Mike Isaac

Recent Posts by Mike Isaac

Facebook’s Shopping List: Talent, Not Tech

Since Facebook raised billions in its IPO last month, the company has been on a bit of a shopping spree. In the past few months alone, the company has purchased nearly a dozen small start-ups and engineers, mostly focused on the mobile front.

Though while it’s loosening the company purse strings, Facebook isn’t dropping dollars on technology: Most acquisitions that have occurred, as well as those going forward, have been all about the engineers.

“Our strategy has been primarily to buy companies for talent,” Zuckerberg said on the call. “We want the kind of people who want to build out their own companies.”

That’s been true for the string of recent buys: Lightbox, Bolt Peters, Wallet, Spool.

The exception to that rule? Instagram, the 80-million-plus user photosharing network that Facebook couldn’t afford to let go on its own. “Outside of Instagram, that’s been our strategy, and will be our strategy moving forward,” he said.

Another noteworthy exception to that rule that Zuckerberg didn’t mention: Karma, the mobile social gifting app that Facebook purchased on the day of its IPO. We haven’t heard much about Facebook’s plans for Karma since the buy, but the implications — and the fact that Facebook snapped the app up just months after it launched — could mean that big things are in store for Facebook’s e-commerce initiatives.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik