I just browsed through the Tech M&A Banking Review from the 451 group. It was interesting, to say the least, as I realized - being an insider at Corum - how undisclosed data can highly skew, augment, corrupt the overall circumstances of a research document. We work through these same problems here and often use/site 451 data for our own projects... so I understand the increasing complications of undisclosed information.
What struck me as most interesting was that when looking at stats for Software M&A transactions, we were not ranked in the top-10 for volume. In fact, some of those who were ranked in the top-10, I know for a fact produce less deals than us.
One of my co-workers this morning informed me that she was trying to switch her personal email to Gmail (at Corum, we also have an enterprise email solution). I thought this was a nice gesture - not that she did it for me, but that she told me she was going to give it an honest-to-goodness trial. She's switching from Hotmail and she found that the import of her email and contacts was very easy. Good Start.
From there, the conversation takes a bit of a philosophical turn. My co-worker, being from a different generation than myself (and a former librarian) asked me how to structure her folders and group her emails. Things start to get a little gooey here... I can see where's she going... and I know why she's asking...... I also know that my response is going to be tough for her to swallow.
The fundamental difference between the email systems developed in the early 90's, vs. the email systems developed in the early 2000's is that the earlier versions are built on a hierarchical system, whereas the latter are built on a system of search. At this stage in technology, they are now both capable of crossing over and performing many of the functions of the other..... but, like Mac vs. PC, no matter how you slice it, they just seem to excel in their specific domain.
"Sure", I tell her, "There are labels and color codes you can add to individuals, or groups... there are even 'extensions' (apps) you can add to Gmail to make it function more like the structured, hierarchical system you are used to.... but really, that is kind of defeating the purpose." The purpose of having a searchable inbox is so you don't HAVE to make folders; so you don't have to worry about where things go, how they get there, and if they made it safely. The purpose of a searchable inbox is to give you immediate access to any-and-all emails under a simple search command. Moving from a structured environment, I completely understand why and how this can be a difficult step in retraining your brain and your immediate intentions to think and act towards email, information, data.
Both systems have their strengths... both systems have their flaws.
I'm really excited about this. 1. Like saleforce.com, iTunes, Android and a handful of other platforms, Google is using their enterprise platform as a launch pad for gadget, application, widget and extension building. 2. Google has made one nice, easy little place to find all these tools. 3. I hope there are no infringements in me using this new Google Marketplace logo.
I started thinking about what this means for my business - the business of software M&A. I've come-up with a few ideas... most of which need to be mulled-over a while longer:
1. In terms of finding potential companies that Google may be interested in acquiring, I think Google themselves have just made this task a little easier!
2. Easier, but not.... Google will tend to look for: A. Talent B. Technology/Innovation C. Broad Reaching Market Opportunities.
3. As Google enterprise pushes forward, do they move forward on a Platform --> Extension basis, or do they try to move forward in a traditional Platform --> Feature basis. The latter would be more inclined for small, flexible acquisitions, while the first would tend to make fewer, larger, market impact strokes.
These ideas need to be refined more... but I'll work on that here at Corum.
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