I opened, as every single morning since I started using Linkedin as my Social Selling platform and go-to-place for relevant business news, my Linkedin homepage. My eyes scanned the screened rapidly and I found a title that stopped me dead. It read:
Microsoft and LinkedIn: Together Changing the Way the World Works.
I suddenly felt uneasy. I didn’t want to click the link, I didn’t want to read what I thought I would read. I was just not ready…but I did click.
Microsoft is buying Linkedin. I can’t say for certain how long that had been on the works but if you read Linkedin’s CEO Jeff Weiner’s post here, you’ll see that this has been out there for some time. I’ve heard rumors as many people has but I dismissed them. Linkedin’s culture, the kind of Company they are, what Jeff actually achieved looked so different to what Satya Nadella is still doing to Microsoft.
As I read the post the image of George Lucas came to my mind when he sold LucasFilms to Disney. As a Star Wars hardcore fan, I was disappointed. It took me a lot of time to process and agree with his decision, as if I had anything to do with it, and that’s the thing: being such a fan, being so immersed in the Star Wars world, I did feel I was part of it, and suddenly our Shrine would be sold, the holy lands of SkyWalker ranch would be taken by the followers of the Mouse and the Princesses. It was chaos!
And then Episode VII came out and I had mixed feelings. I’ve already watched it 6 times and I’m still finding myself a bit surprised and annoyed at the same time. Even old Master Lucas is surprised, saying he would have gone differently with the plot. He’s gone as far as to call Disney “White Slavers”…but there’s no regret in his words, not one word that says “I shouldn’t have sold it”. It was a sound business decision after all and it’s paying back to Disney so why would he regret such a decision, other than him being a hardcore Star Wars fan himself?
Linkedin will become part of Microsoft’s strategy for the next 10 years at least. Their amazing content platform and unique algorithms that connect people with business has made them the one Social Network that can, exponentially, connect Microsoft’s Cloud world with real business. And Satya knows this. Where else can he find so relevant user-generated content other than on Linkedin’s pulse, or the amazing Lynda platform that Linkedin is only beginning to test drive after it’s acquisition last year?
It does sound interesting when I think of it, it does sound promising but what do I feel as I did when Lucas said he was getting rid of Lucasfilms? Why am I so sceptic to this kind of acquisition? It’s probably because I’m as invested on Linkedin as I am on Star Wars, only for different reasons. I’ve been there for so long (more than 10 years now, I was even a beta for them) that I feel the change as if I was indeed, an employee there. I’ve grown my career through Linkedin, met amazing people and found jobs over and over. I’ve created and shared content, I’ve gotten feedback and connected to incredible professionals. It’s been a big part of my professional life.
There has to be a reason for this change, I know there is one of course but I kept asking myself what was it. I looked for it on Jeff’s post. Over and over. The one statement that was able to cool me down a bit, and help me visualize what’s coming ahead was this one:
Imagine a world where we’re no longer looking up at Tech Titans such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, and wondering what it would be like to operate at their extraordinary scale — because we’re one of them.
Linkedin needs to grow. Microsoft needs to look beyond platforms and into content finally. Linkedin’s intuitive tools help people find people and do business with them. Microsoft tool’s have been assisting business people everywhere for longer than I can remember and their cloud initiatives have proven successful. There’s no denying that this can be a killer combination.
What will happen once the acquisition is done? Will Linkedin be merged into Microsoft’s Cloud world? Will your Linkedin profile change with whatever Satya feels is the future of Linkedin? How will this impact all of us who create and curate content for Linkedin?
I had to wait 3 years since Lucas announced he was selling to Disney just to see what would happen to Start Wars and the results are still questionable for a Start Wars fan of course. I don’t know how much we’ll have to wait until we see changes on Linkedin but probably it will be faster than that considering the online business world is faster and more aggressive.
In the meantime all I can do is just wait…and hope the next episode is better.