Management technology

Huawei ‘considering’ Nokia acquisition

This should be interesting. Huawei is number 3 in the Chinese volume handset market. The news article says that Nokia is still mum on the subject. Stefen Elof (CEO of Nokia) is still sticking to his Windows Phone Bet (quite obviously – he was a VP in MS before he became CEO of Nokia).

Read the ZDNET article here.

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Right after the acquisition …

I was reading this great article from an ex-Flickr employee on how Tumblr (and its employees) should ride the acquisition wave. In specific, I think some of these points are awesome, immaterial of the current scenario (Tumblr + Y!). These are applicable in almost all big company buys smaller company scenarios. I am reproducing the four points below with some of my observations that I went through during the one acquisition I went through and a few which I have closely seen happen.

Don’t pretend it’s not happening or that it doesn’t matter.

Totally nailed it. It matters. You need to soak it in. You need to absorb in some of the acquiring company’s culture. Make new friends. Get some folks with whom you can gut-check processes. Most importantly, make friends with the non-tech crowd at the bigger company – HR, Finance, Facilities. You will soon realize you would need their help. And help is so much easier to get if you are on their side.

Don’t forget you’re awesome.

You got acquired because the parent company felt that either your technology is awesome, or your talent is awesome. Either ways, you are important to them. Acknowledge that. Dont succumb to giving up everything. A good merger/acquisition is a layer-by-layer mixing of what is best for the joined entity. Do not give up silly little traditions when you were smaller. At the same time, embrace larger cultural practices from the bigger company.

Plan for the Bear Hug.

I think the original article nails this one beautifully. In the initial stages, everyone will jump in and give you ideas. Embrace this togetherness, but have a point-contact for traiging these requests. Else you will get in to a rat hole.

Think bigger.

Now you can. You can think beyond the local market. You can think beyond the handful of customers you have now. You can think beyond restraining marketing budgets. You can ask for help in designing UI. You can ask for data. You can do so much more if you start thinking bigger.

Know how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Now this is one thing, that I have seen happening right in front. After the acquisition happens, there are a certain set of things that happen either due to standardization (example in the article is moving to a common data center, which happens everywhere now), or something that resulted from you thinking bigger. Some things might seem easier when doing it on a larger scale, but along with, comes a ton of headache. Localization, internationalization, local laws, patent disclosures. And I fully agree with the advise in the article about – “Dont be afraid to get a gut-check from someone in the parent company.” These headaches have a thing for magically appearing only  mid way through the project.

Read the original article here.

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Facebook to buy Instagram

Facebook has concluded a deal to buy out Instagram for close to a billion dollars in cash and stock. That is a pretty big deal, considering Instagram is a fairly young company. There are some folks in the internet who are saying that Facebook is the new Google, and will swallow up any new good technology that crops up. And there are a few which say that the true reason is ‘fear’. I agree with the latter. I believe trends were beginning to show that, people were beginning to start sharing info about their lives and other things more over instagram photos than sharing updates on FB. I am sure that must have made FB jittery.

Apparently, as a first time ever, Facebook is going to let Instagram function the same way as it is, rather than integrating into FB. And that is one thing that I just do not believe. I have gone through 2 acquisitions, and seen a half a dozen in the EDA industry (where consolidation happens pretty commonly). This ‘show’ of ‘trust’ in letting the new company function as it is, does not last long. Let us see how long they remain independent. I am sure Instagram will get stuffed in the timeline somewhere, very soon.