I'll Tumbl For You
I'll Tumbl For You
In Pride and Prejudice, before achieving her happy ending with Mr. Darcy, Lizzie Bennett receives a marriage proposal from Mr. Collins, a toadying little man who offers a lifetime of a) stability and b) teeth-grinding annoyance. She turns him down, and her friend Charlotte promptly snaps him up. A 27-year-old woman of limited means in 18th century England, she’s realistic about her options and grabs her best bet with both hands.
Let’s not kid ourselves that Yahoo! is anything other than a Mr. Collins.
The official announcement just hit the newswires. Yahoo has acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion, “substantially all of which is payable in cash.” Because really, who wants to bet on the stability of Yahoo’s stock price?
In the press release, CEO Marissa Mayer tries desperately to explain the acquisition in any way she can besides admitting Yahoo wants to drink the blood of the young: ”Yahoo is the Internet’s original media network. Tumblr is the Internet’s fastest-growing media frenzy. Both companies are homes for brands – established and emerging.”
Guess Marissa Mayer was sick of hearing about whether her truncated maternity leave was good for women. The Wall Street Journal reports that, if you can manage to work at Yahoo and remain upbeat about life enough to reproduce, you’ll now benefit from new-and-improved perks for new parents (though Google’s is still better).
Work From Home
NYC-based non-incubator Betaworks has acquired a majority stake in the article-bookmarking service Instapaper. Creator Marco Arment wrote on his blog that he will slide into an advising role “indefinitely” as Betaworks oversees operations and expands Instapaper’s staff. [PC Mag]
CISPA, the controversial Internet bill, is (probably?) dead. An anonymous source said that “there is no possible plan” to bring it up in the Democratic-controlled Senate because it faces little support from the party. [Daily Dot]
Some big names, like Sean Parker, Steve Ballmer, and Bill Gates, are joining Mark Zuckerberg’s political action committee, FWD.us. We would love to be on those brunch-planning emails. [AllThingsD]
Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer has joined the board of Jawbone, the hardware maker behind those groovy wireless headsets and speakers. [AllThingsD]
A study of Bitcoin exchanges revealed that 45 percent of them fail, often taking peoples’ money with them. And the exchanges that don’t shutter are more likely to be the target of cyber attacks. [Wired]
Work From Home
Judging from the reaction to Yahoo’s abolishment of work-from-home arrangements, you’d think CEO Marissa Mayer had bitten the head off a live dove onstage at CES or something. After plying her new employees with free food and iPhones, had a tyrant finally revealed herself?
Not so much, according to the New York Times, which says the move was actually part and parcel of Ms. Mayer’s ongoing campaign to make working at the company less of a complete bummer, all right? If that’s okay with you, Richard Branson?
The Times paints a pretty dismal picture of conditions at the company:
Work From Home
Just when we all thought the furor about whether Yahoos! can work from home might finally die down, Mayor Michael Bloomberg weighed in on the matter–siding with Ms. Mayer. During his weekly radio show, reports Capital New York, he noted that, “I’ve always said, telecommuting is one of the dumber ideas I’ve ever heard.”
Well, Sir Richard Branson, for one, could not believe his ears. Absolutely aghast at this latest turn of events, the gallivanting founder of Virgin Group employed his blog once again to preach the gospel of working remotely and/or butt into the business of other major moguls:
Chief Yahoo Marissa Mayer recently ruled that there will be no more working remotely for the company’s thousands of employees. (Scuttlebutt suggests the decision was due to slacking and flakiness.) Well, it seems word has now trickled out to Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group and prominent Caribbean island owner, and he does not approve. Read More
Marissa Mayer introduced Yahoo users to a “new, more modern experience” for finding “the best of the web” in a blog post early this morning. [Yahoo]
Ever dream of founding the next Apple, Facebook or Twitter? That might be a long shot. But if you act fast, you can probably get your computer hacked by visiting the same website that compromised the recently-hacked tech giants. [AllThingsD]
“We used to have these ads, I’m a Mac and I’m a PC, and the Mac was always the cool guy,” Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak told Bloomberg. “And ouch, it’s painful, because we kind of are losing that.”[Bloomberg]
Apple’s lead designer Jonathan Ive dropped some knowledge on a British children’s television show. [Quartz]
“You cannot be cross-shopped on Amazon is like e-com 2.0,” said Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer. [PandoDaily]
Etsy community sales topped $895 million last year, according to CEO Chad Dickerson. Who bought? The knit scarf-wearing citizens of Alaska and Massachusetts more than pulled their weight. [Etsy]
Meanwhile, pour out a little bit of Earl Grey for Regretsy, as the craft-snark blog is shuttering. Wrote founder April Winchell in a blog post: “After three and a half years, I’ve said everything I have to say about it, and now we’re just Bedazzling a dead horse.” [The Daily Dot]
The nice thing about a Yahoo earnings call, if you’re Kara Swisher, is that you don’t have to hide in the vents to hear what Marissa Mayer is saying. The good news: Yahoo beat Wall Street estimates. The bad: Revenue was flat, and oh, can someone do something about that pre-call elevator music? [AllThingsD]
That was a short-lived experiment: Months after Tumblr gave users the option of paying $5 to pin content to the top of followers’ dashboards, the pay-to-pin feature has been abandoned. [The Daily Dot]
This hardware will self-destruct: the Pentagon is interested in military hardware “capable of physically disappearing in a controlled, triggerable manner”—the better to keep enemies from collecting and reverse-engineering the detritus of war. [Wired]
Less than a week after Twitter launched Vine, the video-sharing app it acquired last year, the company went back to the acquisition well, announcing a deal for Crashlytics, which tracks bad code when apps fail. [Business Insider]
“Objectify a man in tech” day is no longer a thing. Tech journalist Leigh Alexander proposed the exercise last week in hopes it would “catalyze discussions about the way we use language and how seemingly-innocuous ‘compliments’ are belittling and distracting”; now she’s “worried that point will be lost and that harm can be done.” [Sexy Videogameland]
The Department of Defense is gearing up to add 4,000 employees to its Cyber Command; The Pentagon may make an honest hacker out of you yet. [NYT]
Is Marissa Mayer’s relationship with Wall Street already on the rocks? Analysts will be looking for tangible improvements under Ms. Mayer’s leadership when Yahoo reports quarterly results later today. [CNN Money]
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has a prediction for e-hailing in New York: “Drivers will make a lot of money.” [WSJ]
“Wait, how ’bout we trade you some promoted tweets for a tax break?” [BuzzFeed]
It’s the year of the sexy, sexy enterprise startups. [Tech Crunch]