WWYD Objectives: Commentary

WWYD – Objectives  (Back to WWYD Question)

General Commentary — Carol is asking Al and Bob to analyze their goals and start to decide on specific deal terms or variables.  This is an important step for bringing the two sides closer together.  If they are realistic and honest, their answers might look like this:


ST Goal:  Turn my business plan into a product that is ready to be sold.

LT Goal:  Establish company as industry leader in on HR and Training solutions for Fortune 500.   IPO or strategic partnership with major consultant, publisher or media firm.

Deal Killer:  Lack of technical skills, experience or ability.

Top 3 priorities:

Technical abilities of potential partner

CEO role for himself

Company structured for rapid growth (prototype, funding, roll-out)


ST Goal:  Financial security for his family

LT Goal:  A solid position that will ensure long-term security for his family.  Equity position in an established firm.

Deal Killer:  Risk of negative cash flow

Top 3 priorities

Financial security

Creative independence

Run the technical team

How far apart are their goal systems?  As they are written down, it seems that they are pretty far apart.  But if you look more closely, there are a few assumptions built in that may be standing in the way of a creative solution.

What are the assumptions that each side is building in?

Start with Al.  What do we know about him already, and what can affect his negotiating effectiveness?

First of all, he already sees the business as his.  He doesn’t seem to have a very respectful attitude towards engineers and technical people — he seems to gauge their worth by how well they can execute his plans.  He is working off the assumption that his program will be relatively simple to commercialize and roll out.  Al doesn’t seem to see his partners as a source of creativity or constructive ideas.

Question:  If Al had to choose between succeeding and being the boss, what would he choose?   

Bob doesn’t seem to fit the profile of a trail-blazing entrepreneur — but he does have skills and talents that make him a “good catch” for a start-up team.  He has technical skills and high-level industry experience.  His risk-averse attitude are going to be very important.  If he feels that this deal can enhance his security instead of risking it, he might be more willing to sign on.

Question:  How secure does Bob feel in his present position?  How is this affecting his decision-making?

Review Al and Bob’s goals and top demands, and decide what YOUR next step would be in dealing with each of them.

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