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This article was published on May 11, 2009


    Alcohol: a Business Tool?

    Alcohol: a Business Tool?
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    CEO and co-founder, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”
    John F. Kennedy

    In 1999 I found myself in a bar, in Monaco, together with my business partners and a lawyer. We were slowly getting drunk. Since we were planning to sell our company for millions the next day I asked the lawyer if we shouldn’t try to stay sober to avoid a hangover. He replied that the best way to go into a negotiation is with a hangover.

    His theory: The unpleasant physical effects following the heavy use of alcohol actually work to your advantage during a tough negotiation. Seemingly uninterested you will be slouched in your chair, responding slowly and talking softly and looking generally unhappy with whatever the other party proposes.

    I’m still not sure if this strategy is the right one and I would advise to keep your head clear for any serious conversation. However, at that moment it relieved some of the tension we had towards the conversation the next day and I always think about that story when I am preparing for an important meeting…