In buying Instagram for one billion dollars in just three days, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg eliminated one of the company’s biggest threats at a cost of just 1% of market cap.It was bold, brilliant, and ballsy.
Earlier today, my boss, Henry Blodget, suggested Google CEO Larry Page follow Zuckerberg’s lead and make a bold move of his own: acquire Pinterest for $3 billion.
Google should do that!
But it won’t, for a number of reasons.
One reason, according to a well-placed source in Silicon Valley M&A circles: Larry Page doesn’t get out enough.
Zuckerberg was able to buy Instagram so fast because he’d already established a personal relationship with the startup’s CEO, Kevin Systrom. The Facebook CEO makes an effort to meet rising entrepreneurs – especially the ones building products that might rival his own.
Larry Page, we’re told, doesn’t get out of the Googleplex and take meetings with CEOs at hot startups in the social space.
The gossip is that he’s never even met with Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann or Path CEO Dave Morin, and that he relies entirely on the guys behind Google+, Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz, for his views on what’s going on in social.
Gundotra and Horowitz have built a pretty product in Google+, but that’s nuts, if it’s true.
Social may not be as interesting to Page as search or mobile – but he’s got to get out and hear some outside views. Maybe he could learn something. Maybe he could buy something.