Talking tech since 2003

Now that it’s a done deal and Aol has acquired TechCrunch (along with two other companies today), I began to wonder whether this marks the end of an era.  While I guess deep down, I knew a day like this would come – it just had to eventually, I never fully considered the implications it would have down the road for other blogs and what it means for smaller (but growing) sites such as BestTechie.

Aol’s acquisition of TechCrunch marks the end of an era.  The era of major independent blogs, news sites, etc is coming to an end.  Mainstream media and content providers will start to acquire more of these “new media” sites and what is currently new will be old, and what is old will be new.  Independent sites will have a much more difficult time competing due to lack of resources, capital, and ability to easily scale.

Which got me thinking.  In today’s world, how often do we see a small startup turn into one of the most successful companies in the world?  The answer is not too often.

Most startups (especially in technology) dream of building a product/service that changes the world.  A product/service that some company will want to acquire for a substantial amount of money.  Everyone always has a dream exit strategy.  What this type of mentality leads to (and it’s not necessarily a bad thing) is that the percentage of these startups that become major corporations is much smaller.  It is more likely that they end up becoming a part of another company or dying.

So what am I getting at exactly?  These major corporations have been and most likely will remain around for quite some time.  It’s not easy to create the next big thing.  I have no doubt in my mind that there will be more acquisitions of blogs in the near future.  Acquisitions that further entrench major corporations into our lives so they can continue to be successful and make big profits.

The most recent example I can think of (inside tech) of a company that has so far remained independent and may eventually go public is Facebook.  Of course, there are a few others such as LinkedIn and Skype (which I still think Apple should acquire) which may also go public in the near future; as well as LogMeIn which went public in 2009.

However, what it really comes down to is that there will always be something new around the bend that attracts attention and becomes successful, but it seems more and more the chances of remaining independent lessen as already established companies make acquisition offers you can’t refuse.


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