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July 25, 2008

Comments

Zach

Congratulations on the merger! Sounds like a good pairing from both sides and which will only grow to become a stronger entity.

All in all, you're right: it's difficult to hear "merge" or "acquire" without immediately thinking of negative connotations, but this seems like a true Voltron move to me.

I look forward to hearing big things from you!

Adam Cohen

Thanks Zach, I appreciate it. We're all very excited about it. I really love the Voltron analogy and will be using that one.

nick huhn

Congrats, Adam! Sounds like a good blend of talent and creativity. Please let me know when I can help with establishing the Louisville office. :) Keep up the great work!

Rob Montilla

Adam, I've been through an acquisition three times (all at the same company). A few things come to mind from my experience...

* Corporate culture mindset. East Coast HQ'ed companies seem to have a much more business formal mentality than other regions. Shirt and tie with very rigid disciplines. The end goal is the same in terms of driven to success of course but there was always a more formal air about the companies which is challenging for the "mergees" not based in the East. This could be different with digital marketing agencies as they have a culture all their own but I have seen the East Coast style not necessarily translate well with Midwestern style.

* Mergers and acquisitions are anything but a merger of equals. Someone always comes out on top. One of the acquiring companies in my past injected their leadership at the top of my former employer until they sold the company. Another acquiring company injected some of their folks at a layer below the CEO. These examples are both in a parent corporation scenario. However, look no further than the fiasco of the Time Warner/AOL "merger" -- you don't have a bunch of people with big ideas and big personalities ultimately happy to play nice together. Someone has to win.

* Don't let the "settling" that occurs from the merger/acquisition cloud the fun and great work to be had by the new opportunities. As leadership of the new entity stakes out which piece(s) of the new business they want to drive, others in the company can get very territorial as they become nervous about job security. Emphasize and show the staff how fun it will be to explore new verticals or new technology -- this is the core of why you merged in the first place. The broader staff need to tangibly see the benefits early and often.

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