What If...

What If...

Why Startups Fear Amazon: The Price Cut Behind The Acquisition of Quidsi

The Amazon in the room

Here’s a little interesting history  for a slow news day. We were chatting with a well respected VC about the explosion of e-commerce companies in New York. On the list of IPO hopefuls at the recent Goldman Sachs conference in Las Vegas were a number of relatively young Silicon Alley companies: Birchbox, Warby Parker and One Kings Lane. A investor we spoke with recently was kicking himself for passing on, which has hit more than 1.5 million users and a $50 million annual revenue run rate in the span of just six months.

The social infrastructure in place on the web today means e-commerce companies can scale up very quickly. One of the big success stories that people point to is Quidsi, the parent company of, which was acquired by Amazon for in November of last year for $545 million. But while that purchase was heralded as a big win, it’s actually a cautionary tale. Read More

What If...

What If… Yahoo Had Bought DoubleClick Before Google Could?

what if watcher

It was 1995 and Kevin O’Connor was sitting in a basement in suburban Atlanta with Dwight Merriman trying to figure out how to build a business on this new thing called the internet.

“We thought maybe car sales would be big. We figured porn would be huge, but we didn’t want to get into that. Eventually we settled on ad sales,” says Mr. O’Connor, who along with Dwight Merriman and Kevin Ryan, would go on to build the DoubleClick dynamic ad serving technology that became Silicon Alley’s biggest exit and the engine behind Google’s profits. Read More