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MySpace Acquired: Email From CEO Mike Jones To Employees (techcrunch.com)
130 points by hydrazine on June 29, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 54 comments



Just FYI, we are hiring ex-Myspace developers at Leads360. We've hired four ex-Myspacers in the past six months. Our technology stack is similar, so the learning curve is only slight. And we have lots of interesting and challenging projects to do. Located in El Segundo; full-time local only.

If you got laid off or are ready to jump ship, then email Bill at bpaetzke@leads360.com.


So, just wondering what the technology stack is at Leads360? Hope you're not using Coldfusion ;)


C#, SQL Server, ASP.NET MVC


Nice


A few thoughts on communication...

Don't talk about "exciting plans" in one sentence, and "a series of restructuring initiatives, including a significant reduction in our workforce" in the next. Especially when you just worked your employees to the bone revamping your platform.

Also, when you are announcing your company was sold for scrap, it is tone-deaf to gush about how it has been "the most engaging and challenging time of my professional career."

Yeesh.


This isn't just a question of emotional insensitivity. Machiavelli's "The Prince" specifically warns against trying to mix bad news with good. Send the bad news out and put as much bad news as possible in one message. Then dole out the good news in dribbles.

So you start by saying almost everyone will be fired and the pension plan is bankrupt. Let that sink in. Then an email goes out saying that the executive team has discovered some funds and saved the pension plan. A day letter, good news, the TPS report Writing Team are keeping their jobs. And so forth.

There's only so much bad news people can take and then they just put it down as a bad news email whether there's goo dnews in there or not. Good news in that email is entirely wasted.


Interesting -- so not only does mixing good news with bad like this anger the recipients and cast doubt on the leader, it doesn't even accomplish anything.

And thanks for reminding me that I need to read that book.


Machiavelli's point was if you have to infringe on your peoples rights, and do something negative --- then do them all at once. This way, time erodes the negative memories - and since they are all focused in point in time, then the series of positives that follow will move to the forefront of people's memories of your time 'ruling'.


Dan Ariely, from Predictably Irrational, has found that pain is best given in lots of small doses. People tend to remember the height of the pain, and not the time it lasted. Whether that result is transferable to emotional pain I don't know.


You have no excuse not to read it. It's on gutenberg, and it's only ~70 pages.


That's cool, I didn't realize it was so short - I'll load it on my ipod and read it in spate moments.

Don't know what's up with the downvotes. I appreciated this comment and upvoted accordingly.


While I believe that's psychologically sound, Machiavelli's advice was specifically for a singular figure head to maintain order and control for as long as possible (i.e. indefinitely.) Normally, this is exactly the situation a CEO is in, but if he's announcing that he's leaving the company, his goals may differ from those of Lorenzo the Magnificent (as I imagine Machiavelli would have offered different advice to Romulus Augustus.)


I'm not sure there really was any good news in that email. Just bad news with lipstick.


Agreed, very bad choice of words.

Even if the original message did not have all this nonsense, it was likely edited by PR flacks for a "positive" spin. That's one industry (PR) ready for some refreshing new approaches...


Yea, I have been saying that legacy PR based on controlling the message is fundamentally flawed for a while now.


Alright, I can't take this anymore. I started a Tumblr blog to capture all these corporate mumbo jumbo. Have a few examples there already http://corporatebs.tumblr.com/


I'm scared that Myspace is simply a total data buy. Take the existing users data and build some models off of it. Notice these quotes. Doesn't sound too promising.

'“... enhancing digital media experiences by fueling connections with relevance and interest.”' - Connection between relevance and interest? Isn't that like saying the connection between apples and .. apples?

'Specific Media is an innovative global interactive media company that enables advertisers to connect with consumers in meaningful [unwanted], impactful [in your face] and relevant [creepy] ways.' [added]


The really bad news, if they decide to be evil, is that the purchase of MySpace provides a means to circumvent anti-spam and anti-telemarketing laws - if you have a MySpace account, you can be construed to have an existing business relationship, which legitimizes sending you unsolicited email or, for those unlucky folks who used the mobile features of MySpace, telemarketing to you on your cell phone.


MySpace was born from spam and, apparently, will die as spam. Seems sort of fitting.


Best comment:

Bebo - from $850m to $10m. MySpace- from $580m to $35m. Who's next?


Facebook, now that Google+ is here :P


I think Google+ made it so Myspace had to sell now--they've been bleeding money and users for a while now, and with one more challenger in the pit, they would have just bled out. I'm interested in seeing what the buyer actually has in mind for this company now though--It seems totally over, but inventive people always surprise me.


MySpace still seems to have a pretty good penetration with musicians. There might be a viable way to recenter the platform around that.


Enter Justin Timberlake.


