Felix Salmon

Mark Zuckerberg, the Warren Buffett of technology?

By Felix Salmon
March 26, 2014

What does Mark Zuckerberg think he’s doing, spending $2 billion on Oculus? You could take him at his word — that he sees virtual reality as “a new communication platform” where “truly present” people “can share unbounded spaces and experiences”. Basically, virtual is the new mobile, and Zuckerberg wants to get in on the game early.

Why BBVA is good for Simple

By Felix Salmon
February 20, 2014

Simple began in July 2009, but it took three years before it was ready to actually start sending its debit cards out to members of the public. And now, after just 18 months as a scrappy independent financial-services provider, it’s being bought, for $117 million, by Spanish banking giant BBVA.

Facebook’s horrible, stroke-of-genius IPO

By Felix Salmon
February 20, 2014

Two years ago, before Facebook went public, I wrote a feature for Wired with the title “For High Tech Companies, Going Public Sucks”. It was illustrated with this Mark Zuckerberg sadface:

When patient money is big money

By Felix Salmon
January 14, 2014

As a private company, we have concentrated on the long term, and this has served us well. As a public company, we will do the same…

When airlines don’t compete

By Felix Salmon
November 18, 2013

James Stewart is not happy about the settlement which allows American Airlines and US Airways to merge.

Why Yahoo-Tumblr makes sense

By Felix Salmon
May 20, 2013

Amidst all the positivity coming out of Yahoo and Tumblr, any self-respecting pundit is going to want to pour cold water on the whole deal. Especially since billion-dollar mergers almost never work out very well. But here’s the weird thing: the more I look at this tie-up, the more it makes sense to me.

Chart of the day: Warren Buffett’s bolt-ons

By Felix Salmon
February 26, 2012

bolt.tiff

Reading Warren Buffett’s latest shareholder letter, I was struck by the number of times he talked about bolt-on acquisitions — situations where one of his subsidiary companies makes an acquisition of its own. They’re mentioned six times in this letter, and then at the end he mentions a “tuck-in” acquisition, which is essentially the same thing.

What does Google want with Zagat?

By Felix Salmon
September 8, 2011

Why is Google buying Zagat, a company which has failed miserably online, rather than, say, Yelp or Tripadvisor? I suspect a lot of the reason has to do with its pseudoscientific ratings, on a 30-point scale: Google loves being able to quantify stuff. But those ratings are silly: they’re not at all comparable between markets (try a sushi joint in Long Island and then compare it to one in New York City with an identical food rating), and they suffer from enormous inflation.

How being public eases acquisitions

By Felix Salmon
May 10, 2011

The acquisition of Skype by Microsoft comes just in time for the Capitalyze conference in San Francisco, which I’m sure will be talking about this: