Here is a paragraph from a book (Zero to One):
But in February 2000, Elon and I were more scared about the rapidly inflating tech bubble than we were about each other: a financial crash would ruin us both before we could finish our fight. So in early March we met on neutral ground—a café almost exactly equidistant to our offices—and negotiated a 50-50 merger. De-escalating the rivalry post-merger wasn’t easy, but as far as problems go, it was a good one to have. As a unified team, we were able to ride out the dot-com crash and then build a successful business.
I didn't understand the sentence written in bold. I know what is the meaning of its words and phrases, but I couldn't understand the meaning of the whole sentence.