From "embrace and extend" to "validate and compete."

Adam Rifkin (
Fri, 19 Feb 1999 03:15:52 -0800 (PST)

Everyone familiar with Microsoft is familiar with their modus operandi:
"Embrace and extend." This model works well for companies competing in
the software business, and Microsoft has had a ruthless efficiency in
its execution of this strategy, helping it to become the largest company
in the country.

Well, the following article has an excellent similar mantra for CMGi:
"Validate and compete." My intuition tells me that *this* is the model
that works well for Internet ventures, and CMGi has a ruthless
efficiency in its execution of *this* strategy. We see elements of this
philsophy with every new venture CMGi goes out of their way to fund,
creating validation for the niches of Doubleclick and Broadcast.Com, to
name just two recent examples.

The following article is from

but I'll post it below for those too lazy to click...

> Validate and Compete
> The Take
> February 19, 1999
> by Phil Harvey
> If it can be done on the Internet, CMG Information Services will
> probably start a company to do it... if it hasn't already. The public
> venture investor is capping off a month of wave-making by announcing its
> intention to create a streaming-media competitor to Inc.
> Some may laugh at the thought of having a competitor, but
> industry analysts applaud the move and say CMGi has a good shot at
> giving the streaming-media king some extra stomach acid. CMGi snagged
> former NBC TV president Neil Braun to help run the new yet-to-be-named
> company and land big content deals. Not a bad start.
> "It doesn't need to clobber to be successful--just remind
> them that they don't own the entire market," says Ron Rappaport, Zona
> Research Inc.'s Internet industry analyst.
> That's just the kind of thing that CMGi investors want the venture
> company to do around the Web, says Rappaport. CMGi makes aggressive
> moves with well-defined boundaries. The "boundary" in this case amounts
> to over $100 million that CMGi will use to start the company.
> Indeed, looking at CMGi's portfolio of companies and investments, it's
> hard to find a missing piece to the Internet puzzle. CMGi is most
> well-known for being a stakeholder in both GeoCities and Lycos Inc., but
> it also owns 40 percent of Vicinity Corp., a company that provides
> private-label geographic-based content via the Web; 16 percent of
> Chemdex, a vertical portal for the biochemical industry; and TicketsLive
> Corp., an online and offline ticket network, among its over 25
> investments.
> A critical look at CMGi's stable gives investors a clear idea of CMGi's
> pick for the next major growth areas of the Internet, says Brian Hill,
> an assistant analyst at Adams, Harkness & Hill, Inc. Hill says Adams
> Harkness & Hill rate CMGi a "strong buy" and have rated it at least a
> "buy" since 1996.
> Phil Harvey writes for Upside Today and welcomes your comments. Please
> send correspondence via e-mail ( using plain text
> with no attached files.


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