Amazing: Skype, Bebo for Sale?

I saw a couple of items this morning that really struck me. Skype and Bebo may both be for sale. The Bebo rumor is more surprising than Skype because Bebo was only acquired a year or so ago. But both illustrate something disturbing.

The big Internet companies (Google, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft) have literally spent billions on startups and acquisitions — in many cases just to shutter them later. Lots of lucky entrepreneurs probably now own parts of Turks and Caicos as a consequence but there’s incredible waste and to some degree, I dare say, mismanagement here.

Truth be told, I wish I were sitting on millions and writing my novel on a beach too.

But there’s something quite distorted about all the money that’s changed hands without all that much thought regarding how these properties might be ultiized or integrated — or whether they’re even businesses at all.

3 Responses to “Amazing: Skype, Bebo for Sale?”

  1. Adam Says:

    On the other hand it is sometimes better to make mistakes than to miss out on big opportunities. For every Bebo there’s also a Blogger or YouTube.

    In the bizarre marketplace of web 2.0 where the standard is give everything away for free and figure out how to make money later, it’s that much harder to discern what is and is not a viable business.

  2. Stever Says:

    We’ll see more of this in the coming months. With an outright credit freeze on large corporate loans these big entities need to free up capital so they can keep their core business operating. Hense a coming fire sale on some of the 2nd and 3rd tier web2.0 properties.

    Ebay is looking at it wrong. Don’t ditch Skype (it’s growing and profitable) ditch Ebay (it’s dying) and focus on Paypal (long term winner and market leader), Skype (medium to long term winner) and Kijiji (craigslist lawsuits could throw a wrench in that though?).

    I’m interested in seeing what happens in the local space. There is too much dilution in the US market with so many IYP type sites. Over the next couple years of this recession we’ll see more SMB’s flocking to the local space online, but at the same time I want to see some consolidation in that market place, and/or a few of them go bust as the venture capital dries up before profitability sets in.

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Agree re local: noise and dilution pervade. What that does is reinforce market leader(s). On the sell side of SEM services, however, there is no market leader — just lots of undifferentiated competitors.

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