AOL saying Bye-Bye to Bebo

- April 13, 2010

I continue to see articles concerning AOL’s slow implosion in the press.  The latest in the salvo concerns the management at AOL consideration of shedding Bebo.  AOL bought Bebo for $850 million two years ago, while they were still a part of Time Warner Inc.  Bebo was an important piece of their transformation plan in which AOL wanted to move away from being a subscription based service for Internet access to a media business generating ad-supported revenue.  When a business with the resources of a Time Warner makes a billion dollar bet and fails to monetize, one must wonder if they performed the proper vetting process or were they simply following the herd.

This is not the first failure in the firm’s acquisitions; Buy.at was recently jettisoned for $17 million after paying $125 million in 2008 for the dgital ad firm.  Will its instant messaging service ICQ be next?  When will the shareholders demand better stewardship from the leaders making these bets?

The small to medium business (SMB) owner would not survive if they followed the herd at each new fork in the technology path.  SMBs must be better shepherds of their funds than the large public companies that they compete against, if they want to survive and flourish.  So how does a SMB determine when to launch a social media campaign and which platform?  Many variables must be considered such as these outlined in a recent blog post.   When you are ready and have performed your due diligence, give us a call and hear how we can help you to make the correct bet.

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