For the love of
Well, just had my lunch. A home cooked tiffin having flat bread, ladyfinger, curd and grapes! Gosh, I love my wife! 🙂 And I have time to kill. There were three options of doing it for me. Play Doodle Jump, keep refreshing twitter or pick up a mag at the reception. I chose the fourth option. Well, one of the perils of having a blog is, you need to keep posting. (In my case, not for the eyeballs to keep the revenue ticking but to utilize the goddamn $17/year I pay to maintain this domain and wordpress mapping! Ha ha.) So here I am, yet again thumbing a post on my pre-historic phone!
I am not an expert on this matter neither am I related to it geographically ir financially. But this has been on my mind for sometime. Yes, the Techcrunch saga. I have not been able to understand the rationale so far. Merger is a delicate issue where two companies come together for the greater purpose of synergizing their competencies to enhance the business prospects and leverage on each others’ strengths to add to the shareholders’ values. Acquisition is simpler to understand and is more aggressive in nature. Here one company with a larger stake in the corporate jungle gobbles up the smaller player to keep the field clean for its own play. There are two objectives which the larger player can achieve through it.
1. Leverage on the footprints of the smaller player, gain its market share, kill the brand and paste its own brand of that market.
2. Have the organic route of expansion in mind and acquire the smaller player simply to kill it because it hurts the organic growth of the larger player.
(Pardon me, just had lunch and have myself lost track of what was I trying to explain. Also, finance guys, this is just my understanding, not some theory picked up from some finance bible. If you see any major distortion in my understanding, do correct me in the comments section.)
Now AOL’s acquisition of Techcrunch. I don’t know what purpose it solved for AOL. The revenues of Techcrunch is not even a drop in the ocean for AOL. It did not blend with the empire that Arinna is running for them. Also, Engadget merged seamlessly. You don’t see the chaos there what you see here. Come to think of it, even there, Joshua, Nilay left with a barrage of writers but it still moves on. I can understand Michael Arrington’s point of view. He got good money and he eased out.
Techcrunch is not the same. Simply because it did not work as a system. Simply because it was NOT person independent. Techcrunch, as I knew it, was disruptive. Systems don’t allow disruptions. Systems work on a boring monotonous routine day after day after day. Techcrunch to me was a collage of individual personalities. Everyone carried a larger than site persona and somehow Mike allowed that. Somehow he knew that, that was the essence of the site. Everyone wrote with fervour because he allowed everyone to write according to their styles. There were no guidelines laid down. (Saying so because read this somewhere.) Paul was Paul Carr and MG was MG Seigler.
I will tell you why Engadget worked and Techcrunch seems a chaos. The exudos at Engadget was en masse with a purpose. Not the case here. Perhaps with the exception of Josh, the site’s brand and identity towered over that of writers. Not the case here.
The writers have left because they could not align themselves to the guidelines being laid down NOW. The processes being set up is making Techcrunch a company. It was a collage. Remember? When that happens, disruptions happen! That’s what is happening now.
I am too sure that Techcrunch will remain big and will get bigger. I am a firm believer that a company is always bigger than the individual and it should always remain that way. That’s the sign of the good health and growth. But to make Techcrunch a company that it never was, AOL is killing the soul. The soul was a collage, a colourful collage.
I miss that.
(The client didn’t turn up. I am enjoying the AC but I guess, I would rather leave now! :))
Image courtesy : BBC