10.29.2006

Getting Buy In From your Team is Money



It doesn’t matter whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 or the president of a tiny company, when you’re creating a new product line or merging with another company it’s very important that you have the backing and support of your team around you to make sure things are executed properly.

On the merger/acquisition side, one shouldn’t have to dig too deeply for reasons to go forward; management and cultural synergies should be obvious immediately. If they aren’t then you should probably go back to stage one and find another partner or idea. If you’re vision is cloudy and hard for people to understand – then you may have another problem – and quick decisions may lead to mediocrity.

There are a number of acquisitions that have taken place in our industry – and this year tech acquisitions are reaching new heights. When someone asks me to gauge the potential success and/or failure of such moves – and my quick answer is always to check with the employees. Although it seems quite unscientific, one should be able to examine the potential for success based on the employee reaction and cultural synergies.

I bring this up as we get to the official closing date of the HP Voodoo acquisition. I found out that everyone at Voodoo signed up almost immediately after receiving their offer letters from HP. That’s right, 100% of our employees signed up without hesitation.

Not only this, but we have ex-Voodoo employees knocking at the door to see if there is an opportunity for them to join back on the team. On the other side in Cupertino, I have received nothing but high praise about the deal in general – people are “high-fiving” me in the hallways as I pass. People at HP Labs are excited by the prospect of working with us, and it feels like home when I visit all the sites. This tells us that our strategy is validated by the very people who will be carrying it forward.

If you can’t draw out your strategy on a napkin for other people to understand then you better go back to the drawing board. I'm not suggesting that decisions by democracy always make sense, because they don't - but having the majority buy-in is money in the bank.

When you compare this to other mergers that have recently taken place in the industry it should be obvious which ones will be successful and which ones may face challenges.

I’d like to comment on the AMD + ATI merger because I feel it will be a hot topic of discussion now that it’s official. I will also comment on the rumors about Nvidia + Intel – which I believe are nothing more than rumors and very unlikely to come to fruition. I will be adding a second part to this blog in the near future.

In the meantime, things between HP and Voodoo couldn’t be better. The honeymoon will soon be over however - and it will be time to make good on our plans.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rahul, I saw you speak at the HP Labs offsite in HmB last week. It was one of the most inspirational talks we have had in awhile, thank you for coming! Agreed with your assessment on buy-in.

Anonymous said...

Check this out. We are already seeing Dell's influence on Alienware. I sincerely hope you guys won't get pressured by HP. :/

http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=7113


^^ Is an article by Hexus.net who got contacted by Alienware. Alienware got angry, because Hexus posted a review of the Alienware Area-51 7500, which turned out to be a really expensive paperweight. Now, Alienware are threatening not to send anymore systems for Hexus to review unless Hexus can confirm that they get a "glowing" review before the publication of the review. Hexus' countered by revealing that Alienware was using these kinds of tactics. The shame.

I am glad that Voodoo Pc hasn't sold its soul to the devil. :)

Mr. X

Greg said...

Although Alienware is obviously wrongheaded in their assumption that you can buy good reviews by sending review systems, I can't help but note that Hexus response to this and certain allegations that specific writer made are a little outlandish. Yes, this does call into question other reviews that have been made of Alienware systems, but it doesn't sound like this is a new thing, and thus not Dell's fault (Mr. X actually implied this one), and that doesn't mean that every review that has ever been done of an alienware system was corrupt and highly biased. Chances are that alienware has been a little tight for profits, and has thus started trying to squeeze a bit more out of their consumers.

Robert said...

It’s great to see success from another fellow Southern Alberta technology company. Congratulations!

I can definitely see the advantages for VoodooPC being acquired by HP as there are endless opportunities for promotion, R&D, and professional development for the existing Voodoo team. I am still fuzzy on the benefits HP sees from this other than trying to keep pace with Dell. None of the blog posts since the announcement have put that piece together for me.

The market segments differ tremendously and neither Dell nor HP will be able to take the business model that has made them successful and apply that model to specialized gaming PC market. It is another example of a company reaching beyond their core competencies to satisfy the shareholder desire to keep pace with the Jones’ or making a jolt in the market to spur more action with the stock. At the end of the day the statistics on market share and sales might look pretty but a true look at the ROI has to raise questions.

Rahul best of luck, I wish you and your team nothing but success.

Robert S