Alessandro Santo shares a post based on an Interview with Fredrik Cassel on Creandum on the connection with Spotify.

We first met Spotify in spring of 2007, and later Creandum Fund II led the firm’s first venture round of funding. Ten years later we’re hearing Creandum partner Fredrik Cassel brag too much about being user 700-something, so we we decided look at that moment where we first signed up. This interview can also be found on our website.

Creandum: So take us back and give us the Creandum/Spotify story. Thinking about timing, Creandum had just raised Fund II where the firm could start focusing on software and web, rather than the old focus on semiconductors and hardware in Fund I.

Fredrik Cassel: Yeah it was a wild start. I can still remember it because I’ve thought about it so many times.

It actually all started at my old school — the KTH school of Technology in Stockholm where I was sourcing new deals. I was watching a webcast of what had happened earlier in the day and there was this guy Andreas [Ehn, the first CTO of Spotify] on stage pitching this new company. He wasn’t saying anything about what they were doing but somehow it seemed very interesting. And I could tell from the audience that they had a lot of respect for the guy and the venture he was building, even though he didn’t say too much.

So I reached out to learn more. He said that the company was called Spotify but he wasn’t the guy I should speak to, I should talk to someone called Daniel. He put me in touch, I gave Daniel a call, and he asked me “Creandum — who are you guys?” and I gave the backdrop and told him what we were up to: changing the fund focus and really swinging for the fences.


Read the full article, 10 years later: Getting to know Spotify before Series A, on 



David A. Fields shares a post that is a must-read if you are considering partnering with another consulting firm to increase business.

There you are, polishing the sign in front of your catamaran and trying to attract consulting projects from the throngs of prospects meandering along the oceanfront. A boat-owner on the adjacent pier hails you: “Would you like to join forces? I’m sure we could catch more consulting clients together.” What do you think? Will adding more boats to your armada result in more clients?

Take a moment to look at the reality and rules of partnering.

(Note: This article was published in slightly different form in 2015. In the intervening years, I’ve obtained no new nautical knowledge, nor any greater misgivings about grossly overextending a metaphor.)

Reality: Prospects who want berths on ocean liners won’t choose

your skiff, even if it’s tied to a handful of others.

Many boutique consulting firms consider partnering to make themselves more attractive to buyers who lean toward big-name consultancies. “Companies don’t want a small shop like mine,” they reason. “Adding a confederate or two will make me a viable option for more projects.”

But heading in this direction misjudges the currents. Most prospects who will seriously consider a 50-person consulting firm will also hire a 15-person consulting firm, a five-person shop or even a solo practitioner.

In contrast, decision-makers who dismiss single-shingle consultants out of hand typically express equal disinterest in boutiques and loose networks of small players.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking a partner or two will convince a prospect to jump ship from his Crystal Cruises mega-steamer. You’re a different type of vessel, period. Take on the clients who appreciate your sleek lines.


Key points include:

  • Reaching prospects
  • Company values
  • Sharing opportunities


Read the full article, Partnering with another Consulting Firm, on



From David Burnie’s company blog, a ten-point checklist that can help make a post-merger integration successful.


For most companies, mergers do not occur regularly or recurringly, bringing with them a host of uncertainty and doubt. When two companies merge, it is a unique experience for both companies requiring a particular course of action, capabilities, and skills.

The Burnie Group team has supported numerous post merger integrations from $10M up to $1B across various industries, including insurance and financial services, professional services, pharma, beauty and cosmetics, software and technology, and senior living, to name a few.

Here are ten critical things to get right in every post-merger integration (PMI), no matter the merger type, size, or industry.

  1. Use the time leading up to the closing day wisely

The pre-closing period begins as soon as the due diligence is complete and both sides negotiate and agree upon the terms. Though this period may range from a couple of weeks to several months, we found that a typical pre-closing interval is between four and eight weeks. The pre-closing period is driven by the need to get all Day 1/Closing Day checkmarks in place, such as legal aspects, permits, financing, etc.

Knowing how much time is available before Closing Day will dictate the scope of work that can be realistically completed. From our experience, it takes at least a few days to get an integration project management office (PMO) and integration workstreams set up, including governance with roles and responsibilities.

Suppose you have only a couple of weeks. In that case, the scope of your pre-closing integration topics should focus on must-do legal aspects, financing, clear communication, and most urgent people-related topics.

If you have four to six weeks, a more detailed integration plan can be developed involving all relevant workstreams (e.g., technology, operations, sales and distribution, etc.)

If you have six to eight weeks, you will have the luxury of approaching Day 1/Closing Day in a very planned fashion. In addition to completing all of the above tasks, you can develop the target operating model for the integrated companies.

It is worth keeping in mind that the further out the Day 1/Closing Day, the more likely the merger news will slip through. Thus, the communication workstream should closely manage internal and external communication.


Key points include:

  • Friendly vs. hostile takeover
  • Human resource topics
  • The target operating model for the PMI


Read the full post, 10 Things You Must Know to Make Your Post Merger Integration a Success, on 



David Burnie’s company blog provides a plan for post-merger integration to help ensure a smoother process.


A post-merger integration or PMI is what happens following a merger or acquisition. PMIs are the complex process of combining and rearranging the merged businesses to find efficiencies and create synergies.


Points included in the article:


1: What makes a good PMI plan?

2: An example PMI plan

3: Common mistakes in a Post Merger Integration plan


Read the full copy of the Post Merger Integration Plan from the Post Merger Integration Knowledge Hub on The Burnie Group’s website.