There's an interesting little blurb making the rounds today about Rupert Murdoch claiming Google could have bought MySpace three months before he did at half the price. That's interesting in its own right -- but in thinking about how few acquisitions of this type Google does, it becomes clear that Google values technology over community by a long shot. The reason Google didn't want to buy MySpace was because it thought it could build the same thing. That's a technology answer, that ignores the community side of things -- which isn't so easy to build. It's also why Orkut is barely discussed these days, outside of Brazil. However, if you compare the acquisitions Google has made over the last few years to those that Yahoo and News Corp have made, it's pretty clear that Yahoo and News Corp are buying community, while Google has focused more on buying engineers. So, it's no surprise that Google would turn down a chance to acquire MySpace. The technology was (and still is) nothing special. It's the value of the community that they didn't see (or didn't care about). The real question is which strategy is going to make the most sense in the long run. Google has obviously done quite well with its technology focused solution. While MySpace is growing like gangbusters, there are still some questions about how well that community can be monetized.
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