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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

The Future of Mobile is Content

Forrester recently came out with a new report called CMO: The Future of Mobile is Content. While this is a no brainer to many of us in the content and technology space, and certainly didn’t need a report to articulate this seemingly obvious trend, it does shed some interesting light on this topic. So lets take a quick look.

In the report, Forrester discusses how consumers will adopt and use convenient services and products. On mobile devices, this means services that offer immediacy and simplicity through a highly contextual experience. This is nothing new and was one of the key drivers for web 2.0 solutions. It’s now and not surprisingly moved to mobile devices.  Context — the sum total of what is known about an individual along with what he or she is currently experiencing — is a moving target that will pull consumer expectations of convenience with it.

This is an interesting paradigm in that it creates a two-fold challenge – privacy concerns for the consumer/user and a voluminous amount data that a marketing executive will have to define, capture, parse, track, analyze/understand and act/respond to -KPI’s, etc. If they want to be successful. Most executives have a very difficult time understanding and defining their data, determining what data to look at and what to do with it, so marketing leaders will need to clearly define and deliver highly contextual experiences to build mobile relationships with customers that drive engagement and ultimately sales or the desired response. Not all marketing executives need to move at the same pace to embrace new contextual information, but marketing executives must orchestrate, define and enable collaboration across all the members of their organization to build effective contextual mobile offerings.

The report covers a variety of topics and demonstrates that:

  • Mobile Phones Will Be Your Customers’ Preeminent Digital Engagement Channel
  • Contextual Experiences Will Define Mobile Success
  • Technology Innovations Will Drive Context Capability Forward
  • Reaching The Right Level Of Context Will Take Time And Strategic Alignment

The report also provides the following key advice and conclusion:

  • Aspire To Mobile As The Primary Digital Medium for your business.

What does this mean to the consumer and content provider?

  • The Cost Of Convenience Is Privacy
  • Supplemental Material will be needed
  • A voluminous amount of data can and will be captured. How do you define what you need and how do you use the information to create the desired response from consumers.

As I said, if you have been alive in the last 10 years and were involved in the content space, you would know much of this. Still, the report provides a strong case for the dominance and explosive growth mobile devices play in our everyday life. In the not to distant future mobile devices will control and enable a large part of our everyday life – shopping, banking, navigation, entertainment, payment and payment collection, communication, control of remote devices….wait….they already do that today! So if they already do that, imagine the further intrusion or shall I say integration, these ubiquitous devices will have on our everyday experience.That means two things. For the consumer – empowerment and convenience. For the marketer a new and highly intense real-time engagement with the consumer to drive revenue, brand support, engagement and more.

Mobile devices, platforms, and content will be the dominant tool for humanity in the coming years as well as one of the most powerful revenue generating models. From medicine to finance. Finance to entertainment. Supply chain to shopping. From Shopping to, well you get the point. Check out Forrester’s new Report. It has some interesting data points that truly validate this explosive trend.


Written by David Frederick

July 30, 2011 at 8:51 AM

The Six Steps In Cost/Benefit Analysis

I am always amazed at the confusion, misunderstanding and ineffectiveness of middle and senior management when it comes to conducting meaningful and actionable cost/benefit analysis.

Either the effort is to high level or mired in too much data which ultimately produces inaccurate and non-actionable outcomes.

We all know it’s easy to make an investment decision when the benefits obviously outweigh the costs, but few people understand what really should go into the analysis. So here are six steps to help you produce a meaningful and actionable CBA.

