The 8 Week Dance to an Acquisition

Dave Balter
Jun 15, 2016 · 2 min read

In June 2016, Mylestoned, which preserves memories of the departed, acquired Heirloom, which beautifully digitizes paper photos.

Here’s the truth on how acquisitions actually work:

Primping [week 1]

Cue Music [weeks 2–3]

  • Balter tweets at Heirloom CEO @ericowski. Response: “@davebalter would love to connect. will send you message on LinkedIn to coordinate.”
  • Cut to meeting at a hipster coffee shop* in San Francisco. Turns out, Heirloom is currently evaluating dance partners.
  • Mylestoned Team confirms strategy over whiteboard sessions with annoyingly half-dry markers.

Commence Twerking [weeks 4–7]

  • Phone call from Balter to Owski to ask for the next dance.
  • Slow waltz over a few weeks to align on overall deal structure.
  • Legal duet ensues, basically coordinated synchronization to formalize paperwork.
  • Last call snuggly slow dance includes final price and approval from stakeholders.

The Kiss Goodnight [weeks 8+]

  • Their eyes lock. Signature.
  • Balter and Co-founding Owski Brothers celebrate over a sweet dinner at San Francisco Gin & Tapas joint**.
  • Executing on post transaction items begins. Balter expects non-malicious surprises and triple the work planned.

@google, @slack @linkedin and @twitter (and @medium) make appearances courtesy of Silicon Valley.

Email on loan from Ray Tomlinson.

Phone procured from Alexander Graham Bell.

Whiteboard appeared as understudy for @ideapaint.

* Sightglass Coffee

** Aatxe

*** A more traditional version of this article can be found on Business Insider.


Leadership, Life, Lessons Learned

Dave Balter

Written by

Partner Flipside Crypto; Friend; M&A Junkie



Leadership, Life, Lessons Learned

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade