Comments on: Don’t buy that internet company http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/14/dont-buy-that-internet-company/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: johncabell http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/14/dont-buy-that-internet-company/comment-page-1/#comment-21945 Wed, 15 Dec 2010 16:13:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6569#comment-21945 You missed two of my all-time favorite internet acquisitions: Netscape, by AOL, and broadcast.com, by Yahoo.

But I suspect there are dozens of small companies we’ve never heard of that large companies buy to quickly fill gaps in a development project or to hasten a strategic goal, because buying is faster than building. They aren’t sexy but they are also unsung.

I agree that the big company buying the not-quite-as-big company is often doomed. There’s AOL again — buying Time Warner …

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By: Curmudgeon http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/14/dont-buy-that-internet-company/comment-page-1/#comment-21941 Wed, 15 Dec 2010 14:28:05 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6569#comment-21941 The question of building versus buying IP is always a tough one. If a company decides to get into a particular game, buying the IP can save months if not years of development time. However, the cultural fit is often bad, and the goals and directions of the two companies may be different, and can ultimately result in that IP not being used as it is intended. I’ve seen failures more often than I’ve seen successes.

Re: Foursquare, does anyone else find it a bit creepy to broadcast where you are at a given moment? I work at home, and my wife forbids me to put out of office messages on my business phone due to burglary concerns (the house is empty, bad guys). Foursquare seems to take that a step further by publicly letting it known precisely where you are at a given time. While this may not be a big deal if you live in a city apartment building, in more rural areas it seems foolish to let people know you are away.

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By: ARJTurgot2 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/14/dont-buy-that-internet-company/comment-page-1/#comment-21940 Wed, 15 Dec 2010 14:12:06 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6569#comment-21940 Disruptive technologies, generically. Hard for successful managers to admit that everything they know is wrong. But then, Felix, how many of your beliefs about the nature and future of the journalism business are wrong, and what career decisions are you making now that will be fatal, say 15 years out.

Business is a full contact sport.

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By: nicfulton http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/14/dont-buy-that-internet-company/comment-page-1/#comment-21932 Wed, 15 Dec 2010 05:36:20 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6569#comment-21932 Google “adwords vardi brin”, it seems to report that Yossi’s idea was important, if not actually the seed of the idea.

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By: nicfulton http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/14/dont-buy-that-internet-company/comment-page-1/#comment-21931 Wed, 15 Dec 2010 05:33:43 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6569#comment-21931 Interesting post. Not sure I agree on one thing. I remember Dodgeball as about finding where your friends are in order to meet up. Foursquare seems more about reporting where you are in order to state “I’m a regular”. There’s a bit of difference in those motivations and the latter seems more likely to end up profitable (since the venue may want to attract regulars rather than a sudden crowd).

In a similar vein it wasn’t Google the search engine that was sucessful it was Google the search-advertising engine. Given Excite was a portal, it would likely have been a disaster, but the Google that is a big company now isn’t the one they would have bought. The ‘idea’ that made the money came later (I was once told it came from Yossi Vardi in a casual conversation with Page and Brin).

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By: crocodilechuck http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/14/dont-buy-that-internet-company/comment-page-1/#comment-21930 Wed, 15 Dec 2010 04:18:51 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6569#comment-21930 Felix

Bullseye: you nailed it.

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By: LouFr http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/14/dont-buy-that-internet-company/comment-page-1/#comment-21929 Wed, 15 Dec 2010 03:12:04 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6569#comment-21929 Reddit didn’t need a pledge drive because they were “so badly neglected” by Conde Nast. They needed a pledge drive because the site isn’t profitable. Conde Nast has been artificially propping that site up for five years and it STILL hasn’t made a dime worth of profit.

Companies don’t buy sites so they can continue to throw good money after bad year after year after year. They buy sites because they hope to make a profit on them. After five years, it is now obvious to even the most optimistic dreamer that Reddit is a proven loser. In 2011 you will see Conde Nast dump that pig for pennies on the dollar.

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By: johnband http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/14/dont-buy-that-internet-company/comment-page-1/#comment-21927 Wed, 15 Dec 2010 00:44:13 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6569#comment-21927 What about if Blockbuster had bought Netflix for $50m *and* put Reed Hastings and his team in charge of all Blockbuster’s digital/online operations…?

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By: bleuz00m http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/14/dont-buy-that-internet-company/comment-page-1/#comment-21926 Tue, 14 Dec 2010 23:36:05 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6569#comment-21926 Felix, thanks for this. If only New York Times Digital had realized and further capitalized its “Abuzz” (a social/news community gone since ’04)? It was a much earlier Facebook and Twitter, with intense global reach and participation. NYTD owned it and, well, disabled it. Abuzz contributors’ efforts, alone, to locate those lost on 9/11 and to console its members around the world is now tucked away within the Library of Congress. -bleuz00m

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