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Reddit and JotSpot Acquired 53

Posted by kdawson
from the bubble-2.0? dept.
Two Web 2.0 companies' acquisitions were announced today: JotSpot by Google, and Reddit by Wired. hpcanswers writes, "Google has bought JotSpot, a maker of wiki software. From the linked FAQ: 'Google shares JotSpot's vision for helping people collaborate, share, and work together online. JotSpot's team and technology are a strong fit with existing Google products like Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Apps for Your Domain, and Google Groups.' The purchase price has not been disclosed." Coverage of the JotSpot deal is everywhere; Cnet's and the AP's are thorough. And MattSparkes writes, "The user-generated news site Reddit has been bought out by Wired's parent, Condé Nast, for an undisclosed sum. As the great big Web 2.0 bubble continues to inflate towards the popping point, and Boston sees a few more young millionaires move west, who will we see bought out next?"
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Reddit and JotSpot Acquired

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  • I don't believe that we will approach a bubble like we did in the late 90's. The very fact that people are apprehensive about such evaluations is a good sign that hopefully things will stay in check.

    37 Signals wrote a good article a while back trying to keep this hype in check.
    http://www.37signals.com/svn/archives2/dont_believ e_businessweeks_bubblemath.php [37signals.com]

    Remember, part of an evaluation is function of current value vs. a projection of ROI. How will this investment in Reddit be returned? I have no clue,
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by businessnerd (1009815)
      If you have the ability to ask the question "Am I insane?", then you are not insane.
      • by vmfedor (586158)
        This is not true. I can ask any question I want, yet still I remain batshit insane. ;)
      • by tehcyder (746570)
        If you have the ability to ask the question "Am I insane?", then you are not insane
        Does this mean that if I have the ability to ask the question "Are you insane?" then I am not insane?

        Because if so I have to ask - are you insane?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Churla (936633)
      Here's the problem with saying "web 2.0" is bubbleproof. That whole thing about approximation and expectation of ROI based on what you think the company will do in the future. This means it's justified because they see some continued growth indefinitely in many cases. This is the exact same valuation fallacy which caused the original bubble. And in many ways is causing the real estate one.

      Web 2.0 will be in line for it's reality check.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by coldtone (98189)
        I don't think anyone believes web 2.0 is bubble proof. While some of these companies are going for a ton of money. (youtube, myspace) given there ranking in terms of Internet traffic these amounts are not absurd.

        The others seam to be going for less then 50Mil. This is not a lot of money considering how much it would cost a big company to.

        a) duplicate the software,
        b) Advertise it, and build a brand
        c) grow a community.

        Its simply cheaper and easier for them to buy.
    • by ClamIAm (926466)
      I don't believe that we will approach a bubble like we did in the late 90's.

      I think this is true as well, but I have another reason to add to yours: the economy is quite a bit different now. The late 90s were very good times economically. These days, things aren't as good: fuel prices are higher, war creates uncertainty, the government is deficit spending like mad, globalization is collecting its due, etc, etc.

      However, there will definitely be a shakedown sometime in the future. I don't think it will be
    • Hilarious; shortly after that post by the 37 Signals folks, Jeff Bezos made an undisclosed investment in 37 Signals! Bezos!
  • I Know I Know! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:13PM (#16662375) Journal
    As the great big Web 2.0 bubble continues to inflate towards the popping point, and Boston sees a few more young millionaires move west, who will we see bought out next?
    Slashdot! By ... um ... Google. And it will be bundled in with everything else and called YouGoogleDot Beta. It will be improved by parsing our comments and suggesting goods and services to us based on our thoughts and rantings. The sections will change slightly with the 'Google' section being renamed to 'The Section' and all the other being given the prefix of 'Google's Attempt to Build a Better.'

    However, if Steve Ballmer buys Slashdot, it might be shut down with the server boards & hard drives made into urinals in Ballmer's private bathroom. Oh, think of all the bright futures of the mighty Slashdot!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lys1123 (461567)

      Slashdot! By ... um ... Google. And it will be bundled in with everything else and called YouGoogleDot Beta. It will be improved by parsing our comments and suggesting goods and services to us based on our thoughts and rantings.

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      • I really think they would be more like this:

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    • Re:I Know I Know! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by yanos (633109) <yannos@gm a i l.com> on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @04:09PM (#16663371)
      Your sig should read:

      Slashdot: A place where I'm +5 Insightful when I really tried my best to be funny.
    • Slashdot is already owned by VA or OSTG or whatever it's called this week.
  • 1. Make start-up company with an "innovative" idea, (i.e. ANYTHING considered Web 2.0)
    2. Wait for Google to buy you
    3. Retire and relax
    • Step 3 is wrong. They buy the company and still expect them to work on the project. The employees are just wealthy now.
      • Doesn't stop you from burning out and quitting six months latter, and cashing out your Google stock to invest in something a little more diverse.
        • by MeauxToo (644228)

          Umm ... companies realized a long time ago that they need to tie the founders of companies up post-acquisition. This type of deal include "velvet handcuffs" that defer a significant portion of the its value for a number of years. Typically, it a 2-3 year term. I would be willing to bet that they received 20-30% of the purchase price today, and will get the remainder in drip and drabs for the next 2-3 years. At the end of the term, they then probably get the last 20-30%. So, the burnout in 6 months pla

    • by PCM2 (4486)
      Seriously, with the number of interviews required to get a job at Google down to a mere 5.1, [wsj.com] I wonder which is easier: Getting a job at Google or just starting your own company and waiting for them to buy you out?
    • by jtobin (988724)
      No, no, yoo left out the crucial step:
      1. Start-up company
      2. ???
      3. Google buy-out
      4. Profit!
  • After YouTube a wiki version of the blogging service... how could we all have missed that great business opportunity? (Note: sarcasm).

