thing that Mike just talked about in regards to those rock star talents that are incredibly passionate about what they are doing on the technology side. The other side is the online media side of the business, and frankly a lot of that has creative business leaders too. We look for both those things. In terms of the cultural fit, I think it was one of the chief justices 30 or 40 years ago that was commenting on a case on pornography that said I know it when I see it. I think on cultural fit, that’s ultimately a lot of what it is. You work together on deals and you know when it’s fit and when it’s a stretch. I think Yahoo has a lot of creative, smart people who don’t take themselves too seriously and like to be nice to each other. It’s a very collaborative culture. As far as “
Michael Brown
Manager, Corporate Development
We are looking for hackers…we are looking for men and women who want to drink Red Bull and Mountain Dew and stay up all night and turn an idea into an ugly looking prototype that they can buy some Google search traffic on and test and see what people think of it. We are looking for people who are impatient, who like to write code, who want to crank stuff out and think social is going to change the world. So, I think hackers welcome.

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