Grow or Die

One of the problems with being a public company is the pressure to Grow or Die. The shareholders want growth to justify a higher multiple for the share price. The executive staff wants growth to satisfy their ambitions. And the employees want growth to fuel promotions and raises. Unfortunately, organic growth is hard. It’s tempting to grow by acquisition. And it’s way too easy to make a stupid acquisition.

Of course, hindsight is 20-20. In real life, the executive staff is blinded by confidence in their ability to lead the acquistion to success. And the reward for success out weighs the penalty for failure. I suspect that if the current focus on executive accountability continues, then we’ll see fewer stupid acquisitions. But if the accountability spotlight goes out, then all bets are off.