Week 137

Igor discusses Yahoo’s acquisition of tumblr and teases a new publishing project.

It’s Yahoo! week.

The internet has been buzzing about the Tumblr acquisition for a couple of days now. Being bought by Yahoo used to be a great thing. Flickr, Yahoo Brickhouse. All those names were associated with highly competent teams and extraordinary technology. These days, the not-so-newly appointed CEO Marissa Mayer needs to openly promise that they won’t mess it up. If anything, it speaks to the fluidity of the technology business.

It will be interesting to watch what happens next. Yahoo has been clawing its way up to be considered as an equal contender among the other tech giants. Grabbing up Tumblr will help in that regard. It shows a financial commitment that will at least make the others pay closer attention. My take on this is that wether or not this take-over will be a successful one will not only be decided if Yahoo can make Tumblr profitable or not. For Yahoo this deal was not only about the potential revenue from Tumblr, it was about being perceived as a potential serious employer and partner in the near future. It’s about building a company that can change the brand perception of today’s Yahoo.

So far, the last 12 months have been successful. Appointing Mayer was a big scoop and one that gave the company credibility, but also one that has built up expectations. Mayer’s eagerness to buy Tumblr is likely to also be based on the fact that analysts and the industry in general have been waiting for a big gesture.

Her juggling those expectations seems to be working out fine so far. Launching a big update of Flickr on the next day is also a keen tactical move by the PR professional that Mayer is.

There is one mistake that Yahoo could make that would ruin Tumblr instantly: take away the anonymity/pseudonymity of the platform by requiring a Yahoo login. Lets hope they won’t walk into this trap.

In other news

We’ve been working on a small project with our dear friends from MoreSleep and Freunde von Freunden. It’s a little publication experiment that aims to give executives and key decision makers inside companies a faster and more comprehensive introduction into trends that we are seeing. No, it is not yet another trend report.

It’s too early to publish it online, but if you want to take a glance at what we are up to, drop us a line.

What we read this week (16 November)

This week we learned about Facebook losing prominent clients, how the future might not be as bad as most promise, how McKinsey is teaching it clients gathering intelligence from social media and Dustin Curtis’ take on why you should always pick the best possible product.

Quote of the week

When you fail, you want to preach to the world too – because you’re saving somebody that same mistake.

Tim O’Reilly

Articles of the week

  • readwrite: Mark Cuban is taking his money away from facebook
    Dallas Mavericks owner and private billionaire Mark Cuban is not amused. After voicing heavy discontent with facebook’s recent page-changes (asking money in order to reach your own fans) he now openly discussed relocating to Tumblr or the relaunching Myspace as main hub.
  • Forbes: Don’t worry about the future
    Authors Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler explain why we should not really be worried, no matter what the headlines are. They identify four main drivers that let you forget all the noise around you for one second.
  • McKinsey Quarterly: Intel inside
    McKinsey is starting to comprehend the use of social media besides sales promotion. In the current Quarterly they provide a framework of sorts for a different kind of social media utilisation: Gathering intelligence with live-testing, crowd intelligence and new influencers. (Free signup required)
  • AllThingsD: Google launches alternative reality Android game
    One of those few times you will wish you would have an Android device instead of that iPhone of yours.
  • Dustin Curtis: Rolling with the best
    “The fundamental problem is that many products are created to be sold, not used.” We agree.

What we read this week (21 Oct)

We made a nice reading list for you, featuring online music, Bitcoins, the Pirate Party, and a serious disruption in online identities.

Have a great weekend!