Above the Crowd

Archive for July, 2009

Counter-Point to Calacanis on Yahoo-Microsoft Deal

July 29, 2009:

Jason Calacanis penned an elegant and well reasoned blog post today implying that Yahoo has committed suicide by entering into a 10-year search deal with Microsoft.  I would like to make a few points explaining why I respectfully disagree with Jason.   I believe that board rooms all over America were heavily distracted by Google’s rise. Envious of Google’s success, many companies wanted to remodel themselves as a Google look-alike. This affliction was most prominent with the Internet’s four leading non-Google players: Ebay, Yahoo, Amazon, and Microsoft. For the past 5-10 years, these companies have been distracted from their core mission and focus in life, and more importantly from areas and markets where […]

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I Do Not Believe that Zappos Was “Forced” to Sell

July 27, 2009:

There are quite a few stories circulating in the blogosphere and Twittersphere discussing the recent acquisition of Zappos by Amazon. Some of these articles have a quite sinister and devious tone, imagining some remarkable behind-the-scenes drama that would make Spielberg pay attention. Here are two specific example: PE Hub’s “ Zappos CEO Wanted To Stay Independent, Sequoia Wanted Liquidity—Sources ” and the more strongly titled “ Zappos Deal Shows VCs Hate Entrepreneur “. I should state up front that I have no specific data on this deal.  I haven’t talked to Sequoia nor Tony Hsieh. That said, my view is these articles are little more than sensationalist journalism guaranteed to attract a ton of page views.  The specific charge that I […]

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Bill Gurley on the “Free” Business Model

July 15, 2009:

I have been intrigued by the back and forth between Chris Anderson, Malcolm Gladwell, and Mark Cuban on the topic of “Free” as a strategy and business model. For those that haven’t read the articles and posts, I highly reccomend them all. Here they are in a list: 1) Back in February of 2008, Chris Anderson wrote the original cover story for Wired Magazine, title “ Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business. ” Recently he has expanded this into an  entire book . I have felt for the  past year or so, that Chris’ first article is quintessential reading for the entrepreneurial set.  More on why later. 2) In the July 6, 2009 edition […]

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