MySpace founder likes to buy MySpace back and why I think that is a bad idea

Business Insider wrote about MySpace cofounder Chris DeWolfe is interested in buying his old company back:

I cant talk about whether we have any interest in buying Myspace now—its a confidential process—but its the biggest property for sale at what, in this market, would be a somewhat reasonable price. You always care if theres an asset that you feel is undervalued when you had a plan to develop it.

/via MySpace Founder Hints He’d Like To Buy It Back

I’ve been there and I think that’s a bad idea.

One of the main reasons MySpace is failing is because the ownership of News Corp. A social network does not thrive as part of a media company. It should be, but it doesn’t when the media company is thinking too much in terms of old media and does not understand the new media. I saw it happen with my company Sugababes.nl being bought by Telegraaf Media Group. Our customers weren’t their first priority anymore and because of a slower corporate culture, our innovation grinded to a halt. We lost our kool aid.

After a few years Sugababes.nl was being sold again and I tried to buy it back. I failed and I think that was a good thing. The downwards spiral Sugababes.nl was in was very hard to counter and maybe it was already too late. People were leaving Sugababes.nl for Hyves, because it was cooler and more innovative than Sugababes.nl was at that time.

Same goes for MySpace and Facebook. Facebook is the cooler kid and it looks like MySpace already lost. They tried to differentiate themselves from the rest of the Social Networks by focussing on music, but the fact that News Corp. is selling after their big redesign and change of focus means they are not doing well.

Chris is not going to change the image of MySpace being the uncool kid. He has moved on and is doing a good job with MindJolt chasing Zynga. He should try not to look back too much at his dying child, although that is not always easy. I know it isn’t.

On the other hand, Steve Jobs proved me completely wrong..

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