Writely, the online document collaboration service, or what i consider the Web 2.0 version of Microsoft Word, has been acquired by Google. Woo Hoo!!
This is a great boost for all those startups out there counting on Google/ Yahoo as an exit strategy. Since so many startups are dependent on online advertising as their primary revenue model, why not attach themselves organically to the King of Web Advertising Google itself? And as long as the Google-Microsoft war for web dominance continues, Google should be in a buying mood to snap up well-designed web services with sizeable user communities, along with their innovative founding team. Triple Advantages there and frees up their army of engineers on other projects such as the Google Moon Base, that Space Elevator… ok, digressing here…
But wat i am trying to say is it seems Google’s new projects such as Google Base, Google Pages have lacked the punch and excitement to be expected from them. How Google is going to create a company culture that fosters independent innovation and organizational cohesiveness concurrently will be the important dilemma facing its founders and management. It will have to go beyond its 70-20-10 rule and over-reliance on the Page/ Brin/ Mayer gatekeeping practice. Hence I view the founders, of these startups Google are currently buying, operating as contract employees there because these founders’ creative energies will take divergent paths with Google’s corporatization strategy. But who knows, Google might defy convention and maintain its culture of innovation with a rapidly expanding organization just as it innovatively came to dominate and define search today.
A random thought here, but with the increasing popularity of web startups taking the acquisition option by Google, Yahoo, AOL, IAC, Microsoft, EBay, NewsCorp etc, are we witnessing an “arms race” of sorts by these Internet giant to snap up digital turf and as much mindshare of web users?It seems the stigma of the 2001 tech bubble bust has left an indelible mark on the tech industry’s appetite for IPOs. I am rooting for the next successful startup to spurn one of these giants’ advances and IPO successfully.