Idan Cohen on Selling a Startup After Six Years in Business

In Chapter 10 of 13 in his 2013 Capture Your Flag interview, technology entrepreneur Idan Cohen answers "What Was It Like to Sell the Company That You Co-founded?" On one hand, Cohen finds selling his company Boxee to Samsung a relief after six years grinding away in a startup life. Through the ups and downs he also finds going through the acquisition process a challenge, from managing uncertainty to managing expectations with employees.

Idan Cohen is a technology entrepreneur and product management leader at Samsung Electronics. He co-founded Boxee, which was acquired by Samsung in early 2013. 


Erik Michielsen: What was it like to sell the company that you cofounded?

Idan Cohen: I think that the main thing was relief. It was a lot of responsibility that you felt like, “phew, it's now, you know, someone else's.” I don't need to get-- you know, wake up tomorrow or go to sleep tonight and think about this, that, you know, and all of those things that just keep grinding you daily when you run your own business. And I think that was the most-- that was the feeling, the most significant feeling that I had.

Erik Michielsen: Did you expect to feel that way?

Idan Cohen: No, I don't think so. Maybe I know that now, but, yeah, I wasn't expecting exactly that kind of feeling. You know, the whole processes can be gut wrenching, and there's ups and downs, and also, around acquisition, it takes time, and there is a lot of uncertainty. And it's also not-- just not easy to keep the team aligned as you are going through this because, you know, they don't know what's happening, but everyone feels what's happening, and it's hard to keep everyone going and you know, working at the same pace.