Timing they say is everything. It is especially true in the start-up space. Knowing when to cash out is more intuition than science. Some have it, most don’t. A perfect example is Friendster, which was one of the early leaders in the “social networks” space, but since then has fallen on hard times.
Metaphorically speaking, its efforts to find a special friend have not amounted to much. It has been quite well known that the company which has had its fair share of upheavals has been on the block. And that is when VCs are ready to buy a piece of TheFacebook at a ridiculous valuation, and “OG” Murdoch spent over $500 million for MySpace.
There was word of Disney being interested in them. Staci Kramer over at PaidContent reports that Viacom had a-look-see at the company but decided to pass, after kicking the tires. The price tag for the company has been sliding, the report indicates, down from $200 million back in early 2005 to rumored $5 million.
The biggest problem for Friendster has been that it had been too broad a network, when the real market was looking for “interest specific” networks. The success of MySpace and more recently The Facebook is a good case in point. David Hornik argues that the best days of social networking are still ahead of us.
…..entrepreneurs have come to realize that social networks are enablers of other compelling consumer experiences. Thus, social networks are becoming an important ingredient of all sorts of consumer experiences.
That certainly is the case with Tag World, which is trying to take on MySpace. Will it succeed? Not quite sure, but its an evolutionary step. There is another one, Dogster. (All my friends with dogs says they have better odds of meeting other singles with pooches, than saying going through Friendster!) I wrote about 30 Boxes earlier today. If you boil it down, in its rawest form, it is a calendar driven social network – where network is restricted to those you have offline interactions at least some point during your daily existence.
But back to Friendster. Staci, sums it up nicely …
The company has social networking tools, a user base and, despite some of the comments I’ve head and seen, a brand that could be a start. You’d think that might be worth something. Then again, as far as I know, Friendster is still for sale.