would have been awesome had this happened a year or two ago when the company was on the upswing, not shortly-to-be-passÃ©.
Part of the problem with tech industry is that company lifecycles are shortening even faster than product lifecycles.
If it takes two or three years between the decision to go public and the actual IPO (plus another 6-12 month lockout period afterwards), and a company can only exist for 5-10 years before it becomes obsolete, the time between the decision to exit and the actual exit takes up a huge portion of the company's arc.
The VCs who backed GRPN and ZNGA made bank. Almost nobody else did. Sometimes you get lucky, like GOOG and LNKD, who raised enough capital to wall themselves off from competition. Sometimes a company can re-invent itself, like AAPL, AMZN and NFLX. Sometimes, you can find a sucker willing to pay top dollar for a worthless asset - MySpace had a good exit and left someone else holding the bag.
But those are the rare successes. Most of the time, the founder rides the rocket all the way up and all the way down to the ground, and even he ends up getting a fraction of what could have been made if he'd only shopped the company out earlier.
It's incredibly difficult to build a sustainable business in this industry. If you catch the big industry cycles: mainframe to micro, micro to client-server, client-server to cloud (mainframe), you can do so. Get out of sync with the industry fads - whether you're 1-2 years early or 1-2 years late - and your company will not outlast the pendulum swing. The optimum strategy is to find a fad, slap something together for $X, and try your damndest to get acqui-hired for $2X in a 1-2 year timeframe. Lather, rinse, repeat. If it's so important to be a CEO, sell the damn company anyways, and use the money you made off the last one to start the next one.