The rumors of a Flickr buyout by Yahoo are flying all over the net. Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake posted today at Flickr central what sounds like a denial. Whether or not there is a deal signed at the moment, I’m guessing that it is just a matter of time before one of the big guys snaps up this startup. I mean, Flickr is the hottest thing on the web right now. Stewart has told me they’ve turned down some offers already.
So, in light of all the talk I want to start a little baby pool style poll here.
Who do you think will end up buying Flickr?
How much do you think it will go for?
When do you think it will happen?
UPDATE: Cute new logo guys. 🙂
UPDATE: In my coversion from the Blogger ghetto to my new WordPress penthouse, the comments got nuked from this thread. Here the are copied the old fashioned way for now. Click on the more button to reveal the comments. Will fix them eventually if I can. Feel free to continue the thread using this comment system now.
UPDATED – 3/08: Here’s latest on all the chatter from John Battelle. Experience tells me he’s not going to be wrong about this. I’m suprised it’s only going for twenty million. I thought it would go for more. They’re having tons of infrastructure problems but they have users, cash flow, data, meta data, and the software. “Rumors about Yahoo buying Flickr are getting to a boiling point, one source who pinged me (I can’t verify this) said it’s done deal at $20 million, $10 million now, $10 million on earn out. We’ll see….” Boris votes Google, I say Yahoo, and Will thinks Yahoo too.
Who will buy it? One of these three: Google, Yahoo or MSN.
Why Yahoo – because theirs sucks
Why MSN – because they want to kick Google’s butt with something cooler than Picasa
Why Google – because they can
For how much? No idea. Millions.
When? In under a year. Hostile or not.
I think the first thing to assert is that — fundamentally — they are buying a customer base.
So the valuation is likely to be a multiple on users, with a premium for those paying… not so much for the technology platform itself (although don’t hold me to this).
It does occur to me that the wonderful flash engine that the Ludicorp folks have developed (originally tooled for the MMORPG GNE), needs to be perceived as valuable by the acquisitive entity — in addition to the customer base alone.
Finally, what of the “traditional” photo snapping, finishing, publishing folk — the Kodaks and Fujis of the world, who need to embrace applications like these and take down some of the revenue — or face shrinking customer bases in their traditional lines of business.
/AJ (ajones -at- concursion.com)
I’m thinking right now with only 2.5% of their users being paying users (according to kk’s estimated numbers), they aren’t worth all that much. I’d put it at $2 million. They’re hot, but they aren’t THAT hot. Anything higher than that right now would just be dumb dot-com spending of the ’90s.
If I were flickr I’d hold on for while. Build a solid business on subscriptions and grow my numbers. The longer they wait, the more they’re worth, and the more desperate competitors and the yahoo’s will be to snag it. Selling now would be premature, and as long as their a private company there’s no threat of a hostile takeover.
Oh boy I guess if someone were to buy it, as a paying Flickr customer, I’d hope it was Google, but to be honest, I’m hoping they hold out, at least for awhile.
I really enjoy Flickr and I’d hate to see it wrecked.
I’m with you on that. I love that it is a Vancouver thing.
I’d hate to see it bought up, too. Would it go ad-crazy if one of the big guys were to get it? I like the simplicity and cleanliness of the GUI.
I’m guessing they’ll be bought out by the end of 2005 from someone. If it has to be one of the big guys, I suppose I’d prefer Google. Then again, I’m starting to think that Google is the next Evil Empire(TM).
Google is totally the Evil Empire. I don’t get why people don’t see that, and they offer to host Wikipedia and no one cries bloody murder. Imagine if Microsoft offered to host it.
They say one thing and do another. Censorship is OK so long as someone else is doing it, like, say Google China, oh and by the way no one will hear about that back home either. There is some significant filth in AdSense, make no mistake, on top of it being a ghastly implementation — hello relevance? Post about your sister having anorexia, and they’ll show diet ads.
The parking lot is full of Porshes, folks, and the ethics have followed the dollar signs all the way to hell.
OK, I’ll stop ranting now. I hope Google stays far far away from Flickr.
2 million? No way. Google bought Blogger for about 5 million. Yahoo bought Oddpost for 25 million. So I’d say somewhere in that range.
