Monday, August 12, 2002

Hostile Takeovers ... Part II

What do hostile takeovers have to do with entrepreneurship? In 1988 Fred Friendly did a series of videos, which he called "Ethics in America." One of those videos is the best television piece on hostile takeovers ever done, in my view. Called "Anatomy of a Hostile Takeover," the video has a panel of high-profile participants -- including Warren Buffett, T. Boone Pickens, Rudy Giuliani, and Joe Flom -- working through a hypothetical hostile transaction. When the moderator asks infamous "raider" Sir James Goldsmith to describe what he does, he compares hostile takeovers to entrepreneurial startups and asserts that "one is just as productive as the other." Fifteen years later, still riding the wake of the internet stock bubble, I miss Sir James.