It’s never been easier to buy and sell startups.

Bernardo Montes de Oca

Here’s a fascinating tidbit: 50% of US small businesses and startups are owned by people 55 or older. Many of them have no succession plan. Now, that’s potential, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the rest of the world behaves similarly. So, why not get one of those companies for yourself?  

Having a startup is daunting and can lead to some dark times. So, there’s the idea of a buy-up instead of a startup. As its name suggests, it consists of buying something already started. So, you “skip” specific steps and already have a product that works and an established customer base. 

Platforms such as Microacquire have risen in popularity. These allow you to buy and sell startups (or part of them) in, what seems to be, a safe environment. There’s total anonymity, and buyers must have a rating and evaluation. Since 2020, Microacquire has grown to more than 100,000 users and 2,000 companies for sale. 

If you do your homework, you might buy something that turns out great, but don’t think it’s an easy ride. You’ve skipped some steps and have shortened the learning curve, but now, you have to keep the company alive. 

Move over, Big Quit, Big Fire is here! 

One year ago, the world was obsessed with the “Great Resignation.” People left their jobs and shifted towards having a larger sense of control over what they wanted from work. The reasons for this seismic shift seemed evident at the time - while under lockdown we discovered that a 9-to-5 schedule plus commute wasn’t our thing anymore. Fast forward one year, and no one could’ve predicted the chaos in the past months. 

Rampant inflation and economic uncertainties are just some of the factors shifting our work lives but from another angle. Now, it’s taking a toll on companies. As they strive to survive, and some can’t, it’s the company’s turn to take to the chopping block. 

Layoffs, especially in the startup world, have gotten so bad that there’s a layoff tracker. Big names Cameo, Bolt and On Deck, are downsizing, and I can’t help but feel sad about this. As much as the startup world is competitive, we don’t like seeing these layoffs: these are real people with financial needs. So, I tried to look at some of the positive numbers in all of this. 

Good employees are hard to find, and startups are looking for them. In the US alone, there was two job openings for every unemployed person by the end of April. Talent is still king, and it’s harder to find these days. The US added 428,000 jobs last month and managed to keep the unemployment rate similar to prepandemic times. As far as tech goes, there’s a surprising phenomenon -jobs aren’t coming from Silicon Valley anymore.

We’re going through considerable change these days, and it calls for a shift in strategy. First of all, it’s time to ditch the idea that all jobs will come from traditional markets. Then, it’s time to shift the focus. One year ago, many were quitting because they looked for something valuable for themselves, whereas now the challenge is proving yourself useful for startups. Trust me, they’re looking for you. (And if you’re based in Costa Rica we are looking to add a few people to our own team)

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Bernardo Montes de Oca
Content creator in love with writing in all its forms, from scripts to short stories to investigative journalism, and about almost every topic imaginable.
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