You don’t hear about MySpace much these days, which is sort of interesting given that it used to be the ish back in the day. But as we all know, Mark Zuckerberg smoothly positioned Facebook as the social network of choice, subsequently usurping MySpace’s influence in the process.
But way back when MySpace was still relevant, Google signed an ad deal with them in 2006. As Tom Anderson tells it, (yes, that Tom of MySpace) it was Microsoft that was gunning for an ad deal with MySpace. When Google was able to successfully swoop in and ink the deal instead, Microsoft ran over to Facebook.
This is made all the more interesting now that Google is going after Facebook with Google+.
But as Anderson tells it, it almost didn’t happen that way. In fact, it was Microsoft that was just about to sign the MySpace search/ad deal. “The reason we ended up going with Google search is because I ran into John Doerr and told him we were about to close with Microsoft. Within an hour, Google brass helicoptered out to a News Corp. shindig at Pebble Beach,” Anderson says, noting that he wasn’t allowed in the closed-door meeting where negotiations took place. This resulted in the billion-dollar deal.
“The terms were so screwed up, that it had a big impact (a negative one) on MySpace’s future,” Anderson writes. “Things would have been quite different if that deal hadn’t happened,” he goes on to say.
And in case you’re wondering, John Doerr is an extremely wealthy venture capitalist who has made a number of shrewd investments in a wide range of tech companies, including Netscape, Sun, Amazon, and of course, Google where he currently sits on the company’s board.