The New York Times has another MySpace article, this one giving a bit of history behind the service and how it came into existence.
Some interesting notes from the article:
The actual selling price for MySpace was actually $649 million. All along the numbers have been reported at $525 million, so I guess the final number must have been a little higher than what we all thought. Still, nearly a billion dollars for such a simple a great idea? We should all be so lucky. The only problem is that Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe didn’t actually want MySpace to be sold to Fox; instead, they were dragged along kicking and screaming and recieved a very small sum of the total sale amount. In truth, it was probably like ten million dollars apiece, which is not very small, but I guess I’d be complaining, too, if the total sale was almost a billion dollars and I only recieved a paltry ten mil.
The next big advertising gambit for MySpace? Advertisers with profiles. Yeah, like a sixteen year old kid is really gonna want to add Tide or Microsoft as a friend. People know when they’re dealing with robots. Yeah, they add bands that they’ll likely never get a personal message from, but adding bands is a form of expression; it lets everyone know that they listen to something, that they hold something close to their hearts. I don’t foresee a time when anyone would add an advertiser as a friend because they’re so stoked about the product the advertiser is putting out.
It’s funny to read the article, because there’s such a direct contrast between the comments of Chris DeWolfe and the comments of those at News Corp. DeWolfe is all about the users, laughing at New Corp’s ideas on advertising, selling profiles to bands, etc, and pretty much dismisses them. I wonder how long Tom and Chris will be in charge, or even on the staff of MySpace, which by the way has grown to over 300 people.
And with 300 people on staff, you couldn’t hire ONE person to redo the design structure of the site so that everyone would have better-looking profiles?