I usually don’t track “the news” or “chatter” but the recent Facebook acquisition of NextStop is about talent. Possibly geolocation and hyper-local data but more about who is there and why they are there. I was having this discussion with several persons the other day. Companies buy other companies for talent, data aggregation and possibly technology. The reason I say possibly technology is that most companies do not care about the tech – mostly talent. I have a term for the companies that move our tech world: The Folks Inside The Firewall. The Folks Inside The FireWall (TFITF) already have a long term strategic view of where they want to go 5,10,20,50 years. Take this to the bank. In a blog a couple of years go I discussed the Three T’s of a Startup. I listed talent as number one. Why? I prefer quality over quantity. I prefer the elite performers. I’d rather have two A game coders than 10 posers. I located a recent plot of distributed and related coding jobs. While the plot focuses on Casandra rest assured that the areas of machine learning, data mining, natural language processing and semantics are going to skyrocket. 10 years ago we were worried about connections, storage and compute resources. This is no longer the case. We are revisiting this world – yet again – same algorithms – more data. It reminds me of the hey day of digital signal processing engineers.
As I discussed in my previous blog Three T’s of a Startup many times the companies do not even use the acquired technology. So please do not take it personally when your great code base is destroyed. Philosophically Art is meant to be created and destroyed. The money and vesting schedule will make the destruction worthwhile – trust me. If you want to go be idealistic go right ahead. The smart ones wait and vest. Colloquially called resting and vesting (RnV). It is a great way to past the time. That said this brings up the question of is it really about the software now? Clearly, GOOG does not need a geo-loc technology nor are they going to be a travel agency. Patents? Possibly. In that same blog I discussed how many executives at these companies just say put together a team, write some code, create some provisional patents. If the stuff halfway does what your roadmap says we will probably buy you. Look for my next blog on this subject called Mercenaries For Hire – Have compilers – will not travel.