David Hornik writes about the dilemma faced by early-stage companies which receive buyout offers from the likes of Google and Yahoo:
To my mind, these acquisition offers are just like the new TV game show Deal or No Deal.
Entrepreneurs who receive acquisition offers early in the lifetime of their companies are essentially faced with the same conundrum as that posed in Deal or No Deal. Relatively little information has been revealed about the long term value of the company, yet the entrepreneur must decide whether or not to take the offer and, in essence, stop playing the game. As can be seen from the game show itself, in many instances taking the deal early on is a good idea because as each new briefcase is opened, the perceived value of the case being held by the contestant goes down, as do the buyout offers from the Banker. However, in many other instances, as time goes on and risk is removed (all the low numbered briefcases are picked), the buyout offers from the Banker increase to substantial dollar values.