Blogger/Google and Yahoo/Oddpost are good benchmarks to bring up. Did Blogger have paid users at the time? How big was their user base? How about Oddpost. I’m with you Kendall, I’m thinking MUCH more than both those companies. NYTimes bought About.com last week for like $400mil. What were they buying? Traffic?
Of course I would rather that Google bought them over any of the other biggies, but whoever drops the $$$ for them had better drop the $$$ to go Flickr Pro, because without that, Flickr is dead in the water. I love Flickr, but once I capped my 100 photo limit I stared at the $40 yearly cost and thought, yeah, that’s nice now, but then I’ll have to pay next year, and next year, and so forth, and my wallet went back in my pocket.
Not sure who out of the bunch will try and buy Flickr. It’s like anything else, when it’s hot, everyone wants a piece of it. Regardless of who throws down the cash, it’ll probably not bode well for users. Big business always finds some way to screw up a good thing and drive it into the ground.
They’ll gain a host of customers and photo gear consumers, so mailing lists galore and spam a-plenty will probably result.
Ugh. Sometimes you don’t want the corner store turning into a Walmart.
i don’t know anything about acquisitions on a grand scale. i always buy on sale. my guess is that google will emerge as a bidder, but that’s just because in a superficial sense flickr reminds me of google. i’m not sure the buyout will happen all that soon. i know flickr is supposed to be hot now, but will a buyer wait to see if the trend continues? again, i know nothing ’bout this stuff!
If flickr gets bought out, I’ll probably quit. I am very happy that a Canadian company is making news for once, and am behind them 100%.
I hope that the creators realize that if big biz wants to buy them out it is because they are perceived either as a threat or because they think that more money than the asking price can be made in a reasonable time.
That being said, I think that Microsoft is the most likely buyer, since they have the most cash and are trying their best to “pull a Netscape” on Google.
Brian pointed out that only 2% are paying users, and therefore not a lot of value in there. But the advertising revenue that could be generated from this thing is HUGE. Think about how many pages you go through on a typical visit to flickr. This is a very valuable site, and it is getting more valuable every day.
The online giants want to buy this out, because they think that it will continue growing on its own momentum for a long time and turn into a nice revenue generator.
Fingers crossed that Ludicorp realizes that it has a good thing here, and that it keeps this awesome quirky service in small company hands.
why is everyone so AOK with more corporate consildation? is everyone in the walmart mentality? ever heard of diversity? if they sell out to one of those marketing machines then I am leaving the site ASAP. i do not need tacky adverts and cross promotions with my photos. i do not enjoy being objectified as just another commidity. i hope they actually hold out. period. anyone familar with thespark.com will know how lame things get when good ideas are whored out for profit.
ideally i hope that the flickr folks could find a business model that could sustain them without having to sell…interesting question of image ownership and mailing lists and the like.
but rest assured if they get bought and if they get bloated there will emerge some new scrappy, snappy new service. these things will evolve. one hopes that user demand forces better tools to take your pics with you…
Maybe fotolog will buy them.
Hah hah hah hahahah hahah!!!!
i just hope that my paid for pro account doesn’t become worthless. they have such a great app, i’d hate to see it go to waste. although if they do, someone could rewrite it in perl and i’d be really happy. =)
yahoo has been interested for a very long time.
well, since last summer at least.
i could go into exactly why i think it is yahoo, but it is far too gossipy, speculative and circumstancial to go over here.
but if anyone REALLY wants to know why i’m thinking this way, feel free to message me.
I truly hope nobody buys them out. I am so sick of big corporations taking over the world. I think it is fine as it.
I do think the price of the pro is ok for the first year, but hope the price goes down for renewals of the service.
matt smillie said…
I’m going to say in over a year, and hopefully not by anyone, though I’d say Google’s the most obvious candidate. The service isn’t out of beta yet, and may be hot, but has an unproven revenue stream.
Moreover, from what I know of the flickr crew, I have my doubts that they’re the types to just drop the work when it’s getting interesting, and while an acquisition doesn’t mean they’ve lost control, so long as their funding is secure (and so far so good on that front, according to the media), they have no particular reason to stop being a small and independent company. And again, they’re not out of beta yet, and their current value can only be seen to be increasing – I can’t see much reason for them to sign a deal currently.
