What you need to know
- David Hodge founded Embark.
- The company was later aquired by Apple.
- But not without a ton of stress along the way.
If you've ever wondered what it's like to have your company bought by Apple, now you have the closest thing you're likely to get to an answer. Dave Hodge, founder of map app Embark, has been tweeting how things went down when Apple picked his company up in 2013 before rolling it into Apple Maps.
As you might expect, the whole thing wasn't a fun experience. At least during the time between Apple saying it was interested and all of the documents being signed.
Oddly, it seems Apple had Hodge and his team visit 1 Infinite Loop without telling them that it was considering an acquisition.
When things did get moving and Apple was doing due diligence, things got complicated. The mountain of paperwork that comes with such an undertaking doesn't sound like anything we'd call fun. And neither would Hodge.
2. What’s it like to sell your company? Well, it’s a hellish process that might kill your company if it doesn’t work. Also, there’s lots of paperwork.
This is what my dining room table looked like on day 1 of diligence. pic.twitter.com/2u3I8hCIEU2. What’s it like to sell your company? Well, it’s a hellish process that might kill your company if it doesn’t work. Also, there’s lots of paperwork.
This is what my dining room table looked like on day 1 of diligence. pic.twitter.com/2u3I8hCIEU— David Hodge (@DavidHodge) October 8, 2019October 8, 2019
And of course, doing deals like this isn't cheap. In fact, it's downright costly with almost $200,000 racked up in legal bills before the acquisition completed.
4. Not only had we burned three months of runway distracted by negotiations, we also managed to rack up $195,000 in legal bills for a deal that might not close. Our runway went from a comfortable ~16 months to 8.
We tried to keep shipping momentum up. Pictured: Embark HQ pic.twitter.com/03mzh5TVe74. Not only had we burned three months of runway distracted by negotiations, we also managed to rack up $195,000 in legal bills for a deal that might not close. Our runway went from a comfortable ~16 months to 8.
We tried to keep shipping momentum up. Pictured: Embark HQ pic.twitter.com/03mzh5TVe7— David Hodge (@DavidHodge) October 8, 2019October 8, 2019
All of the stress ultimately manifested in physical health problems for Hodge. He goes on to explain that he wasn't sleeping well and suffered from a painful jaw because he was grinding his teeth in his sleep. With the team unable to tell their friends or family what was happening, the strain must have been considerable.
Ultimately the deal was completed, but not without some hiccups along the way. And even when it was done nobody could say anything and they held a party for a cat instead.
It's like a bad spy movie, but at least this one had a happy ending.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.