Maria Montero

12 Key Lessons On Tech Mergers And Acquisitions From John Chambers …

Cyril Ebersweiler is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of HAX, and General Partner of SOSV.

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Benjamin Joffe is a partner at HAX.

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John Chambers, president emeritus of Cisco (now the founder of JC2 Ventures), knows a thing or two about technology acquisitions: He bet his career on a first in 1993, and completed 180 M & As during his 20-year tenure.

His latest message to large corporations is an alarm bell. In a fireside talk at the HAX M&A masterclass that followed the publication of his book: Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in an Emerging World, Chambers issued a clear warning: Learn about M&A technology or the future could happen without you.

Here are the key takeaway lessons (video and transcript are here):

1. M&A is a vaccine against irrelevance.

Upon retiring from Cisco in 2015, John Chambers said that 40% of companies will die within 10 years. And 10 years now could be conservative.

It took Amazon about 20 years to challenge WalMart, just 10 years to Airbnb with hotels and Uber with taxis and car owners. The next wave could take 4-5 years. Since no company can invent everything, even Apple or Google routinely buy startups, you will need to: to buy or partner Seriously with startups (more on that later).

2. Technology is entering every sector

“Every company that you acquire in this next decade is likely to be directly or indirectly a technology company.‘Chambers said.

Non-tech companies need to get up to speed on working with tech and startups. Many of the corp dev executives who attended our last event were no of technology

I recently met power tool companies from the US and Europe. The CVC arms had just been installed. They were looking for acquisitions, saying “We don’t know the software”. They better tackling that M&A learning curve quickly!

Where do you fit the software?

3. Your customers can tell you what to buy

There was only one Steve Jobs, who knew what to build. For others, you customers Could you what to buy. Listen to them and pay special attention to market transitions to buy next generation products.