Why does everything successful online be part of Google, Yahoo or MSN? I just hope they break that rule and stand on their own..
Anyways to answer your question, I would assume Google would buy it (to me they are the good guys), though they are always the inventors of good things & always seem to be creating new things rather than innovating them..
Yahoo try too hard, yet they always seem to be beaten up by others really quickly.
MSN.. oh Msn is just a world of their own.. I really hope they don’t buy Flickr & MSN it with their MSNish ‘theme’.. =/ *gulp*
I don’t want anyone to buy flickr yet. Flickr should hold out longer.
If flickr sells now, it’ll be for cheap.
I dunno. I really like flickr as a local company and not swallowed up whole by big corps.
I thought Caterina’s comments were pretty clear that the rumor was groundless. Therefore, this discussion is kind of silly. Reminds me of all the time that was spent agonizing over Sean Connery’s hypothetical casting as Gandalf 5 years ago.
here’s a thought, maybe all the people who complain about pro accounts being too expensive will be happy. A yahoo buyout might equate to free account.
/me steps back and watches the cat leap around the pidgeons
in all seriousness why would ludicorp be raising loads of venture capital just to sell?
I read Caterina’s comment as a ‘no comment’ – no confirming, no denying.
It would be good to see some additional investment into Flickr, if that’s what it will take to reduce the number of massages the system is getting.
Last time I was in NYC on a conference, Yahoo bought Broadcast.com for a billion. Where is Broadcast/Launch now? Does anyone care anymore?
Having said this, if the acquirer leaves Flickr to run its operations as it does now – but with a capital injection to fix what ails now – I would be delighted. If Flickr becomes googled up / yahooed into a larger site, then it’s everyone’s loss.
I agree with AJ that a suitor is buying the customer base – passionate camera users building a white-hot community. How much are we worth? How many of us are there, and how many more members can each of us bring into Flickr?
My vote is – March 1st will see an announcement of a ‘significant investment in’ (not an acquisition) in Ludicorp from a major player (I think it’s Yahoo), in the 7 figures, perhaps in syndication with some key venture players. Within two years, this will be followed by a full acquisition.
Say, kk, what does the baby-pool winner win? 🙂
Actually, someone else sitting on a pile of money is Apple. Apple is working to develop its role as hub in the digital living room. They have .Mac, and Flickr could be a great compliment to iPhoto.
Apple hasn’t put any other programs on Windows other than iTunes. That’s because iTunes is a direct revenue generator, where as iChat or iMovie wouldn’t be. But with something like Flickr behind iPhoto, it too becomes a revenue generator, especially if Apple starts getting more into providing prints and photo albums.
As for whether Flickr should sell: I personally hope they don’t, but if I was any of the founders, of COURSE I would sell. I think it will happen in about 3 months, shortly after the release of Tiger.
Yahoo – I think their interface is terrible, and really, I just don’t like yahoo.
MSN – well, ’nuff said. They can fry ice for all I care.
Google – Of the three, my money would on google. Just a feeling.
Overall, I agree with many in that I hope they don’t sell out, it’s still young, and has massive potential to grow into something greater. I also agree that the corporate merger thing sucks. Google, MSN, Yahoo, should figure it out themselves, and do it themselves. The little guy in America/the world is about non existant anymore. Too bad.
I won’t make any threats to leave, I a paid my membership, and intend to use it to the fullest.
But still, I am reminded of a painting of Adam and Eve being expelled from the garden of Eden..
Nohting lasts forever…
Rev. Day-Bu said…
I have so many things to say, I know I’ll forget some of it. Heh.
First of all, I agree with those who are pointing out the need for value–a way of making flickr into a “cash cow”–if the company is to be sold and to continue to be excellent long after the sale. The obvious method of getting a cash influx, aside from pro account subscriptions, is through photo printing services. Supply large numbers of prints at a reasonably low rate, and at better quality than can be done on the standard CMYK desktop inkjets. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that there will eventually be a way to subscribe to prints of your favorites. That is, prints of all your favorites will be mailed to you at some arbitrary time, such as each 25th or 36th favorite.
