Tod Sacerdoti on selling Brightroll

by Shadab Farooqui

Tod Sacertodi sold Brightroll to Yahoo for $640M with 8 years of hard work. Started 2006, sold 2014, $640M. Bullet points from a talk he gave at Yahoo, where he shares his learnings:

  • (#1) If you invested 100k in A round, you’d make 6M in returns. 
  • Know when to overspend. It’s not a linear curve. Pay above market to the "top of the industry” execs / rockstars. Lesson: You can’t overspend on great people.  
  • Start with compensating Talent Acquisition above market. Top dollar for top candidates. 
  • Don't innovate on non core biz stuff. Focus energy on doing few things the best in the industry
  • Focus on edge cases as they raise the bar for the core as well. 
  • "Be and effective a**hole in your industry"
  • Raise money from people who know and have low chance of f-up. Leads to lower valuation, but clean cap table pays off. “10% of something is worth more than 50% of nothing"
  • Create a ‘Tribe’. Successful companies are not a family. They are small, trusting Tribes going after a shared vision. Let people be Tribal. 
  • "Post-traumatic growth is positive psychological state experienced as a result of adversity and other challenges in order to rise to a higher level of functioning.”
  • Customers share a lot of competitive intel — “every edge of company is a touchpoint of information”

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