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posted by on Thursday April 27 2017, @03:34PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the unicorn-cannibalism dept.

According to a Monday report in Bloomberg Businessweek, Square has acquired the "five- to ten-person" engineering team of Yik Yak for $3 million. That leaves just a handful of employees at the Atlanta-based social networking startup. In December 2016, the company already fired 30 of its 50 employees.

Since late last year, Yik Yak has largely gone silent. Its Twitter account hasn't posted since January 4, and its corporate blog has not posted since a month before that. According to Bloomberg, Square has not acquired any other companies since it bought the food delivery startup Caviar in 2014. (Square was founded as a mobile payment company in 2009 by Jack Dorsey, who also founded Twitter.)

Sounds like bad news for Yik Yak, good news for Yik Yak's engineers.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Thursday April 27 2017, @03:39PM (13 children)

    by ikanreed (3164) on Thursday April 27 2017, @03:39PM (#500736) Journal

    Are... we being bought and sold like slaves now? Because it seems like we're being bought and sold like slaves.

    • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Thursday April 27 2017, @03:48PM (6 children)

      by Nerdfest (80) on Thursday April 27 2017, @03:48PM (#500742)

      I'm guessing they're still being paid, and probably quite well.

      • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:06PM (5 children)

        by ikanreed (3164) on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:06PM (#500751) Journal

        Yes, but, being paid is only half of the whole "Freedom from bondage" thing, the other is "Being able to choose your own work." You should see the laws a couple southern states passed after the civil war, "Black employees are to be paid 1 penny per day, must call their employer 'master", and must file with the state government one year in advance of changing jobs unless their master approves their job change".

        In what world does it make sense for a third party to receive money in order for me to work for a second party?

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by requerdanos on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:35PM

          by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:35PM (#500770) Journal

          In what world does it make sense for a third party to receive money in order for me to work for a second party?

          In every known world, I imagine.

          If I buy the company you work for, consider this.

          The third party, the previous owners, receive money.

          You would then work for me, the second party, since I would then own the company.

          This is just, right, and proper.

          I don't see your grounds for grievance or protest here. Quit, if you don't like it.

        • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:45PM (3 children)

          by Nerdfest (80) on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:45PM (#500784)

          I'm beginning to wonder if your username was poorly chosen.

          • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Thursday April 27 2017, @05:12PM (2 children)

            by ikanreed (3164) on Thursday April 27 2017, @05:12PM (#500797) Journal

            Meanwhile, I'm beginning to fall into the trap of taking my half-joke seriously and trying to defend it.

            • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Thursday April 27 2017, @05:27PM (1 child)

              by Nerdfest (80) on Thursday April 27 2017, @05:27PM (#500806)

              It's always a danger. We need annotations for humour and sarcasm.

              • (Score: 3, Informative) by ikanreed on Thursday April 27 2017, @05:42PM

                by ikanreed (3164) on Thursday April 27 2017, @05:42PM (#500813) Journal

                Well, the problem is more the half part than the joke part. I really do resent the idea of being bought and sold as some fungible commodity for rich assholes. But I also am not a complete moron and recognize how radically different it is from real chattel slavery.

    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Thursday April 27 2017, @03:59PM (1 child)

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 27 2017, @03:59PM (#500744)

      More like mercenaries.

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday April 27 2017, @06:27PM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday April 27 2017, @06:27PM (#500830) Journal

        More like mercenaries.

        Machiavelli said to never trust mercs. But if you can get them to sign non-disclosure and post-employment non-compete agreements, they are just as good as slaves, and you don't have to hire some other mercs to "neutralize" them according to the violently imposed contract. It's a win-win situation, if you drill down to leverage the take-away!

        --
        #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by requerdanos on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:06PM (1 child)

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:06PM (#500750) Journal

      Are... we being bought and sold like slaves now?

      Well, in general, yes [endslaverynow.org], but specifically here, no.

      Although "Square has acquired the "five- to ten-person" engineering team of Yik Yak for $3 million," it's not the people themselves who have been purchased; rather, it's the business unit employing them. They are free to quit, I'm sure, but their jobs just got a little more secure with the transfer. And while we're on the subject, from TFS...

      Sounds like bad news for Yik Yak, good news for Yik Yak's engineers.

      Well, sure it's good news for the employees, who now arguably are more likely to face continued employment with paychecks. But why bad for Yik Yak?

      Should they have held out for four million?

      Why is a dead company receiving three million dollars and no longer having to pay engineering salaries to employees who are producing for them no marketable assets a piece of "bad news?" They are literally being paid millions of dollars for the ability to just *poof* make their payroll liabilities disappear.

      On the other hand, yeah, it's probably not a good sign for Yik Yak's potential continued existence as a thing, so there's that.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday April 27 2017, @06:25PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday April 27 2017, @06:25PM (#500828)

        Call it end-game, exit strategy, whatever - it sounds like a win where I come from.

        --
        Україна не входить до складу Росії.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:36PM (#500773)

      GNU yacc is free.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:36PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:36PM (#500774)

      If I understand the acquisition correctly, it was a "win" for the Yik Yak owner/investors and presumably a win for Square who got not only "five to ten" valuable developers, but presumably a team that is greater than the sum of its parts, along with rights to practice certain IP, etc. $3M may seem high for ~9 employees, but the IP alone could have gone for that.

      I was recently "acquired" as part of an ~$85M deal that was mostly IP, but also included ~20 employees of all types. As part of the acquisition, I received approximately 6 months' salary as a bonus for staying on for at least a year post acquisition, along with continuous employment through the transition - a very nice deal for me.

      And, yes, we are being traded like slaves - but slaves with the option to hurt ourselves financially and pursue other opportunities if we so choose. Employment at will, if you've got a better deal then take it. Thing is, the deals being offered to wage slaves are often a small fraction of the actual value of the labor to the employer - very few true profit sharing opportunities out there for people who join with talent but no investment capital.

      Oblig. John Lennon Quote: "You're all F-ing peasants, as far as I can see."

      --
      Україна не входить до складу Росії.
  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday April 27 2017, @03:44PM (1 child)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 27 2017, @03:44PM (#500740) Journal

    After a while, those startup news start to feel like "Keeping up with Kardashians" or something.
    I mean... they're inconsequential to everyday life, why should I care?

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:39PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday April 27 2017, @04:39PM (#500780)

      It seems irrelevant, unless you're living in a similar story. There are a lot more nerds living the startup life than there are entertainers living the Kardashian's lives.

      --
      Україна не входить до складу Росії.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28 2017, @07:46AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28 2017, @07:46AM (#501066)
    For a moment I thought it was the other Square (Enix)...
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