Sunday, December 24, 2006

Speed is Life by Bob Davis

Speed Is Life: Street Smart Lessons from the Front Lines of Business (Hardcover)
by Bob Davis

Before "Google"  became the defacto search engine, Lycos was quite popular as a search engine and as a web portal. With its acquisition of popular web sites such as Tripod, it was a force to reckon with. Lycos was one of the early internet startups which shaped the internet and search as we know today. It competed with Yahoo and many other search engines. In fact, before Google came to prominence, it was quite good and did a nice job of web search.

Bob Davis, who founded and ran the company for 6 years till its merger with Spanish media giant Terra, is the author of this book. In this book, he shares details about himself, his time with Lycos and business knowledge he gained while running the book. By any means, a passionate account from a passionate business executive.

Well written. Fast read.

The author regrets that his efforts to merge Lycos with USA Interactive (of Barry Diller) did not succeed and sighs that if it were to go through it would have been "as or more successful" than the merge of AOL and Time Warner. I think his crystal ball was colored more with personal regret than anything else. As the whole world came to know about, AOL and Time Warner merger was a marriage made in "hell" and Time Warner which was "acquired" by AOL had to try hard to get rid of AOL and a lot of stigma attached the whole deal and its affect on the value of the company. It was a big mess which the current CEO Dick Parson is still trying to clean up. "Fools Rush In" is a great book capturing the drama behind the merger of AOL and Time Warner and the comedy it became.

Anyway, good read. A lot of business insight.

It is interesting to research what happened after Lycos merged with Terra. Did anything similar to what happened with AOL/ TW followed here as well? Not heard of. But, Lycos is no more a name it used to be. Google has put all search engines behind. Lycos portal exists. Tripod still lets people build nice home pages, blogs etc. But, what happened to stock holders and their money? Needs some investigation.


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