Bah – Shut It Down – Follow-up on WSJ

It seems like the Wall Street Journal’s “LinkedIn Killer” was just in the news – oh wait – it was;-)

Back in August I wrote about the flurry of activity on the net about this effort.  We have an update, and it doesn’t look good for the killer effort…

Conflicting headlines

An interesting difference between headlines on sites:

Wall Street Journal Building a LinkedIn Killer


Shutting Down Rupert Murdoch’s Social Experiments Lab

I happened to find the upper headline first – and groaned “didn’t I write about this in the fall?” And that author links to the information in the second post.

Either the first site a) has a connection to news corp and wanted to put this out with a positive spin, b) thought that taking a contrary view to the way things appear would be splashier, or c) just missed that this effort to build a LinkedIn killer is really old news…

The second article lays it down well.

Experimental labs

So News corp apparently funded an experimental lab to the tune of $15 million in 2008 for the benefit of the MySpace founder it wanted to retain.

This lab hasn’t produced much over these two years, so they’re looking to close it down. (I don’t have any real visibility into this lab’s success or not – I’m merely relaying what the Valleywag article says)

(But for the record – good idea Rupert – they had their chance, time to refocus)

One last gasp

It appears that the one thing remaining that they want to get more effort in on – is that LinkedIn “Killer App”.

And while it doesn’t make a lot of business sense – you don’t take into account bad decisions and sunk costs – it is understandable. They’re probably “days” away from releasing the application that they built and would like to see it through.  [And of course, by saying “days”, I really mean months; and by saying “see it through”, I mean see it fail after releasing it instead of before…]

And so they’ve been kept on for now. We’ll see how it goes.

Following or Leading?

I roasted the idea back in August when I first heard about it – you’d think with dozens of other competitors to LinkedIn News Corp would think to stay away

What would you rather do – chase the leader or compete in an entirely new way?

To your continued success,


Steven Tylock