Friday, May 2, 2003

As the pieces of "Flip" Filipowski's divine are being readied for sale by a bankruptcy court, it's a little sad to reflect on how bad business practices can ruin a great idea. divine had promised to bring a very wide spectrum of professional content and enabling technologies into a singular, well-knit fabric. Unfortunately, divine never seemed to rise above a collection of poorly integrated parts, and the strengths of the healthy acquisitions that they had made were lost in the scramble to make something of the weaker elements. The Northern Light acquistion was especially disappointing, hardly evolving at all under divine's tutelage; RoweCom fared even worse, being milked for cash flow that was never plowed back into the professional subscription unit. In spite of all of the hype, Flip turned out to have a rather "old school" view of content, with not much a view at all towards true content and technology synergies. Few content or technology companies have made this leap, so perhaps there's some consolation to be had after all.
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