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>They can tell him that they're interested in an aqui-hire before hand.

I thought that I covered this in my comment under the "dumb" option. I don't mean to be disparaging, but I'm not sure how else to take the suggestion, so switching to a not-great analogy:

Your suggestion is sorta like saying that people should walk into a car dealership and say "I want to buy this car. No, not that one. THIS car." It's a classic negotiating fail. If you know they're going to buy the car/company, you're going to milk them.

Of course, FB may think that THIS car/startup is absolutely perfect to acquire, but it's unrealistic to expect them to reveal that bit of info.

And if they won't sell it to you, you walk away. Classic negotiating success, which is what Caldwell did here.

It just so happens that what FB were selling was a position of some repute within their organization, which they not only failed to do, but they misrepresented the product in the first place.

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