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Visualizing 15 Years Of Acquisitions By Apple, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, And Facebook

Hi Folks,

Its been a while! I wanted to share a very interesting article from Josh Constine and Tech Crunch about 15 years of acquisitions by leading tech giants. Check this out. Pretty interesting stuff.


Visualizing 15 Years Of Acquisitions By Apple, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, And Facebook

You grow old, you slow down, and you die. That is, unless you can inject some fresh blood. After watching the last generation of tech giants wither or stagnate, today’s juggernauts are relying on acquisitions to keep them young and relevant. Check out the interactive infographic below to compare the size, frequency, and focus of the last 15 years of acquisitions by Apple, Amazon, Google, Yahoo, and Facebook.

Business insurance provider Simply Business created this infographic, which is only available here on TechCrunch. Each dot’s size represents the price paid for that startup if it was disclosed. Scroll over them for a link to learn more about the deal. The plus and minus buttons in the top right let you zoom in on specific time periods. Select categories at the top to filter for certain types of acquisitions. The Frequency toggle reveals phases when companies did heavy buying. And you can click any of the tech giants’ logos to view a complete list of their full-scale acquisitions (small acqui-hires excluded). Sorry to our mobile readers, but it’s much easier (possible) to navigate this on the web.

Trends crystallized by the Simply Business infographic include:

The drought of acquisitions by Yahoo in 2011 and 2012 before Marissa Mayer began her buying spree after being named CEO.
Apple has kept the price of its acquisitions low despite its huge cash reserves, as it prefers to buy for technology rather than market share.
Facebook accelerated its talent-focused acquisitions following its IPO to combat brain-drain.
While Steve Jobs saw acquisitions as a “failure to innovate,” Tim Cook has been proactive about buying companies to bring new intellectual property to Apple.
There was a recession in acquisitions in the “Rest In Peace: Good Times” era from 2008 to 2009.
Social, mobile, and hardware acquisitions have come into favor as search, media, and advertising buys have waned in the past few years

And the biggest acquisitions (with disclosed prices) by the giants were:

  • Apple – Anobit ($390 million), AuthenTec ($356 million)
  • Amazon – Zappos ($900 million), Kiva Systems ($775 million)
  • Google – Motorola Mobility ($12.5 billion), Nest ($3.2 billion), DoubleClick ($3.1 billion), YouTube ($1.65 billion)
  • Yahoo – Broadcast.com ($5 billion), Overture ($1.83 billion), Tumblr ($1.1 billion)
  • Facebook – WhatsApp ($19 billion), Instagram ($1 billion, closed at $715 million)



Written by David Frederick

February 26, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Series A Crunch And The Lean Funding Model

Duncan Davidson of Bullpen Capital recently presented a very interesting concept at the December 2011 TechCrunch conference in Tokyo. At the conference he discussed how the lean startup model had given rise to a lean finance model for venture capital.

The concept: keep funding lean for as long as possible, until the startup has validated its model and is beginning to scale. Usually it takes around six months of metrics to be in position to raise a big round. That “shovel-in” round is where the lean model catches up to the traditional venture model, as shown in the chart.







Image: BullPen capital

By using this process, the founders have preserved more ownership as well as their options. Most startups are not suited to become billion-dollar babies, and exit via M&A, often quickly (a “quick flip”). Lean funding makes the quick flip attractive both to the founders, who often each pocket at least $10M, and the funders, who make larger multiples on their invested capital by putting less in. If this happens quickly, the IRR can be quite attractive to the LPs who invest into the lean venture funds.  They have learned to be wary of big venture, where their capital is tied up for ten or more years.

To learn more, read the TechCrunch article and view the interview with Duncan, click here!


Written by David Frederick

December 6, 2011 at 5:57 PM

World’s Data Will Grow By 50X In Next Decade.

Over the years I have worked with a lot of companies solving critical technology needs and helping them apply the right solution to their pressing challenges. The one area that seems to give most of my technology clients a major head ache is solving problems around information/content/data. How to store it, how to manage it, how to share it and how to optimize it. Particularly content and rich media.  So when I read this latest IDC research paper on how the world’s data will grow by 50X in the next decade, it only underscored the critical challenges around managing, protecting, accessing, and optimizing all of this data. Especially with the rise of cloud based infrastructure, applications and solutions.

What’s really astounding is that currently in 2011, the amount of data created and replicated will surpass 1.8 zettabytes (1.8 trillion gigabytes), growing by a factor of 9 in just five years. That’s a whole lot of data! I could write several books on the opportunities and challenges that this explosion in data will create, but for now lets look at some of the IDC data.

By 2020 the world will generate 50 times the amount of information and 75 times the number of “information containers” while IT staff to manage it will grow less than 1.5 times ( DF NOTE: Its a good time to get into IT Management Jobs!!)

In the next five years, these files will grow by a factor of 8, while the pool of IT staff available to manage them will grow only slightly. The IDC study predicts that overall data will grow by 50 times by 2020, and unstructured information — such as files, email and video — will account for 90% of all data created over the next decade. Astounding!

Topics: Computers/Infotech/UI


Written by David Frederick

June 29, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Learn More from Your Proposals

I found this article of great interest and value. Having studied at Harvard’s PON and negotiated global business deals, this article will provide some very interesting and valuable insight into creating value and mutual gains outcomes when working on complex international business deals. If you conduct, participate in or plan and execute complex business deals, this will be of interest to you. Check it out!


Learn More from Your Proposals

Adapted from “Lessons from Abroad: When Culture Affects Negotiating Style,” by Jeanne M. Brett (professor, Northwestern University) and Michele J. Gelfand (professor, University of Maryland), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, January 2005.Harvard Law School – PON.

