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Reddit and JotSpot Acquired

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the bubble-2.0? dept.

53

Two Web 2.0 companies' acquisitions were announced today: JotSpot by Google, and Reddit by Wired. hpcanswers writes, "Google has bought JotSpot, a maker of wiki software. From the linked FAQ: 'Google shares JotSpot's vision for helping people collaborate, share, and work together online. JotSpot's team and technology are a strong fit with existing Google products like Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Apps for Your Domain, and Google Groups.' The purchase price has not been disclosed." Coverage of the JotSpot deal is everywhere; Cnet's and the AP's are thorough. And MattSparkes writes, "The user-generated news site Reddit has been bought out by Wired's parent, Condé Nast, for an undisclosed sum. As the great big Web 2.0 bubble continues to inflate towards the popping point, and Boston sees a few more young millionaires move west, who will we see bought out next?"

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No Bubble This Time (1, Insightful)

RunFatBoy.net (960072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662355)

I don't believe that we will approach a bubble like we did in the late 90's. The very fact that people are apprehensive about such evaluations is a good sign that hopefully things will stay in check.

37 Signals wrote a good article a while back trying to keep this hype in check.
http://www.37signals.com/svn/archives2/dont_believ e_businessweeks_bubblemath.php [37signals.com]

Remember, part of an evaluation is function of current value vs. a projection of ROI. How will this investment in Reddit be returned? I have no clue, but the very fact that we're thinking about these issues (as opposed to an all-out buying frenzy in the early 90's) is a better sign.

Jim
http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net] - Exercise for the rest of us.

Re:No Bubble This Time (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16662615)

How will this investment in Reddit be returned?

Targeted advertising of several million users with well-defined preferences (based on their history) should bring in the money pretty quickly. It's not some useless bullshit like the companies that GOOG buys.

Re:No Bubble This Time (2, Interesting)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662669)

If you have the ability to ask the question "Am I insane?", then you are not insane.

Re:No Bubble This Time (1)

vmfedor (586158) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666139)

This is not true. I can ask any question I want, yet still I remain batshit insane. ;)

Re:No Bubble This Time (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16675169)

If you have the ability to ask the question "Am I insane?", then you are not insane
Does this mean that if I have the ability to ask the question "Are you insane?" then I am not insane?

Because if so I have to ask - are you insane?

Re:No Bubble This Time (2, Interesting)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662683)

Here's the problem with saying "web 2.0" is bubbleproof. That whole thing about approximation and expectation of ROI based on what you think the company will do in the future. This means it's justified because they see some continued growth indefinitely in many cases. This is the exact same valuation fallacy which caused the original bubble. And in many ways is causing the real estate one.

Web 2.0 will be in line for it's reality check.

Re:No Bubble This Time (2, Insightful)

coldtone (98189) | more than 7 years ago | (#16663211)

I don't think anyone believes web 2.0 is bubble proof. While some of these companies are going for a ton of money. (youtube, myspace) given there ranking in terms of Internet traffic these amounts are not absurd.

The others seam to be going for less then 50Mil. This is not a lot of money considering how much it would cost a big company to.

a) duplicate the software,
b) Advertise it, and build a brand
c) grow a community.

Its simply cheaper and easier for them to buy.

Re:No Bubble This Time (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665073)

I don't believe that we will approach a bubble like we did in the late 90's.

I think this is true as well, but I have another reason to add to yours: the economy is quite a bit different now. The late 90s were very good times economically. These days, things aren't as good: fuel prices are higher, war creates uncertainty, the government is deficit spending like mad, globalization is collecting its due, etc, etc.

However, there will definitely be a shakedown sometime in the future. I don't think it will be at the level the dot-bomb was, but it will happen eventually. For example, I have doubts that sites like Myspace will survive the next teen fad, and I really question whether Youtube is worth $1,600,000,000. Of course, stuff like this is part of business: investing is risk. As for me, I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the show.

Re:No Bubble This Time (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16668193)

Hilarious; shortly after that post by the 37 Signals folks, Jeff Bezos made an undisclosed investment in 37 Signals! Bezos!

I Know I Know! (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662375)

As the great big Web 2.0 bubble continues to inflate towards the popping point, and Boston sees a few more young millionaires move west, who will we see bought out next?
Slashdot! By ... um ... Google. And it will be bundled in with everything else and called YouGoogleDot Beta. It will be improved by parsing our comments and suggesting goods and services to us based on our thoughts and rantings. The sections will change slightly with the 'Google' section being renamed to 'The Section' and all the other being given the prefix of 'Google's Attempt to Build a Better.'

