Microsoft Buying LinkedIn: Has The Consolidation Begun?
This morning, it was announced that Microsoft buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, sending their stock up by nearly 50%. This is great news for stockholders, but what does it mean for the business network? First thing that comes to my mind is that if someone were thinking that the concept behind LinkedIn was a play that will have long term value, then they wouldn’t sell. But I think the fact of the matter is that LinkedIn had stepped away from their original vision (if indeed it ever were their vision) as a business network. If you ask me, a business network is there to connect people in order for the to do business – not as a super-annuated job board. This tells me that there is a perfect opportunity for an enterprising startup to develop a true business network, connecting buyers and sellers at the right moment, and once and for all emptying the internet of the sales messages it’s been flooded with.
Along with Microsoft buying LinkedIn, Yahoo! is putting up a portfolio of 3000 patents (probably including the 60+ I did with them) for ~$1B. AT&T has stepped up to the plate, along with Verizon and a Dan Gilbert, and backed by Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett. Looks like that sale will go through for between $3.5 to $5B, which is you ask me seems low. So many innovations that we developed there never made it out of the gate, let’s hope that under new management it will flourish.