Monday, January 31, 2011

Bad News: Your Start-Up Is Not Unique

Every start-up founder wants to believe their start-up is unique.  The truth is: most are not.  Lots of people have similar original ideas at the same time.  And in many cases they do similar but not identical jobs of execution.  For reasons of luck and timing and execution quality, some take off like rockets and other languish.

That doesn't mean that #2-20 players have to have an unhappy ending.  They are fodder for the acquisition machine - technology and skills to be integrated into larger organizations that want a competitive product without paying a super-premium price.

Smart shoppers in silicon valley can buy good products and fill gaps quickly at very reasonable prices.  Take Google's acquisition this week of fflick - a twitter-based movie review and sentiment site.  There are literally dozens of movie recommendation engines out there.

If Google wants to start directing traffic in the movie business, buying any one of them and integrating them into their service will make it an overnight contender.  And, at $10 million, fflick was cheap compared to the cost of spinning up an internal team of people passionate about movies and then building a product.

From TechCrunch

Side note: what's the bigger play here for Google?  More power in movie recommendations.  Right now the negotiation between Hollywood and Google is quite one sided.  Hollywood has content and from their perspective, Google has squat.  If Google becomes the number one source of movie recommendations, that might just bring the studios to the table with more reasonable terms.

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