However, if Steve Ballmer buys Slashdot, it might be shut down with the server boards & hard drives made into urinals in Ballmer's private bathroom. Oh, think of all the bright futures of the mighty Slashdot!

Re:I Know I Know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16662469)

Slashdot: A place where I'm either +5 Insightful or -1 Stupid.

I think this is going to be one of those -1 Stupid posts. Sorry d00d.

Re:I Know I Know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16663153)

I think this is going to be one of those -1 Stupid posts. Sorry d00d.
You were wrong.

Re:I Know I Know! (2, Interesting)

lys1123 (461567) | more than 7 years ago | (#16663183)

Slashdot! By ... um ... Google. And it will be bundled in with everything else and called YouGoogleDot Beta. It will be improved by parsing our comments and suggesting goods and services to us based on our thoughts and rantings.


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Re:I Know I Know! (4, Insightful)

yanos (633109) | more than 7 years ago | (#16663371)

Your sig should read:

Slashdot: A place where I'm +5 Insightful when I really tried my best to be funny.

Re:I Know I Know! (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16664727)

Slashdot is already owned by VA or OSTG or whatever it's called this week.

Plan for early retirement (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662389)

1. Make start-up company with an "innovative" idea, (i.e. ANYTHING considered Web 2.0)
2. Wait for Google to buy you
3. Retire and relax

Re:Plan for early retirement (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662505)

Step 3 is wrong. They buy the company and still expect them to work on the project. The employees are just wealthy now.

Re:Plan for early retirement (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662635)

Doesn't stop you from burning out and quitting six months latter, and cashing out your Google stock to invest in something a little more diverse.

Re:Plan for early retirement (1)

MeauxToo (644228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662995)

Umm ... companies realized a long time ago that they need to tie the founders of companies up post-acquisition. This type of deal include "velvet handcuffs" that defer a significant portion of the its value for a number of years. Typically, it a 2-3 year term. I would be willing to bet that they received 20-30% of the purchase price today, and will get the remainder in drip and drabs for the next 2-3 years. At the end of the term, they then probably get the last 20-30%. So, the burnout in 6 months plan wouldn't be a very good idea.

Re:Plan for early retirement (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662527)

Seriously, with the number of interviews required to get a job at Google down to a mere 5.1, [wsj.com] I wonder which is easier: Getting a job at Google or just starting your own company and waiting for them to buy you out?

Re:Plan for early retirement (1)

jtobin (988724) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662849)

No, no, yoo left out the crucial step:
1. Start-up company
2. ???
3. Google buy-out
4. Profit!

Since there is really no other place to discuss it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16662493)

Here's a screenshot of slashdot.org/firehose.pl which seems to be slashdot's take on digg and reddit (it seems you have to be a subscriber to view this page)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/37157043@N00/28475070 3/ [flickr.com]

JotSpot? (1)

hairypalmer (1020801) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662529)

After YouTube a wiki version of the blogging service... how could we all have missed that great business opportunity? (Note: sarcasm).

Blogs, comments, threaded forums and wiki's are just different ways of organizing, collecting and storing information. Wouldn't a "create miniwiki" function in blogger make more sense or does "jotspot" have a more enterprisey feature set?

Buying customers ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16662703)

It wasn't that Google Video didn't have the capability - Youtube had the users.
JotSpot ... Rinse, repeat.

Re:Buying customers ... (1)

hairypalmer (1020801) | more than 7 years ago | (#16664029)

Users? I don't think so, they appear to be a startup. I only heard of jotspot the other day and only then because they sponsor or develop the dojo framework. This move by Google looks to be intended to prevent a competitor from acquiring them.

Re:JotSpot? (1)

wikiwonderman (1020983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666091)

JotSpot is going downstream from the enterprise. That leaves SocialText and eTouch SamePage. Thanks for being a competitor Jot.

