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Chris DeWolfe on the Value of Myspace


As Myspace goes on the block, its co-founder—the entrepreneur and current CEO of gaming company MindJolt—mulls a possible reunion

Myspace was a cultural phenomenon, but you can't roll back to 2006. The world has changed. Companies have reinvented their brands in the consumer-products space or fashion, but I've never really seen that on the Internet.

Before I left Myspace two years ago, I was confident we could turn this ship around. I can't talk about whether we have any interest in buying Myspace now—it's a confidential process—but it's the biggest property for sale at what, in this market, would be a somewhat reasonable price. You always care if there's an asset that you feel is undervalued when you had a plan to develop it. From Day One, I wanted to leave the company on an upside swing. I think I achieved that to a certain degree, but when I left there was unfinished business.

Becoming part of News Corp. (NWS) was exciting, but we had to walk that fine line between hitting certain revenue and profitability marks and optimizing the user experience. We fell behind. I had this "aha!" moment that this wasn't my company anymore.

One of the most important values for any new leader at Myspace is to have been a part of it—at least as an avid user of the service in its heyday, so they knew what it stood for. You have to understand what it was, and what it can be. You can't go head to head with Facebook and Twitter. You have to outflank them. The question is, how long would that take? Facebook's founders were able to focus on growing the business until it was mature. Mark [Zuckerberg] has done the right thing in staying private as long as he can. Most acquisitions of Internet startups by larger public companies don't work very well.

Right now, I'm excited about our gaming company [MindJolt]. Everything is about the user experience. We're pushing content across mobile, social media, and the Web. It doesn't matter if you play on Facebook or your smartphone. We're not wedded to one platform. I'd love to work with Myspace again.


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