Had a great day today – excellent discussion on the business – and discussion of execution, speed, deadlines, etc.   Basically, in 3 days, we are able to frame a business plan, with an execution deadline of Jan 1, 2011.   It will involve launching some 20 sites, over 5000 products.    Great project for me to sink my teeth into and I think a very rewarding project for the team back home.   Interesting logistics, fun product, great team from Germany to work with. 

The day was spent discussing various execution issues, market strategy, and a number of execution points.   We then explored business terms and had framed what I feel is a fair term sheet.   I can’t discuss the terms here in detail, however, overall, I have a feeling its going to be a fantastic partnership.   The most important part for me is that you have to like the people you will work with, and I very much enjoy Markus and Thomas.    I think today we all learned from each other – me, about cost of money at large corporate scale (very low cost), the importance of establishing banking relationships and importance of scale.   I think Thomas and Markus took away from me some of my management philosophy, tools I use to mange the business and the value I place on speed of execution.

Tomorrow we have a few hours to finalize the term sheet, establish financial controls, establish where the holding company will be formed and then move on with execution.    Amazing that we could put together a deal of this size (big for me, but maybe not so big for Markus and Thomas) in 3 days.   The opportunity I see is $10-20MM in sales over next few years – and we all agree that is within reach.

Its almost like RedStores was made for DLM and DLM made for us.  Each of our businesses has capabilities that the other one needs – and hence that gives us a terrific power to truly co-operate.  Both Thomas and I share the same philosophy that any contract is as good as the people behind it – and in that light – much of what we will pursue will be based on mutual trust and alignment.  

The day ended with lovely dinner at Francesca’s photo studio, with great food, great wine and very interesting conversation.   Some photos of Francesca studio are below.

Finishing the day now at 11PM – and starting tomorrow again at 7AM.  Plan for tomorrow, is to put together a budget for the site launches, work on the ‘Buy out terms’ and formulate the go-forward plan.

 001 002  004 005 006 007 009008