Can the Borg innovate ? (1)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662605)

The Borg [userfriendly.org] , she grows - resistance is futile. [userfriendly.org]

No, jokes aside - I'm starting to have serious doubts about google's internal innovation engine. As someone recently pointed out [slashdot.org] , the reason startups are innovative are because they aren't constrained. From what I hear, google has retained a bit of the humility required to keep their startup ethos (to be a company of a hundred startups) for the last five years. To do this, they've had to do more subtle PR tricks than there is in the book and I can truly admire the way they haven't got themselves cutdown in the tall poppy meets rake [wikipedia.org] approach, we techies apply to the big monoliths (AOL, MS etc...). But this recent trend of acquiring technology instead of building it in-house is a definite sign that the culture is starting to fade, at least in the management layers of the company. Instead of looking in-wards for innovation, they are going out & buying technology.

Anyway, I see the same sort of let startups experiment, let our business follow the successes (and $$$) attitudes elsewhere - and that leads into a different sort of hell altogether.

PS:Consider me even more scared if there was a master plan to all this than mere acquisitions.

Re:Can the Borg innovate ? (1)

jomas1 (696853) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662691)

Personally, I respect the fact that Google is acquiring these startups rather than copying the ideas of said startups. Why put writely, jotspot etc out of business by copying them? It seems much less evil to at least pay off the startups who showed the initiative to come up with something new.

Re:Can the Borg innovate ? (1)

Cartack (628620) | more than 7 years ago | (#16663239)

Yeah just like they put youtube out of business with googlevideos

Re:Can the Borg innovate ? (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 7 years ago | (#16664643)

Why put writely, jotspot etc out of business by copying them? It seems much less evil to at least pay off the startups who showed the initiative to come up with something new.

Probably because in the past, Google's [google.com] offering was less popular than a competitor's [youtube.com] offering. Even though Google has a lot of smart people, Google still made the decision to buy its competitor. [slashdot.org]

If you can't beat them, buy them!

Re:Can the Borg innovate ? (1)

hritcu (871613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667355)

Google buying start-ups is nothing new, and I don't know why you are finding this to be evil. So what if they are also importing innovation (and smart people at the same time)? Is there anything evil in this? Did they ever discontinue a service they bought? Did they do any hostile take-over?

er (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662637)

y'know, I really try to keep up with such things, but am I the only one here who hasn't heard of either of these companies before?

Re:er (1)

x3nos (773066) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662887)

Possibly. I for one am a bit ashamed at my past allegiance to the Google ethos. However I am not sure this is part of what I signed on for. Google can go a lot of ways with these acquisitions. Straight to hell being one of them.

Re:er (1)

Omicron32 (646469) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662913)

I'd never heard of JotSpot before, and since it won't allow me on the site while they migrate to Google's servers I can't tell what exactly it does.

Reddit, on the other hand, has quickly become one of my favourite and most visited sites. I'd highly recommend checking out Reddit, especially if you like Digg (or if, like me, you're starting to find Digg a little... annoying).

Re:er (1)

x3nos (773066) | more than 7 years ago | (#16663285)

JotSpot is a wiki style online collaboration tool. It's particularly useful when you have several remote team members that need to organize in different time zones / countries, whatever. Not half bad actually.

Google pie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16662859)

As much as I wish Google continued success, methinks that they are possibly spreading themselves a bit too thin and will eventually pay the price for doing so. Yahoo, Netscape did much the same thing in the 90s and they suffered because of it.

Considering that most everything they have is in 'Beta' stage, why not focus on delivering a solid final product -before- investing/purchasing everything else? Or is 'Beta' now defined as production-quality code?

I guess what I'm saying is, never under-estimate the MS's of the world. Spread yourself too thin and the competition -will- take advantage of the situation. Stay focused on what you're good at (or known for) and that will limit the risks.

What say you fine folks? ;-)

Re:Google pie (1)

bram (490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16666819)

Maybe it's just me but I don't consider google in the same range as Yahoo, Netscape, ...

Yahoo, Netscape, Hotmail, ... always got something working against them. They lacked the final touch.

Google has been "right" from the start, there, listening to the users, making it how it should be.
A bit like Apple.

Not promising upgrades and then coming out with something different, mostly worse.

Re:Google pie (1)

hritcu (871613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667269)

What does this have to do with anything?

Re:Google pie (1)

bram (490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667419)

What I meant is that you can't compare them with yahoo or netscape or whatever.

Souding like a googlot; they have the right attitude so I don't think they'll fail at whatever they do, if they can keep their heads open.

And rereading the GP beta means beta, it means; can have bugs, probably not.

Drive safe.

JotSpot tour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16663185)

While their main page has been cleared out of any detailed info the tour [jotspot.com] is still there.