Imagine that you have identified a great opportunity to expand your business by negotiating a joint venture with another company. You need to get information about this company’s needs and priorities. Which of the following options would you prefer?

A. Ask the other side about their priorities and give them only a little information about your own.
B. Do not ask direct questions; instead, be indirect and try to deduce what the other side’s priorities are by listening to their reactions to your proposals.

Around the world, negotiators understand the need to find wise tradeoffs that improve outcomes for all. But how do you get the other party to reveal the information you need about preferences and priorities?

Research shows that Western negotiators typically share information by asking questions about each other’s preferences and priorities—assuming the other party is trustworthy and answering truthfully—and giving information to reinforce the exchange. This direct approach can be used to identify tradeoffs that can be accumulated into a final, multi-issue proposal. It reflects the American preference for explicit, context-free communications.

Now consider how managers in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Russia glean information about one another’s preferences and priorities. Research conducted by Wendi Adair of Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management, Tetsushi Okumura of Shiga University in Japan, and Jeanne M. Brett of Northwestern University found that Japanese managers made many more proposals than did U.S. managers.

Subsequent research by Adair and Brett indicates that, beginning in the first quarter of their negotiation, non-Western negotiators were using proposals significantly more frequently than were Western negotiators. This difference was sustained until the last quarter of the negotiation, when Westerners’ proposal rate rose to match that of non-Westerners.

Gathering information about relative preferences and priorities from proposals requires highly developed inferential skills and a “big picture” approach. Doing so is common in collective cultures, where context matters and indirect communication is the norm. When proposals include all the issues in a negotiation, Western negotiators should be able to work effectively in this environment. But consider that Asian negotiators do not limit themselves to multi-issue proposals; they also make more single-issue proposals than Western negotiators.

Drawing inferences from a pattern of single-issue proposals requires a heavy focus on context. Imagine a two-issue negotiation over price and delivery. The other side offers a delivery date that you don’t explicitly reject; you then offer a price. Now it’s the other side’s turn to build toward a settlement based on his delivery date and your price. Suppose the other party makes an alternative offer on price, keeping in mind its prior offer on delivery. If your counterpart tracks your reaction to these alternative proposals, he can start deducing your priorities.

Westerners can do this cognitive work, of course—it is just a matter of preference regarding how to exchange information during negotiation. The message from Asian cultures: there is more than one way to get information in a negotiation. When negotiators are reluctant to share information directly, try proposals and look for the pattern of preferences revealed by changes in the proposals over time.

Written by David Frederick

May 31, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Technology Will Make Collaboration Your Next Competitive Advantage

MIT Technology Review recently had a great article by Jeff Rayport on the competitive advantages of collaboration. In it, he discusses how new tools are changing the way people work with each other, their companies’ partners, and their customers. Jeff articulates some very interesting points on the obvious and not so obvious advantages of utilizing collaboration as a sustainable and effective competitive advantage.In today’s distributed work place, taking collaboration to new a level is not only smart, but a competitive imperative.

Here is a brief excerpt from Jeff’s article:

Since the dawn of managerial capitalism, collaboration and work have almost always been synonymous. People need other people to realize their greatest impact, and innovation, perhaps the most valuable activity in business, depends critically on the kind of cross-pollination of ideas that collaboration enables.

But technology has changed how we collaborate, especially since the communications revolution began 150 years ago with the telegraph and the telephone. This wave of change continued with the commercialization of the fax machine in the 1970s and of e-mail in the 1980s. The last 20 years have brought a convergence of communications and computing technologies that has expanded the possibilities for technology-enabled collaboration, whether synchronous or asynchronous, proximal or distant. With voice mail, videoconferencing, instant messaging, chat forums, blogs, wikis, social networking, microblogging (through services such as Twitter and Foursquare), voice-over-IP, telepresence, and, of course, mobile communications and computing, never have we had so many ways to collaborate without having to be in the same place at the same time.

To read the full article, check it out here!


Written by David Frederick

March 14, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Understanding the strategic value of IT in M&A

Wow! This must be IT week! 😉 Ok, a very interesting article just published from McKinsey on understanding the strategic value of IT in M&A. As many of us know, many mergers don’t live up to expectations because they stumble on the post merger integration of technology and operations. One reason is that executives from IT and operations often aren’t included in the due-diligence process, preventing them from offering valuable input on the costs, challenges, and practical realities of integration. McKinsey’s report digs into these challenges and presents some interesting thoughts. Check it out here!


Written by David Frederick

February 28, 2011 at 3:23 PM

3 Things To Know About New Ventures

I see this kind of thing all the time in my line of work, whether its a start up, new business division, new initiative or any new “venture”. Scott Anthony talks about this in his “Three Questions for Entrepreneurs’. Check out this excerpt.


3 Things to Know About New Ventures

By: Scott Anthony

All new ventures are fragile. Even if revenues are growing, chances are your company hasn’t yet hit breakeven. Be sure you know these three things to manage through this precarious time:

– How many days you have to live. Businesses fail because they run out of cash (DF note: This also applies to initiatives, new product development, etc.). Knowing exactly how many months or days you have to live can help you better manage costs and your funding strategy.

– Why you are doing this (DF Note: Duh!). Success requires hard work and constant attention. If you don’t know exactly why you should make the effort, neither will your funders.

– The top two critical issues. Be precise about which two issues deserve the highest priority (DF Note: This could be dynamic and change daily, weekly, monthly – be prepared to shift, adjust and fire for effect!). These may not be the most urgent, but are the ones that matter most to your venture’s success.

Written by David Frederick

June 25, 2010 at 12:28 PM