So ‚Ä¶ Marissa Mayer Is Paying A 17-Year-Old $30 Million To Be Yahoo's Spokesman For 18 Months?
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Yahoo!
Nicholas Carlson calls out the Summly deal:
Yesterday,¬†Yahoo¬†announced it bought a startup called Summly.
Summly made a news aggregation app.
According to All Things D, Yahoo paid $30 million ‚ÄĒ 90 percent cash.
$30 million isn't much for Yahoo, which has more than $4 billion in cash (and access to much more).
But there are¬†some elements to this deal¬†that make even that small price seem strange.
Summly never really set the world on fire. It had fewer than one million downloads.¬†Yahoo is shutting Summly down.
So basically, Yahoo is acquiring Summly's talent.
Summly's talent is ¬†founder Nick D'Aloisio and two other people. Yahoo is saying¬†D'Aloisio's¬†is to lead Yahoo more boldly into the world of mobile.¬†
A source tells All Things D¬†his job is to "be a great person to put in front of the media and consumers with Mayer to make Yahoo seem like it is a place that loves both entrepreneurs and mobile experiences."
But D'Aloisio lives in London, which is 10,000 miles away from Yahoo's Sunnyvale, California headquarters.
Also, D'Aloisio¬†is 17 years old.
He's supposed to lead grown-up engineers?
Finally,¬†according to All Things D,¬†D'Aloisio¬†is only required to work at Yahoo for the next 18 months.
Again ‚Ä¶Yahoo has $4 billion, and maybe throwing $30 million at a 17-year-old in hopes of seeming cool with the kids is a fine use of 0.75 percent of that money, or 0.12 percent of Yahoo's market cap. ¬†
Maybe it'll help Yahoo get the right kind of press, and show other entrepreneurs like¬†D'Aloisio that Yahoo is a decent place to land.
Maybe it'll make Yahoo seem cutting edge to consumers.
Certainly it's a cheaper marketing stunt than¬†a horrible ad campaign like "It's Y!ou,"¬†which is how ex-Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz tried to accomplish the same goal.
Perhaps this was not actually a $30 million deal?
In any case, this acquisition is sending a mixed message.
If true, Summly has something really, really unique.¬† A Natural Language processing of unstructured data that can distill things into commercially and statistically relevant content that optimizes their revenues.
That's not worth billions if not a measly $30M.¬†¬†
What would Google or Microsoft give for Google Analytics or Bing to be able to distill the most impactfull pieces of unstructured content as measured by content revenue returns?¬†
Unstructured content is the brave new horizon.¬† Tied to actual analytics and revenue is unheard of.¬†
The bottom line, they aren't buying Summly to look cool with the kids.
That explanation makes a lot more sense to me.
Now that I know what it is, I want it. Wish Facebook or Google had gotten it first. I don't use Yahoo much.
Which part do you want, Christy? The summaries or the personalization?
Perhaps I could recommend something...
Both. lol I'm just a kid who likes new toys.¬†