The much-celebrated acquisition of BitTorrent by Tron seems to be on bumpy roads already, especially as far as retaining talent is concerned. In the recent news that is surfacing reports that two senior management employees which were from BitTorrent have already resigned. The report also states that three other employees that came to Tron from BitTorrent have also been fired.
Tron failing to retain talent a big blunder
In any acquisition, especially in software and technology, the key component of the business is talent. Being a critical part of the business, most acquisition in the history have failed or haven’t been able to add value is because the acquirer usually forgets that whatever he has acquired, was created by the key talent of that company. Tron too is going on same lines. Amongst the ones that have left Tron, post-acquisition is Bram Cohen, the man who created BitTorrent back in 2004. Bram Cohen has severed ties with BitTorrent after years of working to build his company tall and strong. Leaving his brainchild has raised questions and speculation that he might have been forced to leave the company.
Cohen told TorrentFreak, a blog that reports news about BitTorrent, that he no longer has an official role at the company, adding: “I have no involvement with Tron.” TorrentFreak also suggested that Cohen left because he was unhappy with the change in ownership.
Post-acquisition, as part of the agreement, the BitTorrent office moved to Tron’s premises in San Francisco and two organizations being culturally different, seems to have led to the friction.
Will Justin Sun be able to meet his vision with BitTorrent
BitTorrent dint comes to Tron easily. Justin Sun, the creator of the Tron blockchain platform, purchased BitTorrent in June 2018, following a ten-month negotiation process. News that TRON was interested in acquiring BitTorrent first emerged in May of this year when TorrentFreak reported that Justin Sun was pursuing the purchase. Talks between Justin Sun and BitTorrent allegedly began in September 2017; Sun is said to have signed a ‘letter of intent to acquire’ in January 2018.
The proceedings of the deal hit a rough patch between then and now when Justin Sun filed a temporary restraining order against BitTorrent for shopping around to other bidders. Justin Sun argued that BitTorrent had agreed not to pursue other offers. Eventually, the restraining order was lifted, and Justin Sun formed a legal entity called “Rainberry Acquisition LLC”
Sun’s vision with BitTorrent was clear and hence he had fought this long battle. During the acquisition news, he was quoted saying,
“By integrating the TRON network into BitTorrent, we aim to improve on the currently existing altruism. At this point, there are no incentives for peers who have completed downloading to continue to seed. We intend to extend rewards to peers who seed torrents, infusing more resources into the torrent ecosystem.”
Although Tron had some great vision with BitTorrent, they are definitely failing in retaining the talent that came as part of the BitTorrent. Will this be a good strategy or not only time will tell? But history says usually losing talent is not good for an acquisition.
Will Tron be able to still deliver on its aim of acquiring BitTorrent even after Cohen’s exit? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Follow him on Twitter at @KoinKing1 or connect with me on linkedin.