Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Investors Want Apple to Do a Big Acquisition

"Investors Want Apple to Do a Big Acquisition, JP Morgan Says", Barron's says. While there may well be short term technical financial reasons for acquisition, it's ludicrous to imagine that such a move would be beneficial for a company's long-term well-being (much less a company like Apple whose strongly unified culture makes a great virtue of non-fragmentation). You can't buy integrated breadth. That's just not how it works. Whenever I hear such a thing proposed, I remember this story:

Shortly after Chowhound was acquired by CNET, we were trying to figure out ways to integrate photos into the message boards. I was having trouble coming up with anything creative, so I made a suggestion to "Clay" (the nom-de-gloom I created for my boss in my tale of our acquisition). CNET had also bought a large, popular photo-sharing operation. (It was an expensive acquisition of a very famous web company which no longer exists. In fact, I can't even recall its name. Ah, Internet....)

Why don't I go upstairs and talk to those guys? They live/breathe photo sharing. They'll surely have good ideas! Let's take advantage of this corporate inter-brand synergy you guys are always talking to the press about! Give me just 10 minutes to get their input!

Clay erupted in laughter. Never even answered my question. I didn't get my 10 minutes, never met "those guys", and Chowhound's photo sharing feature was laughably, embarrassingly poor for a full decade (it's slightly better now, but still a weak point).

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