Imagine, if you will, Verizon purchasing Twitter now that they own Yahoo.
I don’t really want that, but at times I’ve wanted Twitter to have the ability to go beyond the 140 characters it allows. What if Verizon bought Twitter then did an interesting integration between Twitter and Tumblr so anything longer than 140 characters became a Tumblr post with a really nice embed for the tweet? Maybe Twitter could adapt Tumblr’s post types?
While they were at it they could use Tumblr for photo storage and allow at least a little bit of markup in the Twitter stream. I’d start with italic, bold, and native links. Oh, I’d also allow folks to use Markdown (yes, this is the Canonical Markdown) as an editing choice. Maybe just provide a rich editor that supports italic, bold, and links and a basic text editor for those of us that would prefer Markdown? The point is it would be nice to have some very basic formatting for a tweet.
Video has become so important to the web. Making it easy to record video, store it on Tumblr, and adding an embed to a tweet would be quite nice. It could be the next evolution in video from Twitter. First we had Vine, then Periscope. Tumblr could be the final version. It could complete with Facebook’s Live Video.
It feels like there is an interesting product in that mix somewhere.
Venture Beat: “While Tumblr is popular, it only made $13 million in revenue last year, when it first started selling ads, and hopes to grow that to $100 million in revenue this year.”
Wow. On Friday afternoon the acquisition point for Tumblr had gone to $1.1 billion. Mind boggling considering they had revenue of $13 million last year.
I like Tumblr. If this acquisition happens I hope it’s good for Yahoo! and good for Tumblr. I think the first thing they do is start using Flickr for photo sharing on Tumblr then do something to bring the two closer together. Seems like a nice fit considering the popularity of photo sharing on Facebook and Instagram.
I read a comment somewhere, sorry I don’t remember where, to the effect that all Marissa Mayer is doing is buying other companies and anyone could’ve done that. That’s true, but anyone didn’t do that, Ms. Mayer is. I think it’s pretty brilliant, and unlike Twitter’s acquisition of Posterous, which was all about engineering talent, this one seems like it could be a nice fit and an opportunity to do something incredible with two products; Flickr and Tumblr.
UPDATE: Interesting piece on Hacker News. Apparently $1.1 billion may be too low? That would be the VC’s talking if there’s any truth to it. Take the money and run, while you still can.
Business Insider: “After spending months frustrated at how empty Yahoo parking lots were, Mayer consulted Yahoo’s VPN logs to see if remote employees were checking in enough.”
I work remotely. I use a VPN connection. I’m not always connected via VPN. I would be screwed as a Yahoo employee.
Having said that I work on desktop software so maintaining a persistent VPN connection doesn’t mean anything to doing my job. I can lose the connection and still build new features and fix bugs. It’s not a big deal. Maybe the folks at Yahoo need a persistent VPN connection to perform their daily tasks and that’s what screwed them?
In the end Ms. Mayer has to do what she believes will turn Yahoo around. At the end of the day her butt will be on the line if they don’t succeed.
There is, of course, another side to this coin. You can find highly motivated, very good, people that can’t live, or don’t want to live, in the Silicon Valley. Not everyone is well suited to be a remote employee. It takes some getting used to and it takes a lot of personal discipline. If you can manage it, it’s a pretty great setup.
Richard Branson on the flipside:
“I have enormous respect for Michael Bloomberg and have rarely disagreed with anything he has done or said. However, on this occasion I disagree completely. Many employees who work from home are extremely diligent, get their job done, and get to spend more time with their families. They waste less time commuting and get a better work/life balance. To force everybody to work in offices is old school thinking.”
The bottom line: It’s up to the company to decide what’s best for the company. If you want to telecommute, look for a job that will allow you to telecommute.
Yahoo clearly isn’t the place for telecommuters.