On Saturday, AT&T confirmed it would acquire Time Warner for a whopping $85.4 billion. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Time Warner merged with AOL back in 2000—a disastrous acquisition that has been all but dismantled over the past 15 years.
While back in 2000, some didn’t believe in the internet and/or didn’t believe in convergence—of course those concepts now seem obvious. So it’s not surprising to me that we are again seeing attempts to marry communications and content . . . The idea of the AOL/Time Warner merger made sense, both strategically and, at least for AOL, financially. What was flawed was the execution. But, as Thomas Edison said more than a century ago, vision without execution is hallucination. And execution is all about the right people focused on the right priorities, working together in the right way.
Maybe I should send a copy of my book to the boards and senior teams at both companies?