Learn from the Mistakes of Others

Notes on Negotiation
Submitted by Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute  

In a New York Times post about the success of recent high-profile entrepreneurs at retaining equity in their companies, Steven Davidoff concludes “[t]hese entrepreneurs appear more savvy than earlier Internet moguls, but their success owes thanks in large part to an old guard in Silicon Valley that is eagerly advising the new generation on the pitfalls” of selling their equity too quickly or cheaply.

Precedent – what has happened in the past in similar negotiations – is a powerful independent standard for determining what is now “fair and reasonable.”  It can also help you identify and avoid the errors committed by your predecessors.  So when preparing for significant negotiations, take the time to research previous similar situations and learn from the mistakes of others.

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Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or Latz@ExpertNegotiator.com

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