A couple of questions to consider in acquisition

When your CEO goes to buy another company, the chances are they’re going to ask you, their trusted technical advisor, to have a look and decide if their technology is worth acquiring. Now, I’ve never heard of an acquisition stopping at this point, but I suppose it could affect the offering price. Here are some questions that are relevant:

  1. How is the company protecting their intellectual property? What patents does the company hold? What are the relevant patents in the space, and why does this company not infringe on those patents?
  2. How much can the company and their systems scale? Can they readily accommodate the increased demands of an amalgamated company? What are their plans for scaling beyond the handful of customers they have today?  Has this scaling been proven?
  3. What is the state of the company’s equipment?  Is it leased or owned, how much life is left in it?
  4. What are the development processes that are currently in place?

Any company should be able to provide you with a number of architectural diagrams.  I would look for logical and deployment views to get you started.  There should also be a good entity relationship diagram for each database.

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