Acquisitions are very common in technology businesses, specially for those located in Silicon Valley and we have seen many of them in the past. An acquisition is easily explainable when a company is going through rough phase and has no other options left but to sell it out. However, when a well performing company with a decent pool of customers and impressive product / service basket in place gets acquired, it raises eyebrows of many out there. The recent acquisition of Slideshare by LinkedIn is one such event which spurred debate across the world. It would be wrong to generalize, however based on the conversations I observed on Twitter and various blogs, I found majority of them were happy for this acquisition and felt Slideshare made a right decision.
However, since the moment I heard this news yesterday morning, I just couldn’t explain if there was really “a need” for Slideshare to agree for this acquisition. Rashmi, co-founder of Slideshare in her blogpost regarding acquisition expressed that her team believed they could grow faster with LinkedIn, which to me didn’t sound convincing enough. I always felt and still believe Slideshare could have done better on their own and could have held patience for some more time.
A guest blogpost by Sanjay Mehta, Jt. CEO, SocialWavelength featured on Lighthouse Insights, a prominent blog in Indian social media arena. This blogpost when was shared by Lighthouse Insights on their Facebook page, an interesting conversation took place between me, Sanjay, Lighthouse Insights and Hardik. I hereby share this conversation as it would be self-explanatory of my viewpoints regarding this acquisition saga.
So, in short I am extremely disappointed with this acquisition, as I feel:
- Slideshare had built a valuable platform and needed just some more patience rather than just giving up so early.
- The price they have got is extremely low. They could have easily got atleast 3 to 4 times more, than what they have agreed to.
- I still see LinkedIn gaining edge over various aspects, rather than Slideshare and it won’t be surprising if in few years, Slideshare brand in itself becomes extinct.