As for the possibility of advertising appearing on flickr, that does worry me. Could flickr wind up with a mandatory “daily commercial” for non-subscribers, like you see on Salon.com? That might work. The fact that flickr is already largely flash-based makes that seem reasonably within their grasp.
But placing advertising directly on photo pages? I really, really hope this never happens. I take flickr seriously as an online “communal art gallery.” When you walk into the Seattle Art Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum or la Louvre, you don’t see signs placed next to each exhibit saying “Buy squared circle posters at postermonster.net” or “Find the best deals on squared circle at walmart.com” or “Related items: The Squared Circle by James Bennett on Amazon.com.
Now, on the three potential buyers we’re talking about:
Micro$oft: if MS buys flickr, I’m cancelling my pro account the second I hear confirmation. MS will add proprietary technologies, will demand certain rights over any image that’s posted, and will deliberately use non-standard HTML that only renders properly in IE. If MS buys flickr, kiss flickr goodbye. It’s dead. Everything M$ touches turns to crap.
Yahoo: Oh, dear god, please, no! Everything Yahoo! touches turns blandly mediocre, and essentially vanishes from the social & cultural radar.
Google: I know it’s become fashionable to try to frame Google as “the next Microsoft” and as if they’re another evil corporate empire. I’m not buying it. If one of these three companies acquires flickr, I hope and pray it’s Google. Although I’d really rather not see Ad Sense ads doing to our photos essentially the same thing that a man with a full bladder does to white ceramic in a restroom, Google is by far the preferred buyer. Google bought blogger, and blogger has only gotten better and better since. Google operates GMail, and I love them for it. (Even with Ad Sense ads, GMail is awesome–widely imitatied but never equalled.)
That’ll do it for me, for now. And thanks for the heads-up on this, kk+. Interesting topic.
Rev. Day-Bu said…
Oh yeah… One more thing: Although I would love to see Apple acquire flickr, I don’t see it happening. It would be cool to see Apple tie together the iPod Photo, iLife, iPhoto and flickr in one nice package. I’d love to see where Apple would take it. But it’s exremely unlikely. While Microsoft likes to sit around bloating up their own software, watching other companies until they do something really good and interesting, and then jump in, buy the company, and kill the project, Apple prefers to develop their ideas in-house and grow them from the start up. In the last few years there’s been a trend away from that, such as hiring over the SoundJam developers to write iTunes, and buying out small PC music software companies and using that as the basis for Soundtrack and GarageBand, those are still the exception rather than the norm. I’d love to see it, but nobody should get their hopes up about the idea of Apple buying flickr.
Mark Allerton said…
If Flickr is going to get bought by anyone, I would prefer it be Google. They do show signs of understanding cool technology, and I really do not buy into the “Google is evil” argument. If “anonymous” can show some signs of Google behaving monopolistically maybe they’ll have a case, but I don’t believe they do.
If only 2.5% of users are signing up for Pro accounts, I suspect that Flickr has a problem – because even at “final” Pro prices, that means that they have to be able to support each user at a cost of under $1.50 per year. If they continue at current growth rates they will have 6 million users in a year. They are already having growing pains and scaling to 6 million users on a tiny budget is quite a challenge.
Google, as far as I am aware us one company that has serious experience of doing stuff like that, with the search engine, with gmail and with blogger. Their data center is apparently a marvel of low cost engineering around commodity hardware. Maybe the blogger users here can speak to how the quality of service has improved since that buyout.
Minister of Enlightenment said…
Please let it be apple….
Greg Kucharo said…
Ultimately whether or who buys Flickr is up to the Flickr investors. So it’s all about how much money is involved and which buyer will be the least likely to drive off the majority of Flickr users.
I suppose Google is the logical choice then, since they have left their acquisitions relatively unmolested.
Dan Nugent said…
Can’t say. Any of the big web portals are a clear possibility, but we may be suprised by some other technology company or VC group that’ll come out of left field.
I’d prefer if either Google got them or they stayed independent though, possibly just partnering with another web outfit.
How much? I’ve got no freaking clue here. I don’t know what the debts outstanding are, what the infrastructure investment is, how much the installed user base is worth, let alone the fact that they got 5 million pictures nice and sorted out.
