Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post for the DNA Engine Blog by Mats Wolontis, CEO of Powerkiss.
Suspicion was my first reaction. Who are these guys and can I trust them?
Getting approached by a competitor who wants to buy your company certainly creates emotions. But at the same time, this was exactly what we had planned for! Together with the PowerKiss Board we decided already more than a year ago that a partnership in some form was necessary for our survival. We knew that if, and when, the business of wireless charging grows big enough, we would not survive on our own.
So here I was. Facing the full process of an acquisition and may I say, without any prior experience of such a process. Emotions ran high and the uncertainty of the whole due diligence process, and its outcome, certainly made my fingers tingle.
In hindsight it was all very systematic, albeit less so on the emotional side. You go through the full circle of transformation, from uncertainty to understanding, from despair to excitement and finally to a result. One need to keep one’s head cool, stay focused and try (yes, try!) to keep emotions out of the equation. My medicine at the end of the day was very simple, “kädet saveen”, meaning calm down and take one task at a time. Once you got the ball rolling, things got easier, some ups and downs naturally, but when you had decided to go, you go. And trust me, I learned a lot, that is for sure. Including that it helps a lot to have professionals onboard.
A long time ago in my earlier career I faced a very tough situation where I was appointed as a new head of a department and my first task was to fire almost half of the team. And I happened to be one of the youngest of us all. My father then taught me a simple thing, “you have to be able to take some distance”, and that was, to some extent, the end of my sleepless nights. Leadership is about being there, but also about being able to see the big picture and detaching yourself from the daily issues.
I love to learn new things, actually I love being in trouble again, or as I say, “being knee deep in shit”. There is nothing more exciting than crawling up and out and moving ahead. And doing this together with a team, big or small, and seeing its members build self-confidence, prosper and grow, is extremely gratifying.
“The Exit” was not The Target for PowerKiss. Our ambition was, and is, to offer the world a new and better solution to an old challenge. Working on that, and the added intellectual challenge of inventing new elements on top of the simple electrical charging mechanism, was extremely exiting. Remembering how I sometimes could lean back and see my team getting all over a task like a bunch of mad dogs, still makes me smile.
And then imagine having a bunch of people looking at you saying “now what”? My learning is that intuition, naturally also based on experience, takes you a long way. You have to have the answers, and if you don’t, be honest about it, keep the troops together and assure them that “we’ll fix it”. If I don’t know, I usually say it, and then move on to fix it.
For me this Exit journey was a magnificent learning process. It took me from confusion to excitement, from uncertainty to learning something new. And as the scorpion does, sometimes you need to sting to keep on moving and surviving. And learning something new is my fuel, my passion.
About DNA Engine
DNA Engine is a blog driven by innovations, startups and DNA’s continuous search for leading-edge partnerships. They enjoy seeing companies which are continuously coming up with new innovative products and services that shape their way of using technology. They blog about their own insights on mobile handset ecosystems, innovation-driving companies and ICT phenomena, but also invite interesting guest bloggers to share their views.