Rusty on the blogging, but lets give it a lash.
When it comes to M&A in the storage business, or even the technology business in general it’s deals which involve an acquirer buying a ‘beautiful flower,’ that generates the headlines.
A beautiful flower in tech is a company which has established a brand name product, has a solid, growing customer base and has probably been through an IPO. Beautiful flowers tend to be ornate and well tended. They’re expensive because a lot of the hard work is done. The tough decisions were made and implemented. The development pain was taken and moved beyond. These days beautiful flowers tend to be very expensive as the premium on such companies is inflated for a variety of reasons even if the revenue numbers will never justify such a price.
When it comes to traded companies, someone always has a angle.
Before a company evolves into a beautiful flower it starts out as a healthy weed. Life has sprung forth in an inhospitable environment and the healthy weed, while new and fresh but not amazing to look at right now, is thriving. Reaction time to change has to be very quick, the risk of failure due to being strangled by other healthy weeds is a daily risk. Funding could dry up at any second, you could miss something in your design which may lock you out of sales to customers or key team members could exit leaving critical work unfinished. Even your business could be a mirage where you’re seeing customers but there are none. Overall life as a healthy weed is much more exciting than life as a beautiful flower because you have to prove in every single deal with a customer that you’re worthy of love and attention.
There are no dead beautiful flowers, just beautiful flowers who’s time has passed, but tech history is littered with dead unhealthy weeds.
When the healthy weed gets customers love and attention in volume, when the dangers of extinction by the next sunrise fade away, a healthy weed tends to evolve into a beautiful flower.
Without speaking for EMC, it’s a matter of historical record that EMC has been a beautiful flower buyer. Pay top dollar for a recognisable name and a product which EMC’s legions of sales people can sell in the market place. But like the healthy weed has to change so does EMC. It’s heartening to me to see EMC spend more time looking for healthy weeds to shower love and attention on rather than scrambling around looking to add to it’s greenhouse of established beautiful flowers. You get the healthy weeds for a reasonable price, there’s still time to alter it’s evolutionary development to suit your exact needs, (beautiful flowers tend to have reached their pinnacle by the time they’re plucked), and if you do the job correctly, you’ll have grown a new beautiful flower for yourself to the design you’ll have chosen.
In the end, if this teaches you anything it’s that gardening analogies can be applied to anything.