Netscape cofounder Marc Andreessen, who now runs social networks for porn sites, doesn't think that the Microsoft-Yahoo deal bodes ill for startups. True, there will be one less buyer out there if the deal goes through — but, he argues, neither Microsoft nor Yahoo has been a particularly active acquirer of small startups. He provides a long list of companies, from Akamai to WPP, which have bought startups. If anything, facing Google and a beefed-up Microsoft will prompt media companies to go on a spending spree.
That spree could well end in tears. But that's not the Valley's problem; we make companies to sell them. Especially Andreessen who, despite his protestations of not building companies to flip them, is surely eager to unload Ning, his social-network startup. What better way to attract potential buyers than to butter them up with a post telling them how important they are? In the comments, I'll take odds on Andreessen selling to one of the companies he named within the year.