What’s the shrewdest, smartest maneuver you’ve ever seen in business?


Answer by David Mayes:

I will sanitize this Silicon Valley story. A very large technical workstation company tried to bully a smaller workstation company I worked for. The big company was OEM‘ing the small company’s superior technology. The big company stopped paying their bills, running up a huge delinquent payable amount, believing they could leverage the small company into additional concessions. We met with them secretly over Thanksgiving in our offices. In an arrogant gesture, the big company tried to offer 1/3 of their delinquent payables. We literally threw the very large handwritten check back at them and told them to leave. A week later the full delinquent amount was paid, and they complimented us, saying “nothing had impressed them more, than when we threw the check back at them. The supreme irony was that the two senior execs who had flown from Boston to Silicon Valley to meet with us over the holiday weekend, never bothered to look at our financials before trying their arrogant scheme. We had $65 Million in cash in the bank.”

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