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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 19, 2008 at 11:20 AM

Ballmer’s Yahoo cannonball washes over Wetpaint’s splash

You’ve got to feel for little Web companies making their big announcements today, such as Wetpaint’s “Injected” launch and funding deal I wrote about today.

It’s nowhere near the scale of a Microsoft-Yahoo partnership, but it’s a nice story for Wetpaint, which now has enough money and oomph to ride through the choppy conditions.

Wetpaint CEO Ben Elowitz told me the money gives the company “the flexibility to ride out cycles.” It also gives him resources to go after top-level talent. He said he’s going to expand the company by going after quality, not quantity.

“It really does allow us the flexiblity to be aggressive — you will see us looking for very high quality candidates in town,” he said.

But today, everyone’s eyes are on the next installment in the Yahoo-Microsoft soap opera.

Sunday’s development brought to mind a reader who gave me grief for saying that Microsoft’s Yahoo Offer 1.0 felt like a middle-aged guy bidding on a 1999 Corvette.

The 1999 Vette’s weren’t that great, and a boomer is more likely to go after one of the mid ’60s classics, he said.

Now it’s sounding like Steve Ballmer only wanted the engine in the ’99, because he’s building his own hot rod (and not just another Range Rover).

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