    Blogs, comments, threaded forums and wiki's are just different ways of organizing, collecting and storing information. Wouldn't a "create miniwiki" function in blogger make more sense or does "jotspot" have a more enterprisey feature set?
    • JotSpot is going downstream from the enterprise. That leaves SocialText and eTouch SamePage. Thanks for being a competitor Jot.
  • The Borg [userfriendly.org], she grows - resistance is futile. [userfriendly.org]

    No, jokes aside - I'm starting to have serious doubts about google's internal innovation engine. As someone recently pointed out [slashdot.org], the reason startups are innovative are because they aren't constrained. From what I hear, google has retained a bit of the humility required to keep their startup ethos (to be a company of a hundred startups) for the last five years. To do this, they've had to do more subtle PR tricks than there is in the book and I can truly admire

    • by jomas1 (696853)
      Personally, I respect the fact that Google is acquiring these startups rather than copying the ideas of said startups. Why put writely, jotspot etc out of business by copying them? It seems much less evil to at least pay off the startups who showed the initiative to come up with something new.
      • by tknd (979052)

        Why put writely, jotspot etc out of business by copying them? It seems much less evil to at least pay off the startups who showed the initiative to come up with something new.

        Probably because in the past, Google's [google.com] offering was less popular than a competitor's [youtube.com] offering. Even though Google has a lot of smart people, Google still made the decision to buy its competitor. [slashdot.org]

        If you can't beat them, buy them!

    • by hritcu (871613)
      Google buying start-ups is nothing new, and I don't know why you are finding this to be evil. So what if they are also importing innovation (and smart people at the same time)? Is there anything evil in this? Did they ever discontinue a service they bought? Did they do any hostile take-over?
  • by Knara (9377)
    y'know, I really try to keep up with such things, but am I the only one here who hasn't heard of either of these companies before?
    • by x3nos (773066)
      Possibly. I for one am a bit ashamed at my past allegiance to the Google ethos. However I am not sure this is part of what I signed on for. Google can go a lot of ways with these acquisitions. Straight to hell being one of them.
    • by Omicron32 (646469)
      I'd never heard of JotSpot before, and since it won't allow me on the site while they migrate to Google's servers I can't tell what exactly it does.

      Reddit, on the other hand, has quickly become one of my favourite and most visited sites. I'd highly recommend checking out Reddit, especially if you like Digg (or if, like me, you're starting to find Digg a little... annoying).
      • by x3nos (773066)
        JotSpot is a wiki style online collaboration tool. It's particularly useful when you have several remote team members that need to organize in different time zones / countries, whatever. Not half bad actually.
  • It seems when these "2.0" companies get bought out they really start to suck. So the user's and buyer's expectations pop like a favorite ballon who was just discovered by the cat.

    This is why were seeing a new breed of mySpace and Facebooks evolve and next we'll start seeing something to replace youTube which thanks to removal of content due to litiginous bastards is now just a bunch of cat videos and bad Wendy's commercials.

    The cycle will continue as these albatrosses will bring down the purchasing comp
  • ... is focused towards buyouts of non-profitable companies by other companies instead of IPO offerings, hurting individuals who invest. What web 2.0 companies have gone public without a profitable business plan lately? None? This may be a bubble, but it is a much better one that will not set the industry back if it bursts. Instead, those companies who bought out others, and their investors/shareholders will feel the hit, but not the tune of a bankrupt company. Instead of hurting our precious industry and jo

  • "You can't edit this comment using wiki markup because it's been edited in WYSIWYG mode"
    • by hritcu (871613)
      Not to mention that you were only allowed to have 20 pages for free. After that you had to pay.
  • Most non-Slashdot readers would probably know them more from their ownership of The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Vogue.
  • I've heard of people who met actual jotspot users. No kidding.
    • JotSpot is actually a pretty great wiki. It's not as widely-used as mediawiki, of course (since mediawiki is an application, not a service), but it has a lot of powerful features. The most notable feature is forms.

      Forms allow you to tag a page as a particular type, and each type has some meta data associated with it, as well as a view. So it's like a database and a wiki in one, but much easier. It allows an admin user to set up data types and what fields should be included, and then the actual content write
  • But last year Mr Kraus (co-founder of Excite) had different opinion on Google [nytimes.com].
    Here's the juicy excerpt from the article:

    To place Google in context, Mr. Kraus offered a brief history lesson. In the 1990's, he said, I.B.M. was widely perceived in Silicon Valley as a "gentle giant" that was easy to partner with while Microsoft was perceived as an "extraordinarily fearsome, competitive company wanting to be in as many businesses as possible and with the engineering talent capable of implementing effectively

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