My figure standa at $100 Million. Grown properly (I’m thinking increased mobile phone presence particularly), Flickr could have ENOURMOUS profits, especially once printing becomes available.
Again, no idea. If it’s going to happen, in a few months. Otherwise, I think they’re going to get too big for an outright buy. Folksonomies are going to be the buzzword of 2006 and Flickr is the leading Folksonomy next to del.icio.us
Mark Allerton said…
So Dan, what you’re saying is you think someone will pay $100 million for… a bunch of tags?
ian harvey said…
i guess it will become part of a much larger organisation at some time but i would hope that the guys at ludi are having fun right now with their success and want to continue with that for a while yet…if it does go to one of the current giants, then i would hope for google…being a blogger user i can only comment on what i see there and it seems pretty innocent to me…i’m not getting ads force-fed to me…i’ve had no emails from them…flickr is a nice place to be right now and there is a lot of room for growth such as the printing side so i think the wise thing for ludi to do is hang on in there doing what they do and building the company profile for a while yet…they would have to do something seriously wrong for shares to fall in the near future so it can only be better for them to keep a hold onto this golden goose…
Gisela Giardino said…
Mmmm… I think these questions are too precocious yet.
flickr canÂ´t be sold to anybody in the state it is now. People interested? sure there may be. But no one would put a real offer of money.
I love flickr, but in my humble opinion, people in it -members- are making too much noise of it. They are taking this too personal, beacuse of the wonderful thing that happened for the way of being the flickr team has, everything went too personal. Thyere is a close relationship between flickr and the users, so we -users- see the product too subjectively. And I think the product is yet in an early stage to be put a price and be sold.
We want flickr to succeed eitherway, purchased, going public someday, or remaining this way… but there is a lot to be seen yet.
Flickr is still beta, and has problems today dealing with too little members compared to other social networks, or blog services.
After saying all this…. what would I like to happen? That they remain like this. And take home the millions they make. They already have investorsÂ´support so this wouldnÂ´t be impossible.
Second option: that Google bought them, interested in sucking all the information -images plus comments- to their servers. As they did with Pyralabs -Blogger-.
Kisses to you all and thank you kk+
Gi (The alieness)
Who do you think will end up buying Flickr?
Yahoo – or less likely, MSN
How much do you think it will go for?
2.5 million USD
When do you think it will happen?
Within 6 months
I originally thought Google might also be in the running, but I see a lot of overlap with the blogger/hello/picasa product line.
MSN is set to launch MSN Spaces and they may need something that competes well with the Google suite, but they seem a bit stubborn and have started the push into photos with their recent hotmail campaign.
At the end of the day, Yahoo seems the logical candidate because they are a bit behind in the whole blog & photo game, so this aquisition could potentially kill a whole flock of birds with one stone.
It is definetly one of the three (google, yahoo or msn) and I must say I agree with Arieanna(the first comment).
Rev. Day-Bu said…
Also, I agree with Gi’s (Alieness’) hope that flickr would remain in the hands of the Ludicorp team, stay more or less as it is today, and that things don’t change too dramatically. But my philosopher and Buddhist side is pretty confident that, to quote a great Canadian musician, “changes aren’t permanent, but change is,” and therefore I think it’s inevitable that this wonderful, almost idyllic community we have in flickr will eventually change beyond recognition, so that those of us who joined during its first year will someday lament the passing of “the good ol’ days” of flickr (right now).
And I should have said it before, but on flickr I’m known as Smaragd, or by my real name, Dave Ward.
I think Yahoo is great, massive, powerful and secure. So, if Yahoo will do it, then its really going to add to Flickr and itâ€™s a privilege 🙂
How much or when.. I guess its hard to predicted!
I would like to thank KK+ for letting me know about this discussion. Cheers
Paul Watson said…
Oh I have a stick to throw in the fire; Six Apart.
A friend mentioned that to me and it did not sound too ludicrous.
Though would Caterina and Mena get on? Oh how the gossip mills would grind over that. Shy, brilliant Ben would probably cringe at the thought while he and Stewart share a pint down at the local.
I think this is all rumour and even if it is not I think we leave it until some official announcement is made. I would not want any of the mentioned companies to buy out Flickr. Even Google, as they have a strict corporate-secrecy policy which would make the Flickr team a lot less fun to be around.
