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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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work