NYTimes has a comprehensive article (req. free registration :() on the rise and fall of Friendster, and what may have gone wrong. The author Gary Rivlin was able to get first-hand points of view from many of the early players in online social networking, including Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman, who are dealing with different versions of the Friendster story at their own companies, while companies like MySpace, Bebo and Facebook are counting nine zeros in their valuation discussions.
It's interesting to see how you can have all the right ingredients and still fail (or fall behind competition). The article supports my belief that creating a business is as much art as it is science.
Knowledge@Wharton has an article confirming what we, at SelectMinds, knew, but had a hard time quantifying with empirical data.
“Contrary to the view that companies lose something when a worker
leaves, the study found that they stood to gain. Specifically, firms
that lost an employee to another firm were 8% more likely to cite that
firm than other equivalent firms, Rosenkopf says. The reverse flow of
knowledge was particularly pronounced when the employee moved to
another region. Then the old firm was 22% more likely to cite the new
Big news over the weekend was YouTube's $1.6 billion, all-stock acquisition by Google. There's much debate on whether this was a good deal for Google, or not.
I think Google paid a reasonable price for YouTube. In addition to its future cash flows, Google must have looked at the potential of someone else (Yahoo!?!) buying YouTube, and what that would have meant for video search and video-related ad syndication, which will both undoubtedly be critical for Google. Combined with YouTube, Google will now carry about 60% of all video traffic on the internet.
Baris looks at it from a "purchasing searches" perspective, which I also agree with.
UPDATE: No one's doubting that YouTube and its investors got a good deal, though. :)