Who does Scoble want Microsoft to buy? 02 Oct 2005

32 comments Latest by julio

The Scobleizer wants Ballmer or Gates to hand over a blank check so he buy a “Web 2.0 company.”

Personal note to Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates: can I have some money to get Microsoft a significant entry into the Web 2.0 market? A little more than it cost Yahoo to buy Flickr but far less than it cost eBay to buy Skype? I have an acquisition I’d like to make.

I wonder who he’s thinking of. He seems to like Rafat’s idea, but who said we were for sale? ;) So, if you had MS’s money (or Yahoo’s or Google’s, or…) who do you think would be an interesting acquisition and why?

32 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Jamie 02 Oct 05

Everyone knows that 37Signals is ripe for an Apple acquisition. ;) I would buy Feedburner if I had the money.

Ahsan 02 Oct 05

If I had Macromedia/Adobe money I would buy 37signals :) Won’t even take money from Microsoft and Yahoo to buy anything.

Chris 02 Oct 05

Spend the money on some developers and get someone to make a friggin CMS that works.

JackRuby 02 Oct 05

I’ll second that. The world needs a design friendly “enterprise” CMS…badly.

Peter Cooper 02 Oct 05

My money would be on 43things (already cosied up with Amazon, but not entirely), Jotspot, or FeedBurner.

FeedBurner isn’t exactly Web 2.0 (from an interface/application POV) like the other suggestions, but there’s some obvious value for Microsoft in it. Microsoft seem to have their own ideas for RSS and syndication, and a FeedBurner acquisition would get a lot of feeds and users into their camp. Actually, MS buying FeedBurner would be an absolutely perfect scenario from my POV.

Ron Green 02 Oct 05

I would be truely disappointed if 37Signals was sold to anyone.
37Signals is a reflection of the people who work there. It’s in their products. It’s in their website. It’s in every statement they make. Because it’s their company.

Jamie 02 Oct 05

Actually. Now that I think of it, I believe Technorati is a more likely candidate….

BillSaysThis 02 Oct 05

I expect its not any company we might guess.

- JotSpot had their big announcement with JotSpot Live already
- Writeboard is already public knowledge so I think that by Scoble’s words 37Signals is ruled out
- Robert explicitly said its not Morfik
- I also think he agrees with Mini-Microsoft to a large degree and so its not buying a company mainly to get great developers
- For me Feedburner seems more likely than Technorati if only because of the recent heapings of praise for Memeorandum. Though I don’t think it’s Feedburner either ;)

Jacob Stetser 02 Oct 05

I have serious doubts about any Web 2.0 company surviving in a corporate climate, much less Microsoft. A lot of the excitement and success for these small companies with great projects arises from necessity because of their small size and lack of unlimited time or funding.

And then there’s the passion quotient.

Isaac Garcia 02 Oct 05

MSFT usually buys companies for niche distribution…companies that are well established into a niche or vertical market. Their usual acquisitions are steps towards how to monopolize the market segment. Which is why they tried to acquire Intuit so badly years ago and even their attempt at SAP.

This logic holds for the following MSFT acquisitions:
Great Plains

Alternatively, though, recent acquisitions are exceptions to this rule:
Groove (MSFT was already a majority share holder)
Lookoutsoft (they just had good technology)

So, look for a company with wide distribution, that has a strong focus in a particular niche market……..something that they can exploit and scale massively with their distribution (400 million install base) …..the product has to be “live and working” too. MSFT isn’t known for buying half-baked products with low distribution. With the exception of Groove, they don’t buy “ideas” or “people.”

Al 02 Oct 05

They are not even interested in Web 2.0. They are gonna buy SAP.

Jon 02 Oct 05

I would be truely disappointed if 37Signals was sold to anyone.

I agree…especially if it went to a company like Microsoft.

JP 02 Oct 05

The only reason anyone would “buy” 37signals is for the obviously talented developers. But let’s be real - anyone could duplicate 37signals’ products in a few months, and it’s not like they have millions of users.

Jonathan Holst 02 Oct 05

For those people who are saying that Microsoft isn’t interested in Web 2.0: Remember, this is an employee asking for some acquisition money… It’s not like it’s Microsoft rumoring something. It’s just an acquisition Scoble would like to make. So you should not necessarily expect a company that would fit Microsoft.