End of the day though it is not our company, we are not shareholders and it is up to people other than us. I’ll use whatever is good at the moment though moving 1443 photos will be a PITA.
Who will buy? I hope it will be google.
For How much? I hope the geniuses who started flickr get as much as they can, so they can go out and start another copmany with an even cooler idea.
When? In under a year I would suspect.
P.S. IrregularGirl- there already are tacky ads (Google adwords) on your Flickr pages. The only way to escape advertising is to have your own photoblog that you host and run yourself. You’ve got to weigh that off against the whole community aspect that flickr has with groups and forums :\
Flickr is the Belle of the Ball at the moment. Flickr management is very smart and will do what makes for a good partner. They can do a lot on their own at the moment with their APIs and possible licensing.
Who do I think will buy it?
Personally I believe Google will eventually acquire Flickr. It would just fit Google’s overall plan of media domination. Not just because they can, but for the reason that they are creating a synergy of media and Flickr could be incorporated into Google Image search and tie into a variety of their services.
When? I give it about a year.
How much? I haven’t a clue but I would figure it would be in the millions. I’ll guess $2-300 million.
Bryan Peters said…
I really hope they don’t sell out. That’s usually the end of original “no boudaries” application design. The reason Flickr is so popular is because it’s designed around the user experience, not generating money. Which really sucks, because that can’t last forever. Bandwidth isn’t free. They’ve got to make a living.
My guess: in a year we’ll see a hybrid app called Flicasa.
Tris Hussey said…
It will come down to a (secret) bidding war between Yahoo and Google. Yahoo will win. The price will be in exccess of $250 million and will be done this quarter.
I’m hoping it’s Google, for the simplicity and respect for cleanliness and function. If Yahoo gets it, we’ll see banner ads out the wazoo, cluttered pages, and a general WalMart feeling.
Google would be my choice.
If having more subscribers would help, offering stock options to FlickrPro members would be lovely — I’d buy one for all my friends.
Honestly, I would hope they hang on. There is no reason for them to sell out to another company. Flickr is a great service and, I think, should allow for some growth time.
If it is indeed true only 2.5% of people are subscribing, their current marketing is to blame. Technically, Flickr is still in Beta. Right out of the gate, people won’t sign up for Pro accounts – simply for that reason alone. It may not bother the nerds/geeks but the average Internet user may not be comfortable investing money in a service that might not be here tomorrow.
Flickr isn’t a mature service. So, hanging on would make sense to me. Unless they are completely out of money, they should avoid selling.
And, really, who cares who buys them. Whomever takes over will model the service in their image which will destroy what Flickr is now. Unless they come up with some creative contract to maintain the Flickr image.
Who do you think will end up buying Flickr?
I think a consortium might pull together a deal perhaps…
How much do you think it will go for?
never been good at numbers…
When do you think it will happen?
June 31, 2005
Vincent Anton Stornaiuolo
Vincent Anton Stornaiuolo said…
Let me get this straight. A husband and wife team up to form Flickr-it takes off to be the darling of blogs, and now the Flickr team has to decide weather to sell or not to sell for big $$’s to corporations that are evil. Bear in mind the evil corporations that many deride, use the cameras, the computers, the search engines that are all made by evil corporations. My concern is that corporations are not evil, that in fact all of our lives depend on corporations, and we lie to ourselves if we think corporations are an evil empire since we walk, talk, and live in the mesh of society, because of the current level of corporate life. Can you escape the evil empire? Yes – put down your camera, unplug your computer, and leave Flickr, and your blog site forever…..Who do I think will acquire Flickr? Don’t know. But I hope the transition is seamless and if a corporation takes it over, then the talent must be apart of the revenue stream.
That’s business, and artistic contributions should be apart of the remuneration stream. Now watch the level of artistry. Will it flourish, or die on the vine?
Who will buy? Hoping Google or Apple. Would be neat to see an iPhoto cross platform app like iTunes – Flickr could be the itms of web photosharing…
Oh, and if Microsoft gets it I’m leaving.
How much? So much. It’s a combination of userbase, code, and cool. ‘Bout time some good Canadian kids got some .com dough.