  1. Understand the cost of status quo. You need this to measure the relative merit of an investment against the “do nothing” option. Sometimes doing nothing is the right decision.
  2. Identify costs. Consider up-front costs as well as any in future years. Almost any initiative will have up front cost. Most people get hammered when they fail to consider the upfront costs or hidden costs.
  3. Identify benefits. Ascertain what additional revenue or return will come in from the investment. This is dicey because you need to define an ROI. The challenge is how to define the ROI. Remember, ROI to one constituency may be efficiency. To another it may be revenue. To another it may be market share, etc. ROI is subjective and you will need to consider all perspectives and ROI definitions to truly get a true benefit picture/metric.
  4. Determine the cost savings. What can you stop doing if you make this investment? Sometimes its a trade-off. If we do X, can we stop using Y. That’s another hidden variable that many forget about. If you stop doing Y because of X that cost savings could exponentially increase the benefits of doing the initiative.
  5. Create a timeline for expected costs and revenue. Map out when the costs and benefits will occur and how much they will be. This is critical for two reasons. One, expectations. By having a defined timeline you can align and define expectations of all interested parties. Two, understanding the timeline allows you to plan for the cost and revenue impacts to your operations thus empowering you to better manage and adjust course accordingly if things change.
  6. Evaluate non-quantifiable benefits and costs. Assess whether there are intangible benefits such as strengthening your firm’s position with distributors, or costs such as creating unnecessary complexity. This kind of goes back to point 2. It’s important to understand the benefits from all perspectives including tangible and non-tangible. Benefits or ROI are subjective understanding and accounting for them are key. Defining non-quantifiable benefits and costs i.e. emotional toll, work load, disruption to the enterprise, client or market confusion, etc. can all impact the overall benefit and cost of the initiative. Even if you don’t include these variables in the actual equation, as a responsible leader you should consider these issues in full to ensure you have a complete grasp of the impact on the project and can manage the initiative effectively and productivity to a successful outcome.

I hope you find these tips helpful but remember, when conducting a CBA be careful of data overload. While considering all the data to make an informed decision is important, you need to balance the effort so you don’t end up with paralysis by analysis. The ultimate objective is to make in informed and actionable decision based on a reasonable and responsible CBA.


Written by David Frederick

July 14, 2011 at 8:47 AM

More Magic 9

In the spirit of this weeks discussion on the importance and effectiveness of certain numbers used in marketing, I wanted to share another short piece of information on the use of numbers and the psychological effects they have on consumers buying habits.

According to Science Direct – The Journal of Retail and Consumer Services, sellers of high-priced goods such as hotel rooms tend to price their offerings with round numbers, but research indicates they should take a lesson from grocers and create prices ending in odd numbers — especially 9 (Remember my previous postings on the magic of using number 9? – DF).

In a study of tourists, Sabine Kleinsasser of Vienna University of Economics and Udo Wagner of the University of Vienna found that even when it comes to expensive goods, consumers prefer prices ending in 9. In food retailing, 60% of prices end in 9 and 90% end in either 9 or 5.

Further, this investigation considers how consumers of higher-priced goods (i.e., tourism services that are neither cheap nor luxurious) perceive odd and even prices and reveals whether these perceptions differ from previous findings that have nearly exclusively related to low-priced goods (e.g., food). This study therefore addresses a new realm and contributes several findings on price endings in reference to goods priced at higher levels. First, consumers of higher-priced goods might be influenced by price endings, just as consumers of low-priced goods are. Second, personal involvement and price interest have a moderating effect on perceptions of such price endings. Third, odd prices also make sense for sellers of higher-priced goods.


To read the full report click here!

Written by David Frederick

May 4, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Most Americans Unwilling to Pay for Online News

Here is a very interesting and new report from Adweek/Harris poll that shows American’s are unwilling to pay for online news content. Pretty interesting from a content monetization stand point. This could change the thinking of how to monetize news content in the digital age. I wonder if there is a parralell with Europe and Asia. Hmmm.


Most Americans Unwilling to Pay for Online News

Harris Poll finds number is even lower than 15 months ago

05/02/2011 | Truman Lewis | ConsumerAffairs.com

Newspapers and other traditional media outlets have spent a lot of time and money trying to figure out how to sock their online readers, who they perceive are getting a free ride when they read online news content.

But the latest Adweek/Harris finds a large majority of Americans (80%) say they are willing to pay exactly “nothing” to read a daily newspaper online. Of the one in five who would pay, 14% said they would pay between $1 and $10 per month while very few said that they would be willing to pay between $11 and $20 (4%) or more than $20 per month (2%).

The New York Times recently put up a paywall, charging online readers who view over 20 articles per month.

But while online paywalls are becoming more common, fewer people say they would be willing to pay to read content online now, than said so in late 2009 — 20% say they would be willing to pay for a daily newspaper’s content online today, compared to 23% who said so in December 2009.

Other findings of the recent poll include:

  • Younger adults are more likely than those older to pay for a daily newspaper’s content online — over a quarter of adults aged 18-34 say they would (26%) compared to between 15% and 18% of all other age groups;
  • Men are more willing to pay than women are — a quarter of men say they would (25%) with 18% saying they would pay between $1 and $10 per month, while only 15% of women say they would pay anything to read a daily newspaper’s content online; and,
  • The more education a person has the more likely they are to be willing to pay to read a daily newspaper’s content online — over a quarter of college graduates say they would pay (28%) compared to one in five people who have attended some college (19%) and just 15% who have not attended any college at all.

