Sunday, January 15, 2006

Bringing Down the House that AOL Built

Did AOL fumbled long before the merger?

AOL & Time Warner is on my radar because I spent a great many years of my career with the organization. Here’s an interesting analysis, from an insider perspective. Hindsight maybe 20-20, but former AOL executive Tom Grubisich says AOL's painful move from the top to the middle came long before its merger with Time Warner. In 1997 AOL founder Steve Case was so obsessed with growing AOL's subscriber base (which then represented about a third of all Internet users) that he neglected to focus on the thing that would ultimately make the Web the profitable place it is today: content. Years later, following a failed marriage to Time Warner, massive subscriber losses, and a distant fourth place position in revenues behind Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft's MSN, AOL is now trying to play catch-up. Grubisich blames Case for AOL's languishing position, saying essentially that it was Case himself who AOL needed to be liberated from, not Time Warner. Link: Online Journalism Review – Jan 12. 2006 – Who ‘shackled” AOL and when?

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