This is a view I’ve heard before, back when I worked at Microsoft, so I thought it was useful to share so you can see how Microsofties think. Aleem Bawany writes “We don’t need to buy any community, we already have a really large one we can tap into.”
They are right, if you look at it that way. But you can’t have it both ways: you can’t live off your existing community and be “cool” and I know that Microsoft desperately wants to be cool. (They were paying for coolness initiatives to try to get people to see them as cool).
Why? Cause if you’re a consumer company and you want to see growth, you’ve gotta be interesting at minimum.
Why does growth matter? It’s what the stock market rewards.
Now, maybe passing on YouTube was the right thing to do, but lately I’m noticing a lot of cloning going on. That never will be cool. It may, however, be very profitable.
So, maybe Aleem will have the last laugh.
I still think we’re in an audience business, though, and audiences don’t appreciate copies as much as they appreciate originals.
That big audience that Microsoft has? It’s theirs to lose.
Oh, and I think Om Malik’s analysis is pretty funny that Google already paid for the YouTube acquisition thanks to a higher stock price. Of course Microsoft’s stock price has been going up lately too. So, not sure anything can be made out of that here, although it is interesting to note.