It’s the goal of many founders – create a company, grow it into something meaningful, and sell it to a global behemoth. You earn yourself a nice paycheck, a job at the acquiring company, and the adulations of the tech press.
But things don’t stay that way for ever.
Rus Yusupov had cofounded Vine in 2012, and had later sold it to Twitter for $30 million (Rs. 200 crore). He’d even got a job at Twitter, but that didn’t last – he was laid off a year ago.
And in the ultimate indignity, he reportedly didn’t know that the social network he’d cofounded was shutting down. He learnt it from Twitter’s blogpost, just like everyone else.
Then Rus sent out a simple, yet meaningful Tweet.
Don’t sell your company!
— Rus (@rus) October 27, 2016
His tweet has gone viral, and has tons of replies asking him take back control. Some have even suggested buying back Vine from Twitter, and others have asked him to use the IP to create a similar service.
Twitter’s shutting down of Vine appears to have to do more with the troubles it faces as a company, rather than Vine’s underperformance. Sure, Vine never made a profit, but it had a loyal, active fanbase. Twitter, on the other hand, has hurtled from scandal to scandal in recent times, with a lawsuit alleging insider share pricing, being passed over for acquisition by all its suitors, and in the latest development, firing 9% of its workforce.
Rus is clearly rueing his decision to sell early and cash out – he got fired from Twitter, and now his company has since been shut down. Had he tried to stick it out for a little while longer, he might’ve still been in charge – and Vine might’ve still been alive.