Every now and then I keep an eye open for things that would make even someone averse to technology, sit back, take notice and discuss that topic. This post is a short one on the Microsoft-LinkedIn acquisition. Short not because Jeff Weiner already did his bit and explained to his employees, but because this whopping 26Billion$ this deal has some interesting facets which are still unexplainable.
The Bad Part – Economics
I don’t want to bring in the Skype or Nokia acquisition. Simply because LinkedIn is an entirely different ballgame. Neither do I want to compare it financially to the Facebook – Whatsapp deal, because Facebook got Whatsapp cheap! Whatsapp had one thing Facebook was missing critically – phone numbers.
19Billion$ for millions and potential several million customer records – it’s worth it. Right now perhaps we’re missing something but Microsoft is paying a hefty premium for that something. Roughly, the buyout price of a company who’s stocks are tumbling over the last year at $196 per share, Microsoft valued LinkedIn at 91 times the EBITDA. This makes no sense because even a “strategic partnership” would have enabled them to get the LinkedIn data or the Graph services into the Microsoft Applications. I say this explicitly, simply because there is no concrete example of how Microsoft’s cloud sales or software sales are directly being impacted.
The Other Part – Strategy
Bill Gates talks of something in the much longer term. Microsoft has lagged behind the social context losing out to Google and Facebook notably. Using LinkedIn Feed is certainly something that’s going to take time and also make people cautious about Privacy – an “interwoven” connectivity might still raise eyebrows. LinkedIn needs to be more than just an “options” game for Microsoft to grow. Despite maintaining a degree of autonomy and independence it does not mean it will operate like YouTube does within Google – well now we go further – Alphabet.
Microsoft is not new to holding different types of businesses which are but complimentary to it’s core offerings. With an array of Products and Solutions Social tools (Skype or Yammer) to Hardware (Nokia or X-box) Microsoft has itself making the moolah, but what is that 1 thing in LinkedIn Satya Nadella was able to see in the B2B space that would make them god-like powerful – it still remains to be seen.
June 21 is celebrated as World Yoga Day. This world can be unforgiving and some people will be selfish but we shouldn’t give up. Yoga isn’t about physical exercise or shaking your tummy. It’s about shaking the whole world. It’s uniting yourself – the body, the breath and the mind. In these days of despair remember – We share, we care!