Comcast is buying Plaxo for $175 million in cash, Valleywag says. Don’t know that that’s true, but if so, evidence that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts is still building castles in the air.
Plaxo is already an also-ran in a business that will support two players, tops. It badly trails both Facebook and LinkedIn in the “contacts” market, and its brand is still hitched to a single ossifying email program: Outlook. And even if Plaxo’s efforts to reinvent itself as a web-based social network have promise (we doubt it), Comcast still shouldn’t be the buyer.
- Comcast will never amass the critical mass of engineering talent and web properties required to sustain a position as an Internet software and services competitor. For better and worse, Comcast is a pipe and traditional content company (mostly pipe). We understand that Brian Roberts wants the company to become something else (a Net content powerhouse), but unless it makes a full-on commitment to doing so, it doesn’t stand a chance.
- Plaxo’s engineering talent will quit seven seconds after any earn-out expires. If you were a talented developer, would you want to work for a massive pipe company based in Philadelphia?
- There’s no synergy and no reason for Comcast to be in this business. Sure, Comcast broadband subscribers have Comcast email addresses, but Comcast doesn’t need to be yet-another-player in the social networking and contacts business. If it wants to be, it should just cut a deal with LinkedIn or Facebook
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.