Google Buys iRows For Its Founders

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2006-11-191

Here’s another example of Google absorbing the company primarily for its talent and to heck with the rest of the company assets. I wonder what the terms of the deal were. Is it more like a pay off (e.g. a bribe so you stop what you’re doing, do as you are told and join the team) rather than an acquisition? Somehow I doubt that much of the existing software will be recycled into Google Docs though maybe bits and pieces will.

I enjoy checking on technological conquests such as this, to see how synergy can be created between two companies. Mergers and acquisitions are often wonderful opportunities for new wealth to be made. And this is how it is when you live in a capitalistic economic environment.

This is what TechCrunch has reported on this matter: Google has taken over iRows and this company will be shutting down. What does this mean? Well the company is no longer allowing the creation of new accounts and won’t be available by the end of the year. If you are an iRows user, then you’ll be asked to switch over to Google Documents; however, iRows will be giving you information on how to make the transition.

At this point, we don’t really know how much money exchanged hands here because the financial details have not been revealed. Two people founded iRows — these are Yoah Bar-David and Itai Raz. iRows is actually the first company out of Israel that Google has picked up. It is expected that Google will continue its acquisition spree wherever it finds interesting, innovative products.

iRowsWell the operative word “acquired” was still used in the TechCrunch report… I guess it’s all great if there are only founders to worry about; it’s more problematic if there are a whole bunch of employees involved.

Let’s take for instance what happened to me in the startup I joined in late 1999. There was an acquisition which liquidated my erstwhile company, and which paid off the upper management, board members and founders who got away with some modest consolation prizes for their hard work, which was to fritter away an enormous sum in venture capital. The software was inventoried, turned over then shelved and that was the end of that. Nobody was ever hired by the acquiring company even though “mock” interviews were performed for employment consideration at the new place. Ultimately, the regular employees were sent home with nice 3 month severance packages along with concerns over where they were going to go in the midst of the dot com implosion, while the top dogs took their dough, vanished into some extended vacations and serious weight training (I swear this was true), then finally resurrected themselves in newly funded startups.

Of course that’s not what happened to iRows, but funny how this story sent me to a trip down memory lane.

Copyright © 2006 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

George Chernikov November 20, 2006 at 2:39 am

Great news for all new start-ups! As the rivalry between Microsoft and Google intensifies, plenty of small new innovative companies will get snapped up in the process, provided that they have something of value to offer on the frontlines. And now you don’t even need a solid business idea to draw the attention of the big fish – just a demonstration that you have the skills that they can put to a good use.

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