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IPOs Getting Rare

Selling to a larger company is now the way to go. Know how to guide your company to a great sale.
January 20, 2009

It probably looks like a long way from where you and your company are now to where Bill Gates and Microsoft are. And it's further than you think, says Jon B. Fisher, entrepreneur and author of Strategic Entrepreneurism. That's because IPOs--the traditional way entrepreneurs and venture capitalists fund growth and eventually cash out--have grown increasingly rare. "The model has to change," says Fisher, who has started two companies and, rather than going public, sold them to larger acquirers. Startups today should strive to emulate that model rather than the example set by Microsoft, Google and other entrepreneurial icons, he says. He offers these tips for guiding your company to a great sale: