The rise and fall of Myspace is an interesting story to behold. Once a giant in the social space, most had written the struggling site off before the sale to Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Many observers do not believe Myspace will ever make would could be called a real comeback despite the ambitions of its new owners. Whether or not the social pioneer survives, the former owners are finally owning up to their mistakes and hopefully, learning from them.
In 2005, News Corporation, parent company of media enterprises such as Fox Broadcasting and The Wall Street Journal, purchased the soaring Myspace for a whopping $580 million. Unfortunately for the global media giant, the social network’s stock dropped considerably over the years, and by 2011, Myspace was just a shell of its former self. The internet property once valued at $12 billion was acquired by Timberlake and his investment team for approximately $35 million, mere pennies compared to what News Corp paid just six years ago.
As Rupert Murdoch, chairman, CEO, and founder of the world’s second largest media conglomerate mentioned in a tweet he sent out from the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, News Corp “screwed up” big time with Myspace. Although no one could have predicted that the site would endure such a hard fall, Murdoch’s company clearly overvalued a piece of web property, gambled and crapped out with its bet. Some call it one of the worst investments to come after the dot com bubble and subsequent burst in 2001.
The debacle that was Myspace may have set the mighty News Corporation back a couple hundred million, but it has not stopped it from taking risks. One of the company’s riskiest business ventures in recent times has been the launch of “The Daily,” the iPad-based news publication that up to this point, has failed to attract enough customers to turn a profit.
Has News Corp truly learned from its mistakes? Time will tell. But you can learn from yours by committing to the following:
Tracking Your Steps – How can you bounce back from mistakes without anything to reflect on? Think about what worked and what didn’t. When you keep track of your past strategies in systematic fashion, you will have far more information and measurable experiences to learn from.
Measuring Your Success – A big part of rebounding from failure is measuring your impact to determine just how successful or unsuccessful your efforts really are. From email campaigns to social media programs, there are plenty of metrics available to help you identify flaws and areas in need of improvement.
Getting Help – Perhaps if News Corporation had received some expert advice, it would have dumped Myspace before its value plummeted to nearly nothing, or not even purchased the overpriced social network at all. When business hits a snag, it never hurts to get advice or counseling from an outside party that can look at the situation with a clear, unbiased eye. Even the most savvy business professional can get too close to a project to see the forest for the trees.
Myspace may be down, but apparently the former social giant is not out. At this year’s CES, it introduced Myspace TV, an offering that could potentially strengthen its position as a worthwhile entertainment hub. Justin Timberlake and the new owners are hoping they can making this component as successful as Myspace Music, which is currently the strongest element of the site. As for the former owners, News Corp is hoping it can continue to move forward and avoid the temptation of acquiring the next great internet failure.