The Right Reasons to Acquire a Company

Occasionally, stars align.

I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs, but it’s hard to find a fit: founders and team with the right spirit, vision and expertise; a chance to guide it in the right direction; clear alignment on the purpose behind the work, and a compelling market opportunity.

Mobilize was that company. So I acquired it and came on as CEO:

  1. Founders (Sharon and Arthur) and the team are GNAKs (term I coined to describe the “good-natured a** kickers” I enjoy).
  2. We share a customer-centric philosophy.
  3. It’s a category I know and love.
  4. I’ll enjoy the ride.

Also, the customers are amazing. I talked to David Spinks at CMX (the network for community professionals) about the nature of community leaders: empathetic, smart, group-oriented, energetic. Just good people.

Back to Community

Why This Category…Again?

We founded Jive WAY back in 2001, where I saw (and helped drive) the community category’s early development. But I also watched it devolve into a mess as one-size-fits-all “platforms” attempted to solve too many use cases. That was okay in the early days when there was less competition for users’ attention and the tech was simpler. Not anymore.

This is exacerbated by community platform companies (like most SaaS companies) raising too much money. With investors pushing for aggressive growth, the companies do anything to hit their numbers and the focus turns to “doing deals” instead of helping customers.

I spoke with a lot of buyers while researching Mobilize, and it was clear they were hungry for an innovative solution that met specific needs, not another generic platform. And they wanted a modern experience that would engage and excite their members.

Why Mobilize?

The product is purpose-built for member-driven communities: associations, nonprofits and corporate networks where member engagement is the clear goal. Folks like the UN, Salesforce, Docker and thousands of others.

These organizations have attempted to engage constituents through email, listservs and generic community platforms. But in an era when people receive 121 emails, 128 texts and 5000 ads per day, and are used to interfaces like Slack and Whatsapp, those solutions are ignored at best and often reviled. And membership rates are suffering.

Mobilize is a modern solution designed to make managers productive and help members feel seen, heard and valued. It’s the first solution to bring together a community social space, outreach tools, member directory and CRM into an intuitive, beautiful and frictionless experience.

Working together, we will expand the engagement and analytics features, build out a team of experts focused on driving outcomes for our clients, and advance the functionality for large scale communities.

And we’ll grow the company intelligently, not growth for the sake of growth. One of the benefits of being lean.

The founders and I have a shared passion for the space, customers and a complementary set of skills. Now we get to help more great organizations connect with more members — the fun part.