Yahoo bought Summly over the last couple of days for $30 million. That’s right. Yahoo bought an application and the startup behind it for that amount of money. But was it really worth it?
The application was created by a 17-year old in Britain (who must be flying over the clouds now) and along with the application Yahoo bought the startup company behind Summly, with a total of three employees (including the 17-year old).
Summly itself is a news app for the iPhone and offers news summaries it creates based on algorithms it applies on multiple news sources. Nothing super wow.
Analysts report that Yahoo made this acquisition to give a clear message that the media (used-to-be) giant is out there and in touch with current times. Is this true though? Was this another mistake in Yahoo’s strategy in catching up with the rest of the big guys out there?
In the old days Yahoo bought Konfabulator, a company that used to make fancy desktop widgets. In fact the product that Konfabulator offered was pretty amazing for its time. However, Yahoo made nothing out of it and lost the momentum it had acquired from that acquisition. In fact I stopped using the widgets once they were branded under Yahoo, simply because the widgets’ look was not to my liking any more.
Buying an app alone, and for that sum of money, is not enough for Yahoo. The company still needs to clearly give itself an identity first and then follow a specific path in order to regain some of its old glory, if at all possible. Really, try to describe what Yahoo is doing these days and you might get confused.
It remains to be seen whether this move will pay off for Marissa Maye, Yahoo’s CEO.