So what?

Currently several major publications charge readers for their content online including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and most recently The New York Times.

Unfortunately it seems that as these companies are adapting to a business environment increasingly dominated by the Internet, their readers are slower to embrace, or are resistant to, certain changes, especially when it comes to paying for something that has been free for so long.

This raises several questions and areas for more research, including: how many Americans rely on the Internet for their news content, how particular are Americans about what publication or source they go to for their news, and, how do people think that media companies with large online presences should pay for the work that they do.

“How much, if anything, would you be willing to pay per month in order to read a daily newspaper’s content online?”
Base: All U.S. adults
Total Dec. 2009 Total Age Gender Education
18-34 35-44 45-54 55+ Male Female H.S. or less Some college College grad +
% % % % % % % % % % %
Willing to pay (NET) 23 20 26 18 15 17 25 15 15 19 28
  More than $20 1 2 3 2 1 1 3 1 1 1 3
  $11-$20 4 4 6 2 4 3 5 3 3 3 5
  $1-$10 19 14 17 14 11 13 18 11 10 15 20
Nothing 77 80 74 82 85 83 75 85 85 81 72
Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding


This Adweek/Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 29 and 31, 2011 among 2,105 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Where appropriate, this data were also weighted to reflect the composition of the adult online population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Written by David Frederick

May 3, 2011 at 1:28 PM

High Touch – The Oft Forgotten Art

I wanted to share an interesting focus point from one of my mentors Alan Weiss. In it, Alan highlights the oft forgotten art of forming relationships, trust and delivering superior client support and response. Check it out!


John Naisbitt wrote about “high tech/high touch” almost 30 year ago, and I believe he was absolutely on target. Technological “mystery” has plateaued, and we no more think of being “plugged in” to the Internet as we do to the electrical grid (as technology columnist Walt Mossberg points out). What are you doing to develop breakthrough client relationships on the “high touch” side? It’s not done by mass emails, lengthy voice mail instructions, or automated reminders. It’s accomplished through personalization, direct contact, and rapid response. Products and services may shine in strong economies, but relationships garner you the benefit of the doubt in any economy.

Written by David Frederick

April 19, 2011 at 1:30 PM

All Bets Are Off, All The Time!

I’ve recently been thinking about the current economic and business challenges many businesses face in today’s economy and why some succeed and others struggle or even fail. I have concluded that in times of rapid change, like the current times we are in, you have rapid turbulence and chaotic volatility. That means all bets are off, all the time. What this means for a business is that you ultimately have to throw out your assumptions and models every six weeks because things change so quickly. Think about this, it only takes one tiny piece of information to entirely change your thinking and planning. One new competitive, marketing, advertising, product, service, innovation, development, technology deployment or strategic step can fundamentally change what you do in your business. It could completely change your entire business model if you’re not careful!

In my experience, many organizations spend weeks, months and even years to plan a complex multi-step strategy when one external event can force your business to change quickly to merely survive. Those that can adapt and change, survive. Those that cant or wont, get left behind. Business today needs to be constantly open to the radical idea that you may be on the wrong path and need to adjust accordingly. Or, what seemed like the right path six months ago may now be the wrong path. Planning concrete, locked strategies, assumptions, models, etc. 6 months to a year out is not only unrealistic, its dangerous to the health and success of your business. With the plethora of new information, models, strategies, statistics, activities, research, processes, etc. being released into the world on a daily basis, organizations must constantly be open to the idea that there may be a better way and that your organization may have to change. More importantly is determining when, if and how to change. Making knee jerk reactions to data points and information can be equally disruptive and dangerous.

The key is flexibility and adaptation. Organizations that are dynamic, responsive, adaptive, and flexible are typically more innovative, creative, optimistic, and ultimately more successful than organizations that are inflexible and rigid in their thinking and execution. In order to be successful in the uncertain, dynamic and ever-changing business and economic environment of the early 21st century, flexibility will be a key factor in determining who is successful and who is not. Keep that in mind when you are planning your strategic and execution plans. I am not saying don’t plan, but plan on having to make real-time adjustments and contemplate how they will impact your business. In the early 21st century, nothing stands still for 6 months, let alone 6 weeks.