As someone who has gone through more than a couple acquisitions, it starts to become obvious that excitement sells. Not only do you need to have something profitable and “cool” now, but it needs to have a vision and that vision needs to be something the acquiring company wants to be a part of.
Last night at the HTC Awards in Maryland, GE leader Christine Furstoss oozed of passion when speaking of the technological innovation happening right now. With technology such as 3D printing, magic is becoming reality. As AirPatrol walked away with the SuperStar award for our mobile excellence, other technology companies were praised for their ability to be brave and think outside of the box. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind doesn’t only apply to the cosmos.
It was officially announced this week that Apple has acquired Beats for $3 billion. Not only interesting for the amount of money exchanged (remember Google bought Nest for around the same amount earlier this year?), this purchase marks a new step for Apple a company that has previously rarely strayed from their traditions. Have you seen a Microsoft store at the mall recently? It has an appearance strikingly similar to Apple’s – imitation is strongest form of flattery. The Beats purchase is breaking Apple tradition as the hits are not crafted in-house (USA Today).
Why the gamble? Is it because Apple is losing some approval points and innovation credit with the recent Samsung squabbles? No, I think it goes beyond that.
Technology has always been close to our hearts, something we become passionate and even enraged about. I remember college dorm rooms that were significantly smaller because the speakers needed half of the real estate. I remember iPods coming out with bright, colorful and happy advertisements on TV, the radio and the web. I know the debate between how to listen to music now: to stream or purchase or _____?
Apple’s taking the next step. Music speaks to us and we love to talk, live and breathe technology. The Apple acquisition of Beats is just an example of how the sum can be greater than the parts. We’ll have to wait and see what is created from this mix.
This is happening in mobile everywhere. Mobile security companies are being bought up (did you see the recent Google acquisition of Divide??) and creating a powerhouse solution. Location companies are forging partnerships that mix the capabilities of hardware with the intelligence of complex software. International sales machines are taking the strongest solutions and placing them in new markets and, thus, solving use cases that weren’t even considered before.
It’s an exciting time. Our own acquisition last month is driving us forward at speeds we didn’t yet know before. We’re constantly addressing various markets as leaders in those fields (Location Intelligence Summit last week, Indoor Locationing Emerging Technologies this week, Good Technology Exchange in NY and Cyber Security Summit in Tysons next week – more events here).
The companies that are going to come out on top are those that are playing the game right – not only perfecting their own technology and applying it to new scenarios, but discovering the best complement and making it happen. You never know what can happen when you get the right minds in the same room but it might create something beautiful.