What is the sound of one hand clapping you ask? Ah grasshopper, it may just be my conversation with a potential candidate while explaining the synergies between their professional accomplishments, and how they might leverage the opportunity I am presenting as the next leg of their journey to career nirvana (assuming they tend to think big).
Few forms of executive search are more intriguing / demanding, than recruiting early innings management talent for hot, stealth mode companies. Imagine you have a great story to tell, and while your voice is fully functional, you can’t quite let the punch line rip (yet…). Well that’s what conducting a stealth search feels like… exciting in a Zen kind of way…
It’s like a high stakes pantomime word game absent the body English; verbally gesturing to a potential candidate, but with one hand tied behind your back (unable to reveal the client’s identity, beta customers, and capitalization table).
Intriguing to note that some of the most successful liquidity events McIntyre Associates has been involved with went down in stealth/category creation mode. What we gave up by way of ease of recruiting was balanced via advantages gained flying under the radar of competitors.
Selected examples of successful exits launched in stealth mode include:
@mobile.com acquired by Software.com; Mobile VAS / Wireless Internet IM, Category Creation – 1st liquidity event in the space
Foundstone acquired by McAfee; VA / Security Software Products & Services, Category Creation – 1st liquidity event in the space
MeshNetworks acquired by Motorola; Wireless Mesh Networking Architectures, Category Creation – 1st liquidity event in the space
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Hell yes – the sound of risk takers laughing all the way to the bank!