Feeds

TechScape: Friends Reunited and the embarrassment of riches

Overpaid and overpriced

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Rant It is a sweet concept, isn't it? Rekindling old friendships. Rejoining old flames. Reconnecting people who used to care about each other so much.

We simply must have a place to go to find long-lost pals, for without such a place our lives will be meaningless and hollow. It's all so 90s sensitive, so warm and fuzzy, and so important to society that we could never survive without it.

Is it really, though?

Of course not.

It's so sickly-sweet that I may projectile vomit.

And nobody harbors these overwhelming feelings of empathy and compassion about FU (as I will now refer to it) in the "Internet space". They only care about valuations, dilutions, rachets and what the investment bankers are taking for themselves.

They only get all teary-eyed when the negotiations start and the projections about member data are rolled out.

Why should we, the "consumers" in this case, look at an FU sale as anything other than it is: a way for a News Corp. or eBay to get inside our lives and then relentlessly market us any old crap they might have on offer at that moment?

This is unacceptable by any standards, if there was any altruism involved in the founders' motives originally, it's now a thing of the past.

And let's make sure to factor in things such as the divorce, heartache and headlines like "Man stabs long-lost Friends Reunited mate 7 times" that FU has caused when we begin assigning a valuation to this hot property, shall we?

Fiends Reunited anyone?

100 million pounds?

Pardon me while I gag.

First it is "valued at" £120 million, now it's £100m; perhaps if we wait a little longer it'll go down to 50p and a cup of Starbuck's coffee. Then (here's a great "strategic initiative" for them), the new owner can hire a bunch of leaflet-distributors and sandwich-sign-wearers to "drive eyeballs" to the FU site.

And even the magnificent 12 million users FU claims is not enough to warrant a buy-out by a big Media or Tech corporation. Over-paying has become the order of the day and the results are entirely predictable: another Tech sector crash.

Let's all remember: It's a small company which says it is "expected" to make £6.5m this year. Maybe I'm daft, but how in the world can this kind of implausible profit estimate justify an insane premium purchase price like that? (Unless of course, the buyer plans to totally invade every FU member's life with direct-marketing offers of a ridiculous nature. And unfortunately, this is the case!)

Bill Robinson has appeared on CNN, PBS, Bloomberg and had his own segment on SKY News commenting on high-tech and marketing issues and has written columns and articles for FORTUNE Small Business, The Financial Times, Marketing Magazine (UK), Forbes.com, The Moscow Times, Cisco Systems iQ Magazine, United Airline's Hemispheres Magazine and Upside Magazine. Bill may be reached at bill@relentlessmarketing.com.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.