Groupon!

I kid, I kid.. But seriously.


I think the difference is that NewsCorp made a billion plus in ad revenue from their deal with Google.


I do not believe News Corp made any money from MySpace. If they did they would not be selling it. The google myspace deal was worth less than a billion dollars, and rumors are that Google actually paid less than that even because MySpace did not meet their traffic goals.

Also MySpace cost a lot of money to run. I actually looked at the News Corp financials and their digital properties division was losing hundreds of millions per year.


$35mm? Ouch.

>News Corporation bought MySpace for $580m (£373m) in 2008. The asset was briefly valued at $12bn when News Corp attempted to merge it with Yahoo in 2007.

From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/myspace/8404510/MySpac...


Can you imagine what that merger would have looked like?


AOL/TW?


Myhoo


News corp apparently made 900 million off of their advertising deal with Google, so they probably aren't horribly depressed.


Knowing someone who was a contractor a few months ago at MySpace, I can tell you that the people that were there before the last major layoffs genuinely thought they were doing something awesome. When the first round of layoffs happened, during which the person I know was laid off, everyone knew it was only a matter of time before the rest of the axe fell. So this should hardly be a surprise to the people at MySpace, who are still there only for the money, I suppose. This is hardly surprising, shocking, or scandalous, as MySpace was on a death march since News Corp acquired it.

Mike Jones sounds like he is probably going to lose his job too. What would anyone else say in his shoes? Probably the same thing.


So much for the $200MM they were trying to pass it off for less than five months ago. [1]

I don't know their numbers, but doesn't it seem likely that 35 is less than 1x revenue?

[1] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-04/news-corp-may-get-2...


That $200MM figure came from MocoSpace, a "potential" buyer, not from MySpace. But I don't think MocoSpace's offer was more than an attempt to grab attention for itself, which means it was to their benefit to quote a large number.

From https://allthingsd.com/20110210/myspace-is-certainly-for-sal... , "... the look-at-me attempt to suck up some attention from the media was riveting and appalling at the same time."

If I put out a press release saying I'd like to buy Facebook for a trillion dollars -- you know, to impress a girl -- it wouldn't be fair to turn that into a claim that Facebook now thinks it's worth a trillion dollars.


None of this matters. They basically just paid $0.50 per user for their data acquisition. That's a great deal!


exactly - Specific Media - an ad targeting firm - now owns 50 million user profiles - http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2710838


> In conjunction with the deal, we are conducting a series of restructuring initiatives, including a significant reduction in our workforce.

It actually takes some balls to come out and say that in the first email.


"Those employees who will be let go will be notified by being defriended by the Tom account."


How do I get "Tom" in my google+ circle?


I wonder how many people know that "Myspace Tom" was raided by the FBI when he was a kid: http://techcrunch.com/2008/08/30/myspace-cofounder-tom-ander...


Wow, I don't know how I missed that story. Pretty entertaining stuff, he should have stuck that in his corporate bio. I still wonder why people chose to make a Facebook film when the people that started Myspace seem so much more interesting.


I missed that story about Tom, too... pretty interesting. What else is there about Tom that's intriguing, though? Or the rise of MySpace, for that matter?

I think a big reason for having a movie about Facebook was all the deception and litigation that came with it. As far as I can tell, there wasn't too much between Tom's bank hacking and MySpace coming on the scene.


The parent company of myspace was a spam/spyware company, so Myspace's past in general is somewhat titillating. They seem like the Bad News Bears of startups really. Well, if the Bad News Bears did a bunch of obnoxious things of dubious legality. It seems like someone could easily make a movie about Myspace without stretching the truth as they did with the Social Network. I suppose Tom Anderson would be an even less likable protagonist than Zuckerberg, but that could make for a more interesting film.


As one of the employees brought on in the iLike acquisition, the price makes me laugh. And think, "Called it!" I could not get out of there fast enough.


I wonder what this means for other Fox Interactive products? Photobucket was tied at the hip to myspace for instance. Anyone have any idea what's going on there?


Photobucket recently announced a deal with Twitter to be their official photo sharing service. And I think that Photobucket was sold last year.


That's good news... it's a good group over there.


Oh, and one more thing, you're fired.


Does anyone know how much money myspace is currently losing per quarter / year / whatever?


Justin Timberlake took a stake in MySpace... http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/29/hes-bringing-myspace-back-j... Kind of funny for reasons mentioned in the article


How will this affect Friendster's fortunes?!?


Friendster now uses your Facebook account.


One of my pet peeves is when people say that they have a MySpace instead of saying they have a MySpace account.

I wonder how many of those people will hear that somebody sold MySpace for $35 million and get excited thinking they're about to become rich by selling their MySpace too! :-)




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