Marissa Mayer is quickly establishing herself as tech's preeminent taxidermist: the company will acquire Rockmelt, AllThingsD reports, a social aggregation something something that no one else wanted. They're paying $60 million for a dud. There's a pattern here.
Rockmelt was supposed to be a "social" browser, that would help you find websites your friends enjoyed so that you could enjoy them too. Nobody used this browser, so the company decided to settle for just making another "discovery" app, of which there are many. This also failed, and in 2013, when you're out of ideas, out of time, and probably out of money, you let Yahoo! buy you—it's less embarrassing than having to tell your parents the startup didn't work out.
I mean really—fucking Rockmelt? Many of us were surprised to see that it's even still around, a HoJo's of the web.
Unlike Facebook, which spent a billion dollars on Instagram because everyone loves Instagram and it is terrific, Yahoo! is collecting a dream team of players with bum shoulders and shin splints, an assemblage of no-name never-was firms to either scrap for parts or drum up headlines for a week. If Yahoo! hadn't taken Rockmelt, eventually there just wouldn't be a Rockmelt. And that's fine.
There's Summly, the article-summarizing app that was based on someone else's technology and never worked very well. How many of you used it before it made headlines for its teen creator?
Did you use any of these iPhone photography apps before Yahoo! bought and shut them down?
Did you ever create a mobile poll with Go Poll Go?
Any fans of Qwiki, the unpopular, legally embroiled video app?
Would Tumblr ever have sold itself it it weren't running out of money?
Have Yahoo's twenty acquisitions since Mayer took over been based on merit, or just that, well, they're available, so uh... what are you doing this weekend...
The answer to these questions is most likely no, but Yahoo! continues to lighten its war chest, with virtually nothing to show for it, beyond a reputation as a company that'll clean your plate if you don't like what's for lunch.
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