eBay to Acquire Skype

Skype today announced that they will be acquired by eBay. Accoording to Jeff Clavier this deal will cost eBay the lofty sum of 4.1 billion dollars, which looks pretty expensive:
"Skype generated approximately $7 million in revenues in 2004, and the company anticipates that it will generate an estimated $60 million in revenues in 2005 and more than $200 million in 2006. (...) On a long-term basis, eBay expects Skype operating margins could be in the range of 20% to 25%." So the forward revenue multiple is 40X (!!!), and the price paid per client is $45 (against $20 per MySpace users paid by NewsCorp).
Wow! And I thought the MySpace acquisition was overpriced. Not a bad deal for Skype's founders and initial investors. But what does the online auction giant wants with a VoIP start up ? Robert Scoble tries to make sense of it all:
Some people have come up to me and asked me "does this deal make any sense to you?" It does. eBay is a marketplace. It's about putting buyers and sellers together. Now, how can you make that marketplace more efficient? Voice and video. Selling things is easier when you can tell and show. Skype is all about that.
Well, that sounds plausible. But shouldn't a company like eBay be able to buy one of Skype's competitors at a much lower price and turn him into a successful VoIP player ? Perhaps by giving any new user 10 or 20 $ for free calls upon registration for a while...
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The Return of the Bullfighter

Bullfighter from Deloitte Consulting When I do presentations on viral marketing I always talk about the Bullfighter campaign that Deloitte Consulting did back in 2003 - one of my all time favorites for viral marketing in the B2B arena. But unfortunately, Deloitte stopped the campaign a long time ago. Perhaps too many proposals, strategy papers and presentations from Deloitte's own consultants got "bull-checked" by their clients !? I don't know. But I have good news - the Bullfighter is back: www.fightthebull.com
If you think you smell something at work, there's probably good reason -- Bull has become the official language of business. Every day, we get bombarded by an endless stream of filtered, jargon-filled corporate speak, all of which makes it harder to get heard, harder to be authentic, and definitely harder to have fun. But it doesn't have to be that way. The team that brought you the Clio Award-winning Bullfighter software is back with an entertaining, bare-knuckled guide to talking straight. Grab your cape and sharpen your sword. It's time to fight the bull!
The team behind it is no longer associated with Deloitte. They created a great website, started a blog and even got some viral clips ! All this to promote their book with the telling title "Why Business People Speak Like Idiots : A Bullfighter's Guide". Sounds like an interesting read. Only problem: how can I start to fight the bull on my Mac ? (via Rohit Bhargava)
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Quote of the Day

Bestseller author and A-List blogger Cory Doctorow is quoted in an USA Today article about the future of book publishing:
"For almost every writer, the number of sales they lose because people never hear of their book is far larger than the sales they'd lose because people can get it for free online," Doctorow says. "The biggest threat we face isn't piracy, it's obscurity."
Ben McConnell's advice: Take the words "writer" and "book" and substitute them with your job and associated product.
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How to earn Money with Google Maps

For me, one of the most exciting things Google is doing right now is Google Maps. Especially the way Google has opened up the whole platform for others, who can now build their own services on top - applications like Housingmaps.com or Plazes.com. But the fact that Google is providing this fine service for free certainly doesn't mean, they don't want earm millions with it. And just in case anybody is wondering how Google is going to pull this off, an Article from Business 2.0 has the answer:
The Web is the new operating system. And, in software, the more people who build on top of your platform, the more influential and indispensable your technology becomes. Once you've established dominance, you can figure out how to use your platform to make money. If local ads become the next large growth market in search, wouldn't maps be a great place to show them? Google's AdSense places text ads on other websites; the same thing could be done with maps. The company could call it MapSense.
Link: Article from Business 2.0
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Trends for a Time when Blogging is Mainstream

Steve Rubel has compiled a great list with trends for the next 10 years:
  1. The Long Tail - small players can collectively make up a market that rivals the giants. As Seth says, small is the new big. This applies equally for journalism as well as for marketers.
  2. The Read Write Web/Web 2.0 – technologies like Ajax will make the web more dynamic, turning it into a full-fledged platform. Wither the desktop.
  3. Timeshifting – consumers will increasingly want to devour media on their own time, on the mobile device of their choice and without commercials
  4. Collaborative Categorization – consumers, using technology, will create their own taxonomies that make it easier to find information. This is sometimes called tagging, social search or folksonomies. However, this is just the beginning.
  5. Citizen Marketing – consumers will organize – either on their own or with the help of companies – to evangelize products they love and vilify those they don’t
  6. The Daily Me – it’s finally here; RSS, AI and personal search tools will make it easier for people to seek out only the news they care about and tune out all else
  7. It’s All a Conversation – as journalism becomes a conversation, so will marketing - just like Cluetrain said.
  8. What’s Inside is Outside – mobile devices and consumer generated media mean that whatever a single eye beholds so can the world.
  9. Trust Marketing – people will increasingly use social networking technology to tune in messages from individuals they trust (including citizen journalists) and tune out everyone else.
  10. Decentralized Communication – armies of individual employees will use technology to become the voice of every company; like it or not. The solo singer is dead. Long live the chorus.
What's missing ? Not much, I guess. Perhaps the Do-It-Yourself Economy and the 5th Estate !? Btw, Mario puts everything into context (in German only).
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Drucker Quotes a la Carte

If you want your "Daily Drucker" without buying the book, try the Drucker quote collection on BrainyQuote. My favorites:
  • Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.
  • There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.
  • Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.
  • When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course. (Btw, that seems to be the prime directive of German politics!)
  • It takes far less energy to move from first rate performance to excellence than it does to move from incompetence to mediocrity.
  • Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
(via Brand Autopsy)
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Google isn't building a Building

Robert Scoble on what Google is up to:
I doubt Google is building what everyone is thinking they are building. Here's what I'm hearing: don't look for them to build a building. Look for them to build bricks. Once they have a bunch of bricks, then they'll look to put those bricks together in an interesting way. If you are thinking they are building a building, like a house, then you'll be frustrated with their "strategy." If you are, though, like me, and are watching them build bricks and other construction pieces, then you can really see their strategy (or, lack of strategy) evolve.
I couldn't agree more. And until now every little brick looks pretty nice ! Btw, what's up with these pageranks going AWOL ?
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