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April 2008



It would seem the Onion News Network would agree with your assessment:



I agree with your predicted demise of Blockbuster. Although I wonder if word of their upcoming plans to introduce a sort-of digital cable box that will allow users to download movies directly to your TV, won't give Blockbuster a second life.


Born to be died.

David Tokheim

Thanks Laura,
My favorite memory of dealing with Blockbuster was meeting in Dallas with a Director level employee (who has since left corporate) who said, "we are a 15 min. drive from 75% of America and don't see Netflicks as a competitor." No doubt such bravado has had something to do with their demise.


When I first heard the news report that Blockbuster was going to "save" Circuit City, I thought the radio announcer made a mistake. What were they thinking?! How is that not obvious that that's a disaster in the making? That's the nail on the coffin.


Laura, this is a brilliant dressing down of Blockbuster. They're yet another monster company whose hubris has brought its downfall. I worked for the company for a while before finishing college and it was one of the most backwards places I've ever been involved with.

Their backdoor deals with the movie studios on VHS rental exclusives was the proverbial gun to the temple. When movie geeks like myself could buy DVDs outright, we had no need to rent.

Now, with digital movie downloads, Blockbuster is even more of a dinosaur.

Laura Ries

I wrote a post in February on the whole Microsoft-Yahoo merger called Micro-hoo. And yes, I am very opposed to that merger from a brand perspective.



David McElroy

jer979, I'm sure you're asking your question to Laura and not to me, but I'd say that Microsoft buying Yahoo will be a major mistake, assuming it happens. Microsoft has not been financially successful with much of anything outside of its core business of operating systems (Windows) and applications (mostly Office). Look at how much money the company has flushed down the drain over the years pursuing other things. (Remember WebTV, for instance?)

With Yahoo, Microsoft would be getting a company which is already in deep trouble, which has a radically different culture, and isn't really a market leader in anything profitable. Microsoft has done a lousy job of taking care of its core Windows franchise and the result is bad publicity everywhere for Vista. (You can argue about whether the reality is as bad as the publicity, but reality doesn't really matter when the PR is this bad. And as a Mac user, I'm too biased to give an honest opinion.) Anyway, the company is showing early signs of losing the total dominance it's had in the OS area, Google is challenging it in the area of apps for the future (with online apps), and products such as the Zune aren't exactly flying off the shelves. (Even with the millions who've bought Xbox 360s, has that division ever made money? I don't recall for sure, but it certainly hadn't as of fairly recently.)

With all of these problems, the last thing management needs is to have its attention diverted with trying to integrate 13,000 new employees into the company (if I remember Yahoo's headcount correctly) and trying fix the problems which are currently keeping it from doing well in the market.

Steve Ballmer has a sales mentality, and it shows. He doesn't have the ability to focus, based on what I can see. He seems to want to chase everything. Buying Yahoo will be a disaster (for both organizations) if it goes through. The real winners will be Google and Apple.


so according to mistake #5, is the MSFT-YHOO deal a disaster waiting to happen?

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