Paul Higgins wonders if we should oppose the Tumblr acquisition by Yahoo:
Paul Higgins, The Community, Tumblr and Yahoo - Do we Protest?
There are a couple of services that are really important to my life and my business. One of them is Tumblr and the other is Evernote. In promoting Evernote for example I often tell people that if Microsoft buys it I will retire. That is because it has become so important to my work flow and because of my view that large corporations hardly ever get these sort of services right.
Tumblr is equally important to me in a different way and I am part of the community and honoured to be one of the Tech editors, and have almost 200,000 followers.
There are rumours going around that Yahoo is in negotiations to buy Tumblr which worries me a hell of a lot. Let me be clear that I have no problems with the founders and investors making money off the contributions of the community but I worry what would happen to Tumblr in the hands of a large entity.
In a world where business models like these require both the founders and investors to contribute and create but the community to contribute and create as well, valuations and business strategies have a different flavour. No community and there is no business valuation. If you have similar concerns then please reblog or like this post. I intend such support to be a signal to both Tumblr and Yahoo (if the rumours are true) that the community is concerned and should be involved in the decision making process. Maybe that is thinking with delusions of grandeur or maybe it isn’t - over to you the community to decide.
I like Paul, and I can understand his concerns, but I don’t think we should protest this acquisition, but instead welcome it.
Tumblr is confronted with the growing attention of its most direct competitors — Facebook and Twitter — both of which have large and well-established management teams. Also, it’s not so obvious competitors — Google and Microsoft — are waiting in the wings to buy or copy Tumblr. In a way reminiscent of Zuckerberg, David Karp is a young man under intense pressure to grow what he stated in high school into a company that will pay back today’s investors 10X or more on an $800M valuation. Oh, and keep a growing, fickle, and international community of users coming back for more. His genius has certainly been focused toward building the Tumblr architecture and staying close to his vision. But he doesn’t necessarily have the skill set, the team, or the inclination to do all the things needed for the next 10X growth. He may turn out to be Steve Jobs, but that remains to be seen.
My worry is that he could wind up bringing in someone promising as COO, to help push forward, Karp may wind up being Mitch Kapor at Lotus, who hired Jim Manzi, and wound up losing the battle for the office suite to a late-to-the-game Microsoft. Or creating something like the Sculley mess a Apple.
Despite my concerns about Marissa Mayer’s ‘no remote work’ edict — which can be read most generously as an effort to reanimate a dispirited organizational culture, and less generously as an effort to indoctrinate the Yahoos with a top-down, Googlish entrepreneurial fervor — she has been making good acquisitions in the past months, and I believe that she has the chops to help Tumblr crack the code of advertising.
Mayer’s tenure at Google would translate into the skills needed to support Tumblr in growth on the operational side — keeping the service up and humming — and working to make revenue flow. Also, by selling at the price that Yahoo is willing to pay, today, to suit Yahoo’s needs, Karp, his investors, and his team will be able to decrease or obviate the possibility of bad technical or strategic decisions later, forced by the need to grow revenue or execute a dubious liquidity path. That turn of events is the one I worry about most, not becoming another Flickr in Yahoo’s bullpen.
So, for whatever negligible influence I might have on events, I cast my hypomythical ballot in favor of this deal, because chance are it could turn out great, and a purchase by Microsoft, or the possibility of a Lotus turn of events two years from now, for example, worries me much more.
Infographic: The Intricate Anatomy Of UX Design
THIS MEGA GRAPHIC ATTEMPTS TO TACKLE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN UX AND ALL OTHER ASPECTS OF DESIGN.
Yahoo rumored to be in negotiations to buy Tumblr — Stowe Boyd via GigaOM Research -
The AllThingsD team was in attendance at JP Morgan’s Global Technology conference and heard the Yahoo CFO, Ken Goldman, admit that Yahoo needs to regain its “cool” image again. (Did it every have that?) And either Goldman or some other credible sources spilled to the AllThingsDers that Marissa Mayer thinks Tumblr could be the answer, or part of it.
Playing ‘in the zone’ is what many athletes call their experience of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s flow state, the complete absorption in what you are doing.
Bill Russell, Second Wind: The Memoirs of an Opinionated Man
Every so often a Celtics game would heat up so that it became more than a physical or even mental game, and would be magical. That feeling is difﬁcult to describe, and I certainly never talked about it when I was playing. When it happened, I could feel my play rise to a new level. It came rarely, and would last anywhere from ﬁve minutes to a whole quarter, or more. Three or four plays were not enough to get it going. It would surround not only me and the other team, and even the referees. At that special level, all sorts of odd things happened: The game would be in the white heat of competition, and yet somehow I wouldn’t feel competitive, which is a miracle in itself. I’d be putting out the maximum effort, straining, coughing up parts of my lungs as we ran, and yet I never felt the pain. The game would move so quickly that every fake, cut, and pass would be surprising, and yet nothing could surprise me. It was almost as if we were playing in slow motion. During those spells, I could almost sense how the next play would develop and where the next shot would be taken. Even before the other team brought the ball inbounds, I could feel it so keenly that I’d want to shout to my teammates, ‘it’s coming there!’—except that I knew everything would change if I did. My premonitions would be consistently correct, and I always felt then that I not only knew all the Celtics by heart, but also all the opposing players, and that they all knew me. There have been many times in my career when I felt moved or joyful, but these were the moments when I had chills pulsing up and down my spine.
On the ﬁve or ten occasions when the game ended at that special level, I literally did not care who had won. If we lost, I’d still be as free and high as a sky hawk.
Moving so fast that everything is a surprise and yet nothing surprises.
Emergent business has to play at the edge, in the flow, dancing just before the point where it trips.
Gretel Ehrlich said of those yawning Wyoming spaces that she loves, “Its absolute indifference steadied me.” I know what she meant. We spend our days trying to be big. In the middle of nowhere, though, we can surrender to smallness again and instead find where we fit in the landscape. Out there, where there’s nothing, is where there’s the most to learn. — Christopher Solomon, A Case for Getting Far, Far Away
There’s nothing stupid about seeing Google being pitted “versus” other companies. They want everything; their ambition is boundless. — John Gruber, ‘Google Versus’
KC Hong, The Manong Pusher
Manila’s squatters have devised their own mode of transportation, themanong. The manong is a 4 foot by 8 foot wooden box cart with custom-made wheels powered by a single person. These rickety push carts provide a cheaper alternative to traveling between major spots in the city, such as the Polytechnic University of Philippines and between the various squats. Using existing train tracks, manong pushers have created their own intra-city network that saves commuters at least half an hour of transit. The carts are placed on railways and the pusher runs along the track pushing the cart, jumping on and off again to keep it in constant motion. In areas with heavier traffic, where trains run every 15 minutes from both directions, pushers have to immediately evacuate their carts and pull them aside to prevent a collision.
It’s time to stop thinking of computer programming as a specialty subject. Schools should respect it as a fundamental skill. — Why High Schools Should Treat Computer Programming Like Algebra - Jordan Weissmann - The Atlantic (via infoneer-pulse)