Micrsoft/Yahoo Deal Theme Song: It Ain’t Over Till Its Over

The blogosphere has been abuzz since Microsoft indicated it was walking away from its offer to acquire Yahoo. But as many of us know a deal like this ain’t over till its over – anything can happen, and indications from Ballmer behavioralists is that anything probably will happen.

Taking a read through Michael Arrington’s comments on his colleague, Erick Schonfeld’s blog post speculating on the departure of Steve Ballmer we find:

Wow, Erick. Your poll options remind me of the “so when did you stop beating your wife” jokes. In yesterday’s Gillmor Gang we talked about what, if anything, Microsoft did wrong in the negotiations. Overall it seems they were handled as well as could be expected right from the beginning.

and later,

I mean, seriously, how about “He’s played this perfectly from start to finish”

and it isn’t over yet.

One thing the team at TechCrunch hopefully can agree on, and which they’ve got right is that Yahoo will be having an interesting Monday.

The best comment so far though has to be this parody:

Do You Have a Facebook Strategy?

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Used to be a time, not that long ago (pre May 25th – the launch date of the Facebook platform), when the most frequently asked question in VC pitch meetings was, “What’s your China strategy?”

Today, topping the faqs has to be, “What’s your Facebook strategy?”

For CxOs who have not yet cottoned on to the viral coefficient and engagement aspects of Facebook, here are a few metrics worth digesting:

* in the first 20 weeks 366 million applications were installed from the Facebook platform.

* this growth is continuing unabated and is set to track past 1 billion in the first year.

* in August – there were 14 million unique app users (this equated to 33% of all Facebook members)

* in August – there were 88 million app visits

* in August – average dwell time per visit was 4:30 minutes.

Asking whether a company has a Facebook strategy is also shorthand for asking whether its executives have embraced the open architecture model. Facebook is the tip of the iceberg, with many more opportunities to leverage deeply engaged user communities on the horizon.

[Stats courtesy of Justin Smith of InsideFacebook @ Graphing Social Patterns, picture courtesy of BeFitt]

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Pladuct: the new web mantra

Fred Wilson makes some excellent points regarding the interchangeability of the terms product and platform.

Let me give my take on his three key points:

1. Products must focus on platform requirements – how will they integrate with platforms that are already out there (eg Facebook, Myspace, Youtube), will they be locked to a single platform or able to adapt to other platforms (untethered), will the data they generate exist within a platform black hole (eg posting a video on Facebook – not easy to move it off of Facebook), how well do they cater to the stage of development of target platforms (eg Facebook is currently about engagement but shifting towards deeper content, Myspace is about self expression).

2. Products are platforms – does your product have an API, can others build upon it in an adaptive, innovative manner, is the sum greater than the parts (Twitter + Twitteriffic + Twittervision).

3. Give more with your pladuct than you get – do your users get more than they give, do your users get more from you than they can get from a competitor.

The term “pladuct” in point 3 is not a  typo — think of it as the mash up of “platform” and “product” —  type PLADUCT in big, bold letters on your office/garage whiteboard/wall — as a constant reminder of the new web mantra.

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What’s your Asia Pacific strategy?

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Pictures speak volumes. Does your business have an Asia Pacific strategy?

If so, great, accept one silver star. Next question: when last did you update it? Frontiers morph and shift at lightning pace – ask anyone who faced down a gunslinger in the old West….you gotta move fast or get out of the way.

[Diagrams extracted from Golin Harris's Next 50 Years]

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