The founders of the VOIP system Skype have made a bid to buy back the system which they sold to eBay for $2.6 billions dollars back in 2005. The current value of Skype? A paltry $1.1 billion.
When eBay made the purchase, they had lofty goals. They planned to integrate the VOIP technologies with the auctions, so people would have a method to communicate with the sellers directly. Fast forward two years, and the service has yet to be integrated.
The way eBay treated Skype is similar to the way many companies use new technology- they stayed still, and hoped that the technology would sort itself out. This isn’t the best way to treat new technologies- ignoring them and hoping it will solve a problem rarely brings about the most efficient use of the new technology.
Although it seems like we are beating a dead horse on this blog, Twitter is another technology which could suffer the same fate. Someone (Newscorp, Google, and unknown player) is going to throw a metric boatload of cash around for Twitter, but are they going to get the most out of it? The potential is there, but unless Twitter is changed, it isn’t going to give someone a decent return.