11/19/13
Posted at 0:10h, 19 Nov 2013 in List Archive by Bonnie Halper No Comments 135 Likes Share

Good morning, All,

Snapchat just turned down a $3B offer from Facebook. The company, headed by a 23-year-old (sound familiar) has no revenue, but it does have a very loyal and growing – and extremely sticky – user base (sound familiar?).

When FB turned down the big buyout from Yahoo in 2006, it was considered insanity, if not tech suicide. What was young Zuckerberg thinking? Facebook had no particularly propriety technology or patents in its arsenal (sound familiar?). When Twitter turned down the big buyout offer, again, insanity. When Andrew Mason headed up Groupon and turned down…wait, yes, that was insanity.

Still, that question that everyone is asking: who turns down $3 billion? Especially when you have no revenue. You take the money and the world is your oyster, end of great story in the media for a red-hot minute. Oh, and maybe you get that college after all, or just buy one.

Welcome to a Brave New World: the wonderful world of mobile, where you don’t need a web-based platform to grow and/or to go viral.  As we reported last week, teens don’t want to be tracked by everyone and their own mothers, and have been abandoning FB in droves. Snapchat may well be the beginning of a new form of tech – open it, take a look and it disappears, which we personally like to call ‘on and gone.’ All, on mobile only, and when was the last time you left home without your cell? Forest through the trees and pay attention: Right or wrong, Snapchat skated to where the puck is going.

Unlike Yahoo, who promised Tumblr that they’d be hands off, post-acquisition, that’s just not the way FB does rolls. Money or not, and no matter how you feel about their having walked away from all of that cash and yes, it was an all-cash deal, SC knew they’d have lost their base and as for ‘cultural fit,’ that once you join Facebook, you’re basically Zucked.

Also interesting is that Business Insider just released their own report on 7 Statistics About Facebook Users That Reveal Why It’s Such A Powerful Marketing Platform. Full disclosure: we didn’t read the full report, but one statistic that we didn’t see highlighted: user engagement. And thereby may hang part of the tale.

On the other hand, Snapchat founder and CEO Evan Spiegel is a millennial and an entitled/privileged one at that (sound familiar?), in which case, where’s the mystery?

It may just be that on and gone is just the first step in the backlash against NSA cataloguing our every move (Silicon Valley Nerds Seek Revenge on NSA Spies With Coding), or that nothing sunsets or can be retracted on FB, but then, we’re the consummate optimist.

And aren’t we all getting just a little bit sick of walled gardens – especially ones where the landscape – and the rules/TOS – are constantly shifting? And not necessarily in a good way.

The votes are in but they just don’t matter. Only time will tell. Snapchat’s move was either one of the biggest blunders in tech history and Digg et al revisited. Or mobile’s first stand and unfettered shot across the bow. Let’s face it, and this goes out to the web-based behemoths: Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you bringing to the table, if people are no longer showing up to the party. Onward and forward.