Wildfire & Google–Not A Marriage Made In Heaven

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: mergers and acquisitions

There was a lot of excitement when Wildfire was acquired by Google. The Altimeter Group writes on March 14, 2014:

When Google bought Wildfire for $350M, it took many by surprise. What did Google want with a Social Relationship Management company? Google is in the ad business, not the SRM business. Last year Google announced it was integrating Wildfire’s technology into DoubleClick, and Wildfire dropped off the radar as a social business tool since then. So yesterday’s announcement that Wildfire Social Marketing Suite was being sunsetted was not a shock.

While getting acquired by Google had to feel wonderful at the time, Google acquired it for what Google would consider chump change. And, seeing that Google spent so little, the acquisition cost almost implies “we’ll try it and if things don’t work out so well, oh well.”

I wrote If I Sell You My Company Will You Respect Me In The Morning? In a relatively short time, we learned that Google didn’t respect Wildfire. Is there a lesson here?

Entrepreneurs much look at the bigger strategic fit and not get dazzled by the offering price or the suitor’s name. They must also consider potential downside should the acquiring company suddenly lose interest, e.g., Palm (HP), Pure Digital’s Flip Cameras (Cisco).

Thought for the week:

“An entrepreneur is an innovator, a job creator, a game-changer, a business leader, a disruptor, an adventurer.” – Sir Richard Branson


What do you think? I welcome your comments!


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