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kq4ym 6/23/2016 | 4:21:31 PM
Re: The Arrangement With "433 million members worldwide but has yet to convert scale into profits." one might wonder just what Microsoft has to gain. Maybe high hopes and the ability to convert a million or so folks to Microsoft products would be worth the investment?
mendyk 6/21/2016 | 9:24:54 AM
Re: Probably didn't work Good comment -- wish I thought of it. I was distracted by the cannibis cloud.
Mitch Wagner 6/20/2016 | 10:59:30 PM
Probably didn't work
Mitch Wagner 6/20/2016 | 8:09:32 PM
Re: The Arrangement Douglas Rushkoff points out that ad revenue has a finite limit to it. Ad revenue is about selling something else. We can't all just sell ads to each other -- somebody's got to make the things the ads are selling. 
mendyk 6/16/2016 | 11:19:24 AM
Re: The Arrangement In general, the guiding arithmetic of massive M&As goes something like this: At the announcement, 1 +1 = 3. After all dust settles, the equation is more like 1 + 1 = 1.333, and that's a better-case scenario. In Microsoft's last big deal with Nokia, the equation turned out to be more like 1 + 1 = 0.99. Also, a deal of this magnitude has to have a lot more going for it than potential for ad revenue. That cow is already well milked.
Mitch Wagner 6/16/2016 | 11:06:53 AM
Re: Culture Change Jill Again - He seems to have worked miracles changing the culture already. Usually it takes a returned founder (a la Steve Jobs) to make the kinds of internal changes that Microsoft is making. 

Also, Microsoft is getting pressure from an activist board of directors to make internal changes. Managers who resist may find themselves walking out the door carrying cardboard boxes bearing the former contents of their desks. 
Mitch Wagner 6/16/2016 | 11:04:49 AM
Re: The Arrangement Honestly, I would refuse to guess. A lot is going to depend on execution. There are two separate problems: One is the straightforward business problem of a company integrating a large acquisition.

The second is the technology problem of integrating that LinkedIn data and making it useful. Microsoft and others have been talking about some of the things they're talking about with LinkedIn for years. For example, in a large company, there's this idea that one employee might be working on a project involving flanges, and Office would identify who else in the company might be a flange expert, even on the other side of the world. I started hearing about visions like that nearly 20 years ago, and it doesn't seem much closer today. 

On the plus side, as Brian points out, there's the potential for advertising revenue and marketing. 
mendyk 6/16/2016 | 8:59:05 AM
Re: The Arrangement And if it can all work through Windows Phone, that would be awesome!
brooks7 6/15/2016 | 7:26:27 PM
Re: The Arrangement I joined the LinkedIn Blogging as an adjunct to my Wordpress Blog during the Beta of the tool.  The whole thing has steadily declined in value to me.  When it got started, I would regularly (twice a month or so) get promoted the Pulse Feed and that gave me a much wider audience.

Now, really only the Influencers get promoted.  I have stuck with it because I can post to groups, but groups have really fallen off as well.   At this point, my LinkedIn feed is not a lot better (content wise) than my Facebook feed.

The thing that I think that is missed is all the advertising $$ + all the business services (read Sales Navigator) licenses sold.  To me, that is the only place the value is at the moment.  I have looked at the profit associated with advertising in some Due Diligence, and I can see why Microsoft would want to be in that game.

If I were a MSFT strategist, I would be figuring out how to use LinkedIn to subtly market my products to the right folks.  But hey that's just me.


inkstainedwretch 6/15/2016 | 6:33:35 PM
Re: The Arrangement The most valuable business in the entire electronics industry is Google's ad business. To compete, a company needs vast data centers, big data capabilities, AI, a responsive user interface (a la Siri or Cortana, for example), and vast amounts of traffic from which data on consumer behavior can be culled. The combination is a predicate for a digital assistant that can not just respond to questions but also help people manage their lives.

Microsoft is one of the very very few companies that can pull all that together, and it would be corporate malfeasance to have the wherewithal to bite off a chunk of Google's ad business and not try. 

Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn looks like an attempt to get a holistic home+work view of consumers. If Microsoft pulls it all together successfully AND if it can make a version of Cortana that consumers will appreciate for the ability to manage their entire lives, not just their home lives, it will be that much more valuable to advertisers.

--Brian Santo
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