Hop Off the Train at the Right Time

by Ryan on March 21, 2011

Time Watch Photo

Louis Gray recently posted a great piece about Digg and it’s founder Kevin Rose.  I’ve been a fan of Kevin since I first saw him on The Screen Savers on TechTV a little before Digg was even live.  I think that there’s really one over arching takeaway from all the talk about Kevin and Digg this week.

HOP OFF THE TRAIN AT THE RIGHT TIME!

What I mean by this is that a financially successful exit is a lot about timing. Just think of how many companies that are on the downswing or no longer even exist today, yet they made such great returns for their initial founders and shareholders because they sold out while they were on the top of their game.  On the flip side, there are many circumstances when companies have sold out to early, only to have their acquirers go on to grow the business 10x after the acquisition (still a better position to be in than having not exited at all).

Businesses and industry move in cycles and technological progress happens extremely quick these days. Companies, particularly those on the web, can so quickly fall in and out of favor. It’s crucial to exit at the right time.