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8 Great Links About Microsoft's $26.2 Billion LinkedIn Acquisition

This week, Microsoft announced that it would acquire LinkedIn for a whopping $26.2 billion. This comprehensive account of the acquisition in The New York Times is a great place to start if you're just looking to catch up on the context of the sale, but it hasn't taken long for the Internet thinktank to weigh in on the transaction, too. Here are a couple of big questions you might have about this news and some well-thought links that ponder the answers.

Why would LinkedIn sell? 

  • "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," said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner in a statement to the company's employees. Read the email in full at TIME and gain insight into the company's biggest motivators to sell. 
    LinkedIn CEO: Here's Why I Sold The Company to Microsoft via TIME
  • Not everyone is wearing Weiner's rose-colored glasses about the sale of what was once a boastfully independent enterprise. Recode's analysis blames three major factors: struggling stock, slowing ad sales, and stunted growth in pageviews. 
    Here are three scary reasons why LinkedIn sold to Microsoft for $26 billion via recode

Why would Microsoft buy? 

  • Remember that time Microsoft tried to buy Facebook? The New Yorker does. Contributor Vauhini Vara breaks down why the failure to acquire Facebook was a sign of a broader brokenness in the company--and why the acquisition of LinkedIn is less about social networking and more about expanding Microsoft's influence in cloud-based tech. 
    Why Microsoft Wanted LinkedIn via The New Yorker
  • UK FORBES contributor Grant Feller has a simpler take on LinkedIn's value to its new owner: It's all about content, baby. "It’s not just the numbers that matter – and this is where some journalists have got it wrong," he says. "Much of the value of the company derives from the content that’s published on the site. Its 2015 revenue was $2.9 billion, which was a 35% increase on the previous year."  This Is The Real Reason Microsoft Bought LinkedIn via FORBES
  • "Think like a tech chief executive, using the key values of relevance, synergy, data and growth," asks the New York Times. Their reasoning is similar to that of The New Yorker, but with a greater emphasis on the possibilities of LinkedIn's valuable trove of data. "Buying LinkedIn didn’t just improve the likely performance of Microsoft’s own algorithms," the Times continues. "It took a large potential data resource off the table for Amazon and Google."
    Why Microsoft Likes LinkedIn via The New York Times

What's the deal with the way Microsoft is financing this? 

  • Microsoft is a mammoth company with more than enough cash to buy LinkedIn outright. So why did they borrow money for the sale? Bloomberg breaks down the "idiosyncrasies" in U.S. corporate tax code and details the complications of making a big purchase when most of a company's money is stored overseas. 
    Why Microsoft, With $100 Billion, Wants a Loan for LinkedIn via BLOOMBERG
  • According to TIME, Microsoft's loan for the acquisition is the latest sign of a growing corporate debt bubble. In this opinion piece, economic analyst Rana Foroohar makes builds a case against the flaws in tax codes that reward debt over equity. 
    Microsoft's Massive LinkedIn Deal Is A Sign of Something Dangerous via TIME

5 Great Podcasts About Starting A Business

With In Processwe get to do the talking. We talk about the kinds of issues faced by businesses in today's market, discuss new and enduring theories in strategy, and dwell on specific issues that arise in a business's development. But we do our fair share of listening, too: plenty of podcasts out there have told the stories of new businesses and told them well. Here are five great shows about startups. Did we miss any of your favorites? 

1. StartUp

You could call Start-Up the original business podcast--at least for narrative podcasting company Gimlet Media. The series chronicles company co-founder Alex Blumberg, veteran producer for This American Life and Planet Money, as he pitches investors and grapples with the business of naming a company, dividing shares with a co-founder, and even approaching issues of time and money with a spouse and loved ones. Recorded and narrated in real-time, it's a fascinating and deeply personal glimpse into one man's journey to entrepreneurship. 

2. Dorm Room Tycoon

Dorm Room Tycoon is an interview-style podcast with some of the most innovative voices in tech, design and business. Hosted by William Channer, a tech journalist and product designer with his own start-up project in Panda, on DRT you'll find an interview with Wordpress founder Matt Mullenwag about "building community" alongside an episode with Upfront Ventures partner Mark Suster about the "perils of fundraising." A quick scan of DRT's topics and guests is sure to yield at least a few relevant topics for any businessperson, and the length of each episode ranges from 30 minutes to over an hour. 

3. This Week In Start-Ups

Jason Calacanis has quite the resume. He started Weblogs, one of the early blogging platforms that blew up on its own before being sold to AOL in 2005, and since then has seen success in everything from digital media to angel investing with a portfolio that includes Tumblr, Uber and more. Suffice to say he makes a compelling host on his show This Week In Startups when interviewing other big shots in the startup world about their successes, failures, obstacles and advice. With an archive of over 500 interviews, This Week In Startups is a huge resource for even the most savvy entrepreneurs. 

4. Startup School

Startup School is modeled after a series that was already in existence: the podcast's founders, Y Combinator, provide seed funding to startups in two cycles per year, and their program has played host to the likes of AirBnb and Dropbox. During these three-month cycles, the entrepreneurs are expected to move to the Bay Area and, in addition to receiving intensive hands-on assistance in getting their companies off the ground, attend a weekly dinner hosted by Y Combinator. At these dinners, successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and journalist speak about their experiences in a context that might be helpful to their audiences. Startup School podcast is like listening in on these dinners, and if their roster of incubator graduates is any indicator of their capacity for podcast guest selection, Y Combinator knows a thing or two about picking winners.

5. The Pitch

If you like the premise of Shark Tank but crave something a little less sensational and a lot easier to consume on the go, give The Pitch a listen. On each episode, host Josh Muccio finds early-stage startups and helps them refine their pitches, ultimately giving each the opportunity to present to an audience of angel investors. It's a fascinating way to not only stay up-to-date on the latest trends in start-ups, but to hear the way that VCs respond to ideas and pitches.