When? ASAP. I’d be surprised if Flickr holds off beyond the year.
This is an interesting topic. Thoughts below…
Who will buy it? No idea. In an ideal world, I’d hope Apple or Google. However, I think that who buys is secondary to how the buyer chooses to treat flickr. Hopefully, whoever buys it (even if this means yahoo! or M$) recognizes what has made Flickr so successful, and is careful to not disturb the team that created it. If it gets bought, it would be nice to see Flickr retained as a “wholly-owned-subsidiary” or given the freedom to continue to do things “the Flickr way” as it were. I mean, it would be pretty stupid to buy flickr, and change it in a way that alienates its users.
Valuation? No clue. Though I’d be surprised if its actual monetary worth were especially high anymore – we’re still in a post-bubble time in the IT world, and I think any notions of “irrational exuberance” have passed.
When? I’m betting by Q4 2005, but don’t hold me to this.
Tracy Lee said…
My personal feelings, FWIW is that I would hate to see Flickr bought by anyone. I think it would loose its personality which is one of the things that make it so wonderful. I remember another company once upon a long time ago that was just a small little community (and it really was a small little community) but it grew and became a faceless, soulless monster who’s only concern is its bottom line, some of you may have heard of this company…America Online? Well, in many ways, Flickr reminds me of the good ole days of AOL (when there were less than 100,000 members). I used to be a remote staff member of AOL…because I loved it. I now hate AOL and keep the email address only because I have had it for 13 years. I love Flickr and would hate to see it distroyed.
On a more realistic note, I can understand the good people of Ludicorp getting a return on all their sweat, toil and caffine addictions. Who could refuse them that?
If I had my druthers (and I know I don’t) I would love to see Apple step up. I agree with Trevor in that Flickr would be a nice, natural, organic addition to iPhoto and the Apple portfolio. I also trust them more than any of the other giants I can think of. Other than them, I guess my choice would have to be Google, for all its faults, they are better than Yahoo (I have never like Yahoo, they have always had a horrible non-userfriendly interface) and we won’t even go into M$N’s problems.
So…take it for what it is, that’s my wishes.
Thanks for the opportunity to speak up kris!
Well, about all I know is that…
1. I’m clueless at how to do corporate valuation.
2. I have no idea what the the long term strategic goals of any of the three likely buyers are.
In other words. I know that I don’t know squat about this. 🙂
That said, I echo what Day-Bu said about the ramification for the quality of flickr depending on which company would purchase it.
For kicks and giggles, here’s my “outta nowhere” dark horse to toss in the mix: Sony buys Flickr and integrates it into their digital digital photography, home electronics, and computer systems. Everyone’s AIBO’s doggy robots open their own photo blogs via the pup’s camera and new, integrated flickr blogthis functionality.
1. I have no idea…. I know nothing of internet business or internet developing.
I really hope Ludicorp keeps flickr and continues to develop it. It would be a damn shame to see it go from this family-type restaurant to a McDonal’ds “over one million served” fast food joint… Get my drift?
Gisela Giardino said…
Mmmmmmmmmmm…. IÂ´ve just seen this novelty (2:30 am GTM -3 Buenos Aires time):
http://www.flickr.com/images/gossipgossipgossip.gifHahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa… =D something to do with this poll, maybe?
Gi – The Alieness
Notice that little moneybag in the “new” logo?
Its from the game GNE.
It was the symbol for Venture Capital.
what ist the main reason for buying flickr?
is it just the large crowd of users? i think there are companies that offer web-based image management tools with features far beyond flickr’s.
who can assure that services like flickr or typepad will EVER create benefits? i mean, look at sixappart and their VC background. large communities and cheap pricing are not always the key to regain your spent billions . products like MT are simple, i mean very simple micro cms that every youngster can build within a week, same with flickr – and where is the diversity of the web when every second website is built on a default blog template with a flickr and del.icio.us button in the sidebar?
i appreciate easy tools to give everyone the possibility to publish, but don’t forget that we are all individuals and not performers for a few dotcoms and their tools.
Kurt Nordstrom said…
Please don’t let it be M$. See what they did to Hotmail?
I think Google could take over flickr and do well, but I like it best indie.
Cost? I’d say…5 mil?