Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
umair haque  


Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

2.0 Hysteria

I appreciate a Web 2.0 sanity check as much (more) than anyone else. Hopefully, I've been responsible for more than my fair share.

But this kind of thing is (way) over the top:

"...That�s the first indicator that this was a teeny-weeny deal. When people sell-out in a big-money acquisitions, they usually can�t help but tell that trusted someone, who tells another trusted someone, who passes the word onto another trusted someone and so on until a pretty reasonable picture emerges as to roughly what was paid.

The fact that no-one�s bragging on this one, suggests that, well, there ain�t much to brag about.

More telling though is that I�ve been chatting to a company who is a significant player in this whole web-office space and they swears blind they�ve not even had a nibble from Google. Not a single call, e-mail or overture. Nada.

...How much is a �reasonable subscription feed�. If you look at paid services like Trumba or BackPack we�re probably talking about $50 per year. So best case, we�re looking at revenues around the $50,000 per year mark. We�re not even close to covering the four Writely salaries at those levels."

Positive hysteria (a la the TechCruch commenters) is as counterproductive as this kind of negative hysteria.

For those to whom it's not obvious...

First, "teeny-weeny" is very much in the eye of the beholder. Even if Writely went for $5m, the Writely guys each made >$1m. That's not too bad for a few months of work.

Second, worrying about pricing deals like this in terms of some kind nebulous independent revenue multiple misses the whole point. It's the combined picture that counts. Google (etc) buy them because they instantly realize fairly significant synergies from a user base, because they want to learn/capture technology, or simply because they want the people.

Third, XYZ company you luv probably didn't get the call because they don't have any of the above.

-- umair // 3:33 AM // 5 comments


I agree but this

"That's not too bad for a few months of work." adds to the "Positive hysteria"

The Back Story

// Anonymous Anonymous // 2:05 PM

Hi Anon,

// Blogger umair // 10:25 PM

Hi Anon,

// Blogger umair // 10:25 PM

Sorry for the delayed reply.

It�s a bit misleading. Every good programmer has a tool set that they reuse over and over. These guys have a powerful toolset that they developed over the years see The Back Story.

This toolset cannot be totally discounted as I feel the statement I have issue with does. The time spent developing their proprietary (yes proprietary) technology needs to be taken into consideration when evaluating the opportunity cost. Writely may just be one output that is possible with their �proprietary� technology. If the story was �Google Buys Document Sharing Technology powering Writely� then one would not say �not bad for two months work�, it�s a lifetime of work.
// Anonymous Anonymous // 3:20 PM

That is a great comment, and I stand corrected - thanks for sharing this.
// Blogger umair // 9:49 PM

Recent Tweets


    uhaque (dot) mba2003 (at) london (dot) edu


    atom feed

    technorati profile

    blog archives