There Must Be A Pony In Here Somewhere





That's the way the internet business has been in its journey so far.

Right since the early days, the internet has always held a great promise; its potential never a subject of debate. However, even the most optimistic internet enthusiast must not have imagined in his wildest dreams that a day would come when an upstart dotcom company would grow so mighty as to merge with one of the biggest traditional media giants and that too with an upper hand.

The book under review is all about the AOL Time Warner merger, which managed to take the entire traditional media world by storm. Alas the frenzy did not last for long. The storm was followed by a lull whose silence deafened the media industry.

Kara Swishers' There must be a pony in here somewhere is a remarkable book about an even more remarkable story... the AOL Time Warner debacle. We all have our lessons to learn from history and the book narrates the story of one of the biggest media booms that went bust faster than the speed of sound.

The biggest focus of There must be? on the culture misfit that had executives from both sides gunning for each other rather than partnering. A lot of envisaged synergies between AOL & Time Warner too did not materialise and a lot of times successful properties were either subsidised or bartered cheaply so as to help the weaker ones survive adding to the lowering morale at the newly formed media giant.

Swisher who has also authored the book had first hand access to the top executives at AOL and Time Warner; which helps her narrate the inside tale of the merger. Her peppered style of writing coupled with insightful reportage, adds to the engaging yet sometimes depressing content of the book.

There are simple morals even in complex patterns. Kara's narrative makes many proverbs spring forth from the subconscious.

Too many cooks spoil the broth.... and what a spoil it was.

Look before you leap... and what a leap it was.

the list can go on...

The book transports one to the booming dotcom days serving large dollops on the Silicon Valley scenario then, the big celebrations, the hype, the anticipation and of course real world problems like downtime and bandwidth.

Definitely recommended for those interested in the internet business as well as for media watchers.

Warning : may get a bit depressing if read at one single stretch.

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