MIT Professor Larry Susskind. Image: Ed Quinn
Image: Ed Quinn

The path to entrepreneurial success is paved with complex business negotiations—a situation many inventors are unprepared to navigate, according to MIT professor of urban and environmental planning and negotiation expert Larry Susskind.

In an article for Tech Crunch, Susskind identifies four common pitfalls encountered by entrepreneurs, and suggests strategies to overcome them.

  • Keep your emotions and ego in check. Don’t let your personal biases undermine an agreement; be willing to bring in mediators to help reach decisions.
  • Help investors understand the value of your technology. Learn to explain technically complex ideas in a way the other side can understand.
  • Expect uncertainty. Whether choosing a board of directors or selecting office space, reaching a mutually beneficial agreement will involve a complicated bargaining process.
  • Be honest and trustworthy. Don’t sacrifice important long-term relationships for the sake of a short-term “win.”

Read the full article at Tech Crunch. Hear Susskind’s advice to a listener on The Self-Employed podcast.

Susskind teaches the online course “Entrepreneurial Negotiations: The MIT Way.” Classes start April 26.

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