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A Fading Flickr?

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More goodness from Business 2.0 today. My colleague Michael Copeland has a fantastic piece on why its raining cash in Sillicon Valley. Somewhere in his story he has this interesting nugget about Flickr.

When it went live a year ago, it attracted plenty of notice and even pulled in a few angel investors, such as Excite co-founder Joe Kraus. But that’s nothing compared with the torrent of offers it’s entertaining now. Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO) want to buy it outright, while venture capital firms are flooding it with all kinds of creative proposals. ‘We get four or five calls a week from VCs,’ says Stewart Butterfield, who co-founded Flickr with his wife, Caterina Fake. ‘We even had a health-care fund call recently. I guess they wanted in on the excitement.’

Not sure how this will turn out, but given the aggression with which Google has moved with Picasa, and their track record of replicating-and-improving on other people’s ideas, you think maybe Flickr missed an opportunity to cash out? A bonus link to Bill Burnham’s analysis of coming battle between Google and Yahoo over what else, blogs.

7 Responses to “A Fading Flickr?”

  1. While I recognize that Google can do that, I’m sure that they would view it as a scalable repository for blobs and metadata to be indexed and Adsense’d.

    I pay the Flickr pro subscription because I like dealing with people who view Flickr as a photo service, provide a face, and are passionate about this one thing. They let me buy my way out of ads and I can link to my photos from my blog on Typepad.

    We need to recognize and support best of breed and not assume that MSN and Google will listen to us and provide a quality service (there really can be a difference between free/cheap and quality).

    That being said, if Ludicorp does sell Flickr out – still a reasonable end game – then we have to watch to see if the management team remains (and provides an even better service with more resources), or if they get sucked into “other” corporate priorities.

  2. jake i agree with you but i am thinking if i am google why don’t i just simply replicate it – i have the desktop app, i have the network expertise and all i need to do is develop a middle layer like flickr.

  3. I use Flickr and I use iPhoto.

    Flickr is my off site/off Mac photo storage and sharing site. So far, I thought Picasa was a PC application. Does Google have a corresponding network side to Picasa?

    In your view, nobody should build and run a business that does anything on the Internet but instead should sell it at first offer because of Google’s (or Microsoft’s?) track record for replicating-and-improving on other peoples ideas?

    Do no evil with no passion? Join the borg?