Not being a user of Tumblr, I'm clueless about whether its $1.1B acquisition is going to work out for Yahoo! [Disclosure: My savvy social media daughters -- 21 and 18 -- are/were fans of Tumblr for quite some time].
The history of the Internet pioneer has been one of ups and mainly downs. One thing is for certain: Yahoo's press release to announce the acquisition of the fast-growing social media site is a thing of beauty.
The headline’s four-word subhead perfectly describes the challenge faced by Yahoo.
The headline reads: "Yahoo! To Acquire Tumblr" followed by: "Promises not to screw it up."
The second paragraph reinforces Yahoo’s hands-off promise. "Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business. David Karp will remain CEO. The product, services and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit and commitment to empower creators."
Death to corporate-speak!
Many acquisitions, of course, begin with the promise of independence and then the target company is royally screwed up. It’s up to Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer to made good on her promise made in her first big deal.
In the press release, she added a nice touch. She credited Tumblr's spirit to the demeanor to its founder Dave Karp. She praised Karp as "one of the nicest, most empathetic people I've ever met."
When was the last time a press release hailed the chief of an acquired company a nice guy? Leo Durocher used to say "nice guys finish last." I hope Karp debunks The Lip's cynicism.
If Melissa keeps her word, he has a shot.