Week 137

Igor discusses Yahoo’s acquisition of tumblr and teases a new publishing project.

It’s Yahoo! week.

The internet has been buzzing about the Tumblr acquisition for a couple of days now. Being bought by Yahoo used to be a great thing. Flickr, Yahoo Brickhouse. All those names were associated with highly competent teams and extraordinary technology. These days, the not-so-newly appointed CEO Marissa Mayer needs to openly promise that they won’t mess it up. If anything, it speaks to the fluidity of the technology business.

It will be interesting to watch what happens next. Yahoo has been clawing its way up to be considered as an equal contender among the other tech giants. Grabbing up Tumblr will help in that regard. It shows a financial commitment that will at least make the others pay closer attention. My take on this is that wether or not this take-over will be a successful one will not only be decided if Yahoo can make Tumblr profitable or not. For Yahoo this deal was not only about the potential revenue from Tumblr, it was about being perceived as a potential serious employer and partner in the near future. It’s about building a company that can change the brand perception of today’s Yahoo.

So far, the last 12 months have been successful. Appointing Mayer was a big scoop and one that gave the company credibility, but also one that has built up expectations. Mayer’s eagerness to buy Tumblr is likely to also be based on the fact that analysts and the industry in general have been waiting for a big gesture.

Her juggling those expectations seems to be working out fine so far. Launching a big update of Flickr on the next day is also a keen tactical move by the PR professional that Mayer is.

There is one mistake that Yahoo could make that would ruin Tumblr instantly: take away the anonymity/pseudonymity of the platform by requiring a Yahoo login. Lets hope they won’t walk into this trap.

In other news

We’ve been working on a small project with our dear friends from MoreSleep and Freunde von Freunden. It’s a little publication experiment that aims to give executives and key decision makers inside companies a faster and more comprehensive introduction into trends that we are seeing. No, it is not yet another trend report.

It’s too early to publish it online, but if you want to take a glance at what we are up to, drop us a line.