Other than that, I don’t have a guess. All the real cool ones have been bought (Sorry ‘bout that, 37).

Josh Jacob 02 Oct 05

my vote would be for Wishbin, think of this thing integrated w/ messenger and spaces..heh ;)


haa 02 Oct 05

the question is - who wants to be bought by MS? is there only hostile takeovers left to MS?

fred 02 Oct 05

I bet google buys amazon.

Vishi 02 Oct 05

Nice technique by scoble. “The networked market knows more than companies.” Cluetrain. Ask the market on who to aquire.

Bubble up company names before the web 2.0 conf hits and puts a lot of companies on the table.

truman 02 Oct 05

WTF is WEB 2.0 again?

phil jones 03 Oct 05

I reckon it’s O’Reilly. Can’t get more “web 2.0” than them ;-)

That’d guarantee MS gets invites to web 2.0 conferences.

Visual SourceForge, the ultimate developer’s web 2.0 service.

Kesava Mallela 03 Oct 05

“Three people for release 1”, would be highly improbable if any of those _big_ companies bought this one. Yeah, me too would be disappointed.

kmilden 03 Oct 05

I agree with Jason. If someone was to acquire 37signals it would be for the talent. I have a suspicion that Google has been buying talent all along not technology. For example look a Dodgeball.

Not a difficult application to create so why buy it? Make your employees millionaires, let them work on their own ideas 20% of the time and have a solid contract for a few years.

This is ensure they get the best and the brightest minds on the web simply by purchasing these little brands one by one.

These innovators will add pure raw talent into everything they create. Can you come up with a better way to beat Microsoft?

So I would say Google would be a solid acquisition for 37signals to take out MS Project by giving it away free. They could own project management within a few months.

But I say 37signals should remain self funded with out any corporate bs that will get in the way of their innovation.

You don’t need anything, keep going.

view from the North 04 Oct 05

MS buying 37Signals would be sending the market a big message that ROR kicks anything.Net for web dev. I’m sure MS is watching the whole ROR thing with a just a touch of worry and is working on some kind of strategy (that will probably be too late) to counteract it. Maybe (and it’s a big stretch) MS are waiting for more people too jump on the Ruby bandwagon and then MS releases Ruby.Net that gives the enterprise the assurances and complete tool set that ROR does not.

MS does like one aspect of the large interest in ROR -and that is the beginning of the splintering of the Java camp. You hear lot’s of Java folk gushing over ROR, but not much ship jumpers from the the dotNetters.

And no disrespect, but the MS view on tada/backpack/basecamp is that they are mere “toys”, albeit very pretty toys. Absolutely no fit for these ROR based apps anywhere for MS and the MSN.

Also, 37signals would be a bad culture fit for MS. The guys would be despised as being some sort of “cowboys on a pedestal” by a bunch of the MS staffers.

Bill G is not that dumb.

Now Google, on the other hand should be all over 37Signals.

del.icio.us is another prime candidate for someone.

Things are moving real fast out there (the Web2 world) and todays heros could quickly become tomorrow’s zeros.

my 2 bits anyway.

Suresh Kumar 04 Oct 05

Something like this kinda fits very well with a gap in the Google portfolio..

i think a company like Google would not stifle 37signals culture…

and they like UI/HCI… and so do you guys!

There are deals to be made… but it would be best that 37signals just walks straight up to Omid Kordestani.

view from the North 04 Oct 05

Changed my mind about Google & 37signals being a good fit …

Today’s announcement about the partnership with SUN puts a MAJOR crimp on ROR acceptance. JAVA has just gotten a HUGE shot in the arm.

Amazing how fast things happen.

What ROR needs is a major ERP vendor or startup to jump on the bandwagon. Oracle is tied to Java (for now). SAP is so old school but a bit of culture shock can be just the thing for them. Sage? SSAGlobal (yuck)?? Maybe one of the BI vendors Cognos? Business Objects?


Peter 06 Oct 05

My bet is on Morfik. They have an amazing Web 2.0 application development platform.

Julio 13 Oct 05

I dont think Morfik is a good bet. MSFT already has something like this.

julio 13 Oct 05

oh, I should have mentioned that its called “Atlas”.