Don't buy Yahoo!, buy me
The offer by Microsoft to buy Yahoo! for $44.6 billion caught my attention recently. So did the fact that the Internet giant's board of directors rejected the monstrous offer, perhaps setting up an aggressive acquisition battle, a so-called hostile takeover, between the two computer and Internet technology competitors.
After hearing of this bid, I have taken steps to announce to one and all that my virtual space and all that it entails is also for sale. Move over Yahoo!, my virtual space and all the access that it can provide to the billions of Internet users is up for grabs. May the highest bidder take home the prize.
I am an open book, a conduit to relentless and copious amounts of information. My mental capacity, though diminished from at least seven known concussions and other assorted head trauma incidents, is still vast. I like to say that I do pretty well for a guy with brain damage.
According to Andrew Sorkin in The New York Times, Microsoft may be planning a series of bare-knuckled Wall Street tactics, including schmoozing with Yahoo's largest shareholders to soften them up for a future bid. If things don't go their way, Microsoft may even try to oust the Yahoo board of directors by forcing an election and nominating a new slate of candidates.
Forget presidential politics, this kind of an election sounds more fun. There are no campaign laws in effect for corporate and shareholder politics.
There would be no such battle in dealing with my virtual space and access.
As a confirmed Luddite, an anachronist, one who doesn't quite see the benefits of technologies that have outdistanced our ability to understand why we're using the technology in the first place, I was flummoxed by the fact that someone would pay that much for something that doesn't really exist. Well, doesn't exist in my frame of reference about existence.
After all, what is Yahoo!?
In 1994, the two founders of the company saw it simply as a way to keep track of all the stuff going on in the new world of the worldwide web. A flood of users began hopping on their site and going along for the ride, and pretty soon the two understood that access means dollars and the business flew toward the future like a bird. An initial investment of $2 million in 1995 has now tendered an offer of over $44 billion.
That isn't growth, that's cancer. And I don't mean that in a mean-spirited way. I use Yahoo. Such phenomenal growth led to the dot.com bubble that popped a few years ago.
I give Yahoo credit because they must have had something that someone could latch onto, something that proved they weren't just the flicker of a screen and the promise of getting you to where you wanted to go faster than somebody else.
All while you're sitting in one place.
Everybody was going for the quick kill, the hot growth stock, when there really wasn't any product at all except access to more access. Growing something out of nothing generally means you don't have much other than empty space and a good idea in the first place. It seems like a house of cards, dependent on providing access for the consumer economy gone mad.
Does Yahoo have vast real estate holdings, factories and the means of production? It may not make widgets, but it does have a darn good search engine.
Ah, the Internet. A universe of information where none existed before. How did the world survive?
How does a company that doesn't make anything, anything, grow into something that makes it to the Forbes list of top 500?
Speculation. Hope. Access. Drive them to the web.
I have access to many important people and ideas. My virtual space is for sale. Interested investors need not apply. I'm not up for investment. I'm for sale.
Just like Yahoo!