Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2009 (Revised February 2011)

"Lather, Rinse, Repeat": FeedBurner's Serial Founding Team

by Noam T. Wasserman and Eric Olson


"Is this the right time or is it still too early?" Dick Costolo wondered as he reflected on the latest acquisition offer. He had been building FeedBurner with his three co-founders for almost four years and was staring at the details of an acquisition offer from Google. He and his co-founders had founded three prior ventures together, each of which had had increasingly attractive outcomes, but none of which had reached their full potential. The number on the table from Google was a big one. Should the deal be completed, it would be the biggest win the founding team had ever had. However, was this the right time to exit? If Costolo didn't think so, would he be able to convince his co-founders who all had different personal risk profiles? This was going to be the biggest decision in the life of FeedBurner and its co-founders.

Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Business Exit or Shutdown; Decision Choices and Conditions; Entrepreneurship; Negotiation Offer; Groups and Teams;


Wasserman, Noam T., and Eric Olson. "Lather, Rinse, Repeat": FeedBurner's Serial Founding Team. Harvard Business School Case 809-089, February 2009. (Revised February 2011.)