Every so often I have a crazy thought like this.
It usually comes when a player in this digital space starts to get so far ahead of everyone else, that they others seem to stop trying. And paradoxically, “trying” can mean admitting your limitations and moving into new fields by giving up your independence and merging with someone else, or partnering at the very least.
Google’s getting pretty far ahead. Sure, I’ll use their browser. But is it so hard for these other guys to at least *try*?
Microsoft let Google Analytics take over the world, but shutting down their analytics project. Sigh.
Lately, when I start using an application, I tend to check which browser I’m using. I think “I might as well use IE for this one, since Firefox crashed the last few times I tried this adventure on a site like this.” Or: “Google stuff. Better use Chrome.” And then I think, well at least someone *has* a browser of their own. Yahoo never did. Although some Canadians think they did, since there was a Rogers-or-another-ISP version of Yahoo browser which was probably IE but I don’t really remember.
So anyway, why don’t these guys do something like the following.
* Yahoo needs a browser and someday an OS, just to feel techie again. Why doesn’t Yahoo “acquire” Firefox somehow, in spite of Mozilla’s apparent belief that it can carry on forever on its own? Failing that, buy another remaining browser company and get developing. I mean, both eBay and Microsoft bought Skype.
* Research in Motion is suddenly in such deep trouble (peering into the future, with Apple and Android mopping the floor with them) it almost makes sense for them to give up and offer Android phones to grow market share. Why not? Think outside the box, guys. Failing that, they need to lock in distribution and just plain figure out a way to gain allies in the world. Why not merge with Yahoo,and the combined entities would sell and gut spare parts and keep what makes sense?
* Adobe seems to be a successful company that likes RIM and hates Apple. That merger-and-gut could take place a year after the previous one.
The combined company needs great relationships with wireless carriers, etc.; it needs great browser(s) and OS(‘s); and it should take any cash it has after the dust settles, and any debt it can incur, and start buying up fiber and investing in data capacity, like Google did.
The web search technology might be something called Yahoo Search that gets resuscitated and developed, or a better Bing might do.
For a social network, they’d have to build one of their own too, like Google did, since Facebook’s IPO price likely values them way too high. So to facilitate something like that, probably the new YARMzilla entity would need to do something like acquire Twitter, which may come available cheap as its weak finances begin to sink in.
For local search, that’s easy. I still think Yahoo (YARMzilla) should acquire Yelp, given their failure to do a deal with Google.
The hot IPO market is making a mess of transactions like this, of course (Pandora, LinkedIn, GroupOn, crazy valuations) which is why larger market cap companies like RIM need to get involved and use cash to help with acquisitions.
Ready, set… GO!