Microsoft-Yahoo

I was thinking about the merger this morning and it struck me that the model tech merger is… Adobe’s buyout of Macromedia for $ 3.4 billion.

Now it is nowhere near the size or complexity of the Microsoft merger offer. But the point is that both companies brought their software together to create the Creative Suite series.

I mean think of it, different software, different programming, different programming culture, ethics and architecture.

Now I currently have CS3 installed. Its quite amazing how Macromedia’s software ( Flash, Freehand – now Illustrator) works quite well with the rest of the suite.  My point is that it works, not that its amazing ( which it is).

In similar vein, Yahoo and Microsoft are totally different companies. 

The problem isn’t the technology. The different technology might be good, it’ll force Microsoft to take another look at Linux. The problem is the people, the culture. No matter how good your team may be, they’ll never turn out anything is they can’t work together.

Getting the two cultures to play nice is simple: phone up Adobe and ask who their  consultancy company was in 2005 for the merger, and hire them 🙂 . Or hire, Jim Rohn, Antony Robins, and Tim Berners Lee. As teams are integrated, send them off on a team building course or something.

Now, is $44 Billion too little for Yahoo! ? The board seems to think so. Forget the “only logical option” argument for a second here and think it though. As Kara Swisher said it:

Indeed, some think that if the company was managed more aggressively–and that has been a big if at Yahoo for far too long now–Yahoo shares could be trading closer to $30 a share.

And that makes $31 kind of a bargain.

It’s not such a leap of faith, in fact.

Many mid-level and senior Yahoo execs have told me that CEO Jerry Yang’s too-cautious approach has been the problem and that there was pressure building for a change

In fact, the more you think about it, the more it sounds as if Microsoft have jumped the gun looking (hoping?) for a quick deal.

Now for the de rigueur Scoble quote:

“Are they crazy?”

I said “probably, and arrogant too.” Then she wondered why they would do such a thing. I told her that I agreed with Philip Greenspun, who says that to reject this deal is lunacy. Since I know Yahoo’s board members aren’t lunatics, I figure there must be some other answer. I told Maryam “they are probably trying to see if the offer will go up.”

Yahoo! are playing a high stakes poker game. the winners get bask in all their glory for the next few decades and losers look for new jobs.

If you are going to pay money for something – make sure that you get your moneys worth. If Microsoft think that they are going to get Yahoo on the cheap ( relatively speaking, that is), they need to rethink their attitude. Yahoo is worth shelling out for, but is above being treated like a second class citizen.

And If Microsoft have such an attitude with Yahoo!, any merging will be a disaster. Yahoo’s minds (linux or not) will leave and the empire will suffer ( sounds like Star Wars). Microsoft will be left with a rotting hulk that will drain money and resources for no observable gain. It’ll be like Alice in Wonderland where she has to run faster  and faster to stay where she is (the translation being that Yahoo will require more and more to stay  the same).

So although this sounds like a 7 Habits lecture, Microsoft’s attitude will determine how this ends up.

In the words of the immortal Spiderman:

With great power comes great responsibility