Freakouts Should Not Go Viral

A while back a portfolio company of ours was working on a critical deal. The deal team was the chairman and the CEO of our portfolio company and me. It was one of those deals that had quite a few twists and turns. It almost fell apart several times.

A few days before the deal was to close, I got a short voice mail from the CEO of the company we were doing the deal with. It simply said "call me." I picked up that voice mail around 10pm and I thought it was too late to call. So I tossed and turned all night thinking the deal was dead.

At 8am the next morning, I called the CEO. Turns out he wanted to talk about something completely different. And at the end of the call, he said "how's our deal going?" I told him "just fine."

Then I picked up the phone and called the Chairman and CEO of our portfolio company. I told them the story, how I had freaked out when I got the voice mail, how I had tossed and turned all night, and how it turned out to be nothing. They laughed and thanked me for not sharing the voice mail with them the night before. I acknowledged the wisdom of that decision and added that "freakouts should not go viral".

UPDATE: Our very own Andy Swan has posted his version of the freakout that ends a bit differently than my story.