Welcome to another episode of CTO Studio! Today I wanted to share my friend Krijn van der Raadt’s wisdom with you. Today Krijn (sounds like crime but with an “n” instead of an “m”) helps businesses maximize their exit strategy. But before starting this business he had several acquisition and due diligence experiences as a CTO.
On this episode, you’ll hear what he’s learned about integrating teams, his advice for going through the due diligence process as a CTO and his recommendations for things you can do right now to make that process easier down the road.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- Why being transparent during the due diligence process is critical.
- Why did they stick with a flip phone even as smart phones became popular?
- Is the due diligence process about more than just the technology?
- When should you start preparing if you are thinking of selling your company?
- Why you can’t just buy technology without the people supporting it.
- And so much more!
Originally from The Netherlands, Krijn met now lives in San Diego with his San Diego native wife and their family. His education includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field of technology, including a year spent at UCSD.
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His first job was in Holland working at a small dev shop building ecommerce sites. He joined there as a team lead after finishing his undergraduate degree and eventually took on bigger and bigger leadership roles (including being CIO) as the team grew in size and scope.
When I asked if he has a set way of integrating incoming teams from acquisitions, he gives one particular example. When the company he worked at acquired a small start-up, Krijn’s company was around 1200 people and the start-up was very small.
So Krijn and his staff were mindful of the incoming employees, making sure they wanted to stick around. Because of that they didn’t make an org chart and split up the start-up employees to fill in the chart.
Instead they took it easy and made sure the leaders from the incoming team stayed on staff. Krijn and his people tried to make it as easy as possible for the acquired team to get used to the larger company.
Krijn explains it’s important to be mindful of where the incoming company employees are coming from and to do everything to make those people feel at home and at ease. If you don’t do that you’ll have a much bigger mess to clean up later.
In a situation like that people feel insecure about their future and they are in unfamiliar territory so you want to make sure they don’t leave right away. If you buy a company and everyone from that company leaves it is very hard to make something good out of that company.
On this episode of CTO Studio, we also talk about his role as CTO in the Great Call acquisition along with his advice for anyone who goes through the same process.
Krijn says the first time they went through the due diligence process it was awful. He had asked for advice from investment bankers about how best to prepare for the process. They were helpful on the business side but he was on his own on the technical side.
But that first exposure was helpful later on. It became their roadmap for fixing issues and it also helped Krijn better prepare himself and his team to go through the process next time.
On that note, I asked if he would give a few of his own recommendations that CTOs can do right now to make the due diligence process easier down the road. You can hear those recommendations directly from Krijn when you tune in to this episode of CTO Studio!