Re:JotSpot tour (1)

aerthling (796790) | more than 7 years ago | (#16663231)

Their signup [jotspot.com] page said they were sending me an account activation email, but no joy (yet).

The Bubble is the Joy of a Non-Commercial Web (1)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16663205)

It seems when these "2.0" companies get bought out they really start to suck. So the user's and buyer's expectations pop like a favorite ballon who was just discovered by the cat.

This is why were seeing a new breed of mySpace and Facebooks evolve and next we'll start seeing something to replace youTube which thanks to removal of content due to litiginous bastards is now just a bunch of cat videos and bad Wendy's commercials.

The cycle will continue as these albatrosses will bring down the purchasing companies allowing for newcomers with real innovation to take their place. And if they can avoid their predecessor's error will go on to great things.

Re:The Bubble is the Joy of a Non-Commercial Web (1)

aleksiel (678251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16663375)

they start to suck becuase of what the buyers do to them.

Reddit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16664153)

I enjoy Paul Graham's writings but is Reddit the best his incubator can do? I tried it for several days and I just don't get what value it provides over other services like delicious, digg, etc. I'm not referring to the technology or algorithms behind Reddit (maybe that's worth acquiring) but the site itself has crap-o information, most of it about Reddit itself or about how to wake-up earlier every day - pfffft! Someone please enlighten me?

At least this bubble... (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16664233)

... is focused towards buyouts of non-profitable companies by other companies instead of IPO offerings, hurting individuals who invest. What web 2.0 companies have gone public without a profitable business plan lately? None? This may be a bubble, but it is a much better one that will not set the industry back if it bursts. Instead, those companies who bought out others, and their investors/shareholders will feel the hit, but not the tune of a bankrupt company. Instead of hurting our precious industry and job security, other companies will turn their bad choices into opportunity to gain ground and emerge as the new leader.

Perhaps they can make jotspot less crap. (1)

mpcooke3 (306161) | more than 7 years ago | (#16664659)


"You can't edit this comment using wiki markup because it's been edited in WYSIWYG mode"

Re:Perhaps they can make jotspot less crap. (1)

hritcu (871613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16667247)

Not to mention that you were only allowed to have 20 pages for free. After that you had to pay.

Condé Nast is not just Wired (1)

salimma (115327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665207)

Most non-Slashdot readers would probably know them more from their ownership of The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Vogue.

JotSpot User (1)

shashark (836922) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665577)

I've heard of people who met actual jotspot users. No kidding.

I've used jotspot (1)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665705)

JotSpot is actually a pretty great wiki. It's not as widely-used as mediawiki, of course (since mediawiki is an application, not a service), but it has a lot of powerful features. The most notable feature is forms.

Forms allow you to tag a page as a particular type, and each type has some meta data associated with it, as well as a view. So it's like a database and a wiki in one, but much easier. It allows an admin user to set up data types and what fields should be included, and then the actual content writers can just fill in the fields to create the data. We used it last year for MIT Mystery Hunt. We had a form defined for "Puzzle" to include the name of the puzzle, a URL if appropriate, the category, type of puzzle, a text field for the solution and a bool to indicate that it was solved, in addition to a "wiki" space to put any notes about the solution and work in progress, like a normal wiki. JotSpot has scripting built in so that you can easily create dynamic pages that list off (for example): Puzzles completed, puzzles not-completed, all puzzles of a particular type, puzzles in a certain category, etc. It makes it really easy to keep track of what is done and what still needs doing. I'm sure this logic can apply to plenty of other applications as well. Try doing that with mediawiki!

Re:I've used jotspot (1)

shashark (836922) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665947)

Yes, I was referring to you in my GP post.

Mr Kraus last year (1)

Rockgod (962796) | more than 7 years ago | (#16685505)

But last year Mr Kraus (co-founder of Excite) had different opinion on Google [nytimes.com] .
Here's the juicy excerpt from the article:
To place Google in context, Mr. Kraus offered a brief history lesson. In the 1990's, he said, I.B.M. was widely perceived in Silicon Valley as a "gentle giant" that was easy to partner with while Microsoft was perceived as an "extraordinarily fearsome, competitive company wanting to be in as many businesses as possible and with the engineering talent capable of implementing effectively anything." Now, in the view of Mr. Kraus, "Microsoft is becoming I.B.M. and Google is becoming Microsoft." Mr. Kraus is the chief executive and a founder of JotSpot, a Silicon Valley start-up hoping to sell blogging and other self-publishing tools to corporations.
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