Archive for the ‘acquisitions’ Category

Who Will Still Be Dominating in 5 Years?

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Looking ahead to 2013, I wonder who will still be around (and thriving) in the online world. Obviously, the major players (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, eBay, Amazon) come to mind initially. Will this be the case? It is hard to say. But I can’t see any of those names dropping off the radar in an abrupt, dramatic fall. An acquisition, however, may eradicate one of those names from the list.

From a more interesting and debatable perspective, which current start-ups may become the major players of tomorrow?

Twitter? Joost? Pownce? Mahalo? Tumblr? Who are the true “game-changers”?

I could share my picks, but I’d rather hear yours… Keep in mind that we’re thinking about long-term sucess, not short-term hype.

10 Web Predictions for 2008

Monday, December 31st, 2007

In light of all the recent prediction posts for 2008, I present to you my list:

1. Google misses an earnings estimate; the stock drops a couple hundred bucks a share in one day.

2. An increasing number of mainstream musicians drop their record labels and sell directly online.

3. The term “web 2.0″ is outlawed.

4. The “semantic web” and start-ups in the space continue to stumble.

5. Twitter is acquired.

6. Facebook continues to set the bar and dominate the social networking space.

7. Technorati continues to suck.

8. Open ID takes off; more sites embrace the standard.

9. Google launches a job site (or acquires one… SimplyHired? Indeed?).

10. Wikipedia gains widespread credibility and acceptance.

Bonus: 37signals is acquired (long shot).

What do you think will happen in 2008? Am I on target or way off?

Digging for a Deal

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Digg logoSocial news site Digg is up for sale. VentureBeat first reported the story, claiming a reliable source confirmed the company’s plans. The source goes on to say that Digg has hired Allen & Company, a private investment firm, to help broker a potential deal. The asking price is said to be in the range of $300 million.

The story really comes as no surprise to the blogosphere. Speculation about an acquisition has been swirling for months. The difference this time is that Digg is actively seeking an acquisitor, rather than fielding potential offers. This new tactic seems a bit desperate to me.

What is the company’s motivation to sell? Is traffic slowing down? Is Digg worried about the threat of new entrants and/or current competitors? Are revenues bleak at best? My guess is that Adelson and Rose figure the company is at its peak, both in terms of popularity and dominance. If that is the case, then Digg, in theory, should be able to negotiate the highest possible valuation. Having said that though, shopping around seems to put the acquisitor in a position of bargaining power.

I love Digg and I hope it sticks around for a long time. I also think it’s a great consumer-oriented, media play for any large company looking to make a mark in the space. What is currently happening behind the scenes is beyond me. But as I say, I think Adelson and Rose may be looking for a change. The world of venture capital may be awaiting. What about new start-ups? Oh yeah… then there’s Pownce

YouAre.TV is For Sale… on eBay

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Once again, the eBay M&A machine continues to churn out potential takeover candidates. YouAre.TV has put itself up for sale on the popular auction site. This isn’t the first time a company has done such a thing, and it definitely won’t be the last.

The company doesn’t go into much detail about the sale on their blog. However, in the auction description, the founders go on to say, “We are only selling b/c we have moved on to new a project, and we don’t quite have the resources to support both anymore.” I’m not a cynic and I hate to jump to conclusions, but it sounds like this project didn’t pan out. If the site is indeed growing like they say, then they should still be hammering away at it.

One big downfall of the site, in my opinion, is its close semblance to YouTube. Both share the term “you” in their names. Both share a similar TV-like logo. Both compete in the ‘video community’ space. I’d wager that many new visitors immediately come to the conclusion that YouAre.TV is simply another YouTube clone. It’s sad, but true.

Kiko was one of the first small start-ups (that I can remember) to put itself up for sale on eBay. It received a huge amount of PR and press, and was eventually sold to Tucows for over $200,000. Not bad. My guess is that YouAre.TV is trying to capitalize on the same type of PR scenario. The difference is that the novelty is gone - it’s been done before. A new way to sell your online business is via Sitepoint Marketplace. This is how TechCrunch bought InviteShare.

What’s most interesting of all is that the company claims to have received a $100,000 offer for the domain itself by a major media firm. The company says they refused that offer. That seems like a ridiculously high offer for a mediocre domain. If indeed the offer were legitimate though, why would the company turn it down?

Currently, the whole package is up for sale on eBay at a starting price of $25,000 and there are NO bids thus far. Perhaps they should have just taken the $100,000 and cut their losses…

Do you think eBay is a legitimate, respectable way to sell a company? Or do you think that such a strategy takes away from the brand value and perception?

How YouTube Has Harnessed The Network Effect

Monday, December 10th, 2007

YouTube logo

Initially, it may not seem apparent how YouTube could harness the Network Effect. But upon further inspection, it becomes quite clear. The basic premise is this: I know that no matter what video I’m looking for, YouTube will have it 99.99% of the time. In other words:

“With every user added and video uploaded, the whole network becomes more valuable to all.”

It will be extremely hard for any other video sharing site(s) to play catch-up at this point. YouTube is just so far ahead. The amount of content almost seems insurmountable. Much in the same as eBay, as YouTube grows, the whole network becomes more powerful.

I believe this to be the biggest reason why YouTube has become the leading video sharing site on the net and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate.