TeachCrunch is the new Valleywag

24 May 2012

David Lawee (who manage my team here at Google) was on Disrupt NYC to share his M&A experience at Google. While this in itself should be a very interesting panel since Google just closed its biggest acquisition (yet) of Motorola Mobility. But instead of focusing on that in this article, the title read, “Google’s David Lawee: One-Third Of Google’s Acquisitions Are Failures (And Slide Is “Definitely” One Of Them)”. When I first saw that, my initial thought was “Wow, David must hate us.” But from my experience, I don’t think that is the case so I was a little confused. I continued reading the article and watched the video.

The Slide discussion is about a minute out of a 19 mins long interview (From 12:35 to 13:45, but I recommend watching the whole thing)

2/3 of our acquisitions are successful, 1/3 are going to be unsuccessful, Slide is definitely in that 1/3. 90… I forget what the exact percentage that was, but I think about 85% of the team went over to YouTube - which is a very social property. And they’re doing quite well there. So, it wasn’t like all the people left, actually most of the people stayed. But sometimes you just miss the line on timing. Like even between that three months when we negotiate, sign and closed the deal, there were huge shifts in our organization, strategy that made it harder for Max to execute on the plan that we had laid out for him.

Maybe I’m bias but I feel like I should say something since I’m from the original Slide team. If you watched the video and understood how Lawee defined “failure” with acquisitions, it’s not as negative as the press makes it out to be. In this case, it’s because the structure, strategy and vision changed from the parent company and caused its original plans to fall apart.

I understand tweaking title of your post to get more pageviews. But taking things out of context for shock value is not the way to do it. This is more like a Valleywag post than anything else. Focus on quality and what’s important is all I ask.

Beside, the deal is like almost 2 years ago guys, get over it.