Amazon Acquires Woot; Woot CEO Pens Best Acquisition Letter Ever

from the earning-a-living-on-snarky-commentary-and-junk dept

It appears that Amazon is expanding by trying to buy up cool e-commerce companies that have unique and fun cultures that its fans love. I would imagine there are worse strategies out there. We already covered how Amazon bought Zappos, with the company culture playing an important role in the decision-making. Now Amazon has bought Woot (a site, I should admit, that I have a bit of an addiction to). And unlike the lame corporate-speak note that Zappos put out when it was acquired, Woot has handled the announcement in true Woot-like fashion with perhaps the best CEO letter you'll ever read about an acquisition. Here's just an excerpt:
Over the next few days, you will probably read headlines that say "Matt Rutledge revealed to be monstrous pseudo-human creation of Jeff Bezos." You might even see this photo making the rounds. Rest assured that these rumors have nothing to do with our final decision. We think now is the right time to join with Amazon because, quite simply, every company that becomes a subsidiary gets two free downloads until the end of July, and we very much need that new thing with Trent Reznor's wife on our iPods.

Other than that, we plan to continue to run Woot the way we have always run Woot -- with a wall of ideas and a dartboard. From a practical point of view, it will be as if we are simply adding one person to the organizational hierarchy, except that one person will just happen to be a billion-dollar company that could buy and sell each and every one of you like you were office furniture. Nevertheless, don't worry that our culture will suddenly take a leap forward and become cutting-edge. We're still going to be the same old bottom-feeders our customers and readers have come to know and love, and each and every one of their pre-written insult macros will still be just as valid in a week, two weeks, or even next year. For Woot, our vision remains the same: somehow earning a living on snarky commentary and junk.

We are excited about doing this for all sorts of reasons. One, our business model is so vague that there's no way Amazon can possibly change what it is we're truly doing: preparing the way for the rise of the Lava Men in 2012....
And then there's this lovely rap video Woot staff put together to explain the acquisition. The video even ends by noting "the preceding video does not represent the view or opinions of Amazon.com. Obviously." Let's just say that it's not your standard bland "hey we've been acquired" announcement:
Taking a step back, it's pretty interesting to see Amazon acquiring companies with such unique cultures and then leaving them alone and letting them act entirely independently. It will be worth watching to see if that lasts (or if it can last). But for now, it's cool to see.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Dave (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 6:42pm

    Woot Sale

    Looks like WOOT sold everything in one deal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    bob, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 6:42pm

    Crap

    Bag of Crap that is.

    So far Amazon has yet to screw up any of it's acquired companies, so it will be interesting to see what happens to the Little Company outside of Dallas.

    0 bags of crap, but lots of other Woots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 7:13pm

    Dammit!

    I missed another woot-off?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Yair Yona, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 8:07pm

    This is great

    I don't know what will happen with Woot and if Amazon would do them good or not, but it clearly shows that Amazon knows with who to make business, by taking a company with a sharp thinking, and realistic observation, like the one proven here in this letter.
    I loved it. wishing them great luck and success.

     

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  5.  
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    I came from reddit, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 8:08pm

    I tried to upvote this.

    Where is the H?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Schmoo, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 3:30am

    What are Woot all about? I can't get near enough to find out, allergic as I am to attention-whoring.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    slacker525600 (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 5:28am

    wait...

    the day after the sell themselves to amazon they are selling the kindle? lulz

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 5:39am

    Re:

    They sell cheap stuff cheap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    packrat (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 5:54am

    a fish, a barrel, a gun...

    flash in the panned that...

    THIS is media-mania, media on media and MUD in yer eye..

    this is NOT your mother's miltary-industrail complex , kid. It anti even Kansas.

    woot? this is the communication revolution?

    betcha problems with property (monopoly, ownership, control) in the supply eco start slapping 'em hard, too.

    packrat

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 5:57am

    Was shipping just $5 on the deal?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    John Duncan Yoyo, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 6:06am

    $149 Kindle

    Today's Woot Offering is a $149 Kindle. $40 off the current price.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Danny, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 9:36am

    Damn...

    That was a serious Woot Off. I wonder how much it sold for? Or maybe it was in one of the Random Bags of Crap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Overtkill (profile), Jul 1st, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Hmm...

    Wait for whatever the contracts that were signed by the "big wigs," to expire. I have lived through two corporate acquisitions. When that contract signed at purchase expires, things will change. They always do. They always come in with the "nothing will change" speech, saying "we want that uniqueness that is ." But the sad truth is that a VERY HIGH percentage of corporate acquisitions are made to remove the competition.

    They will be assimilated! :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Koowie, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 6:58pm

    really

    Nice witty letter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Skoffer, May 16th, 2013 @ 6:49am

    Re: Hmm...

    In light of this weeks events, how prophetic was this? Amazing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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