When Ryan Carson announced that he was putting DropSend up for sale I was very interested to see how it would work out. Here you had a service that had a decent user base that was willing to pay a monthly fee to use. In comparison to other Web 2.0 applications that attempt to live off of Adsense revenue, DropSend showed real potential to be a key component for any company looking to enter the file-sharing space. Two months later and DropSend hasn’t found a buyer yet.
In an interesting post last month, Ryan tells the story of a failed acquisition bid. If you are interested in business at all I suggest you give it a read. As you can see DropSend is in the black so it makes sense for it to draw some interest. The failed acquisition involved a competitor who wanted to use the service as a marketing ploy, but didn’t feel that the $1M asking price was worth it. Ryan doesn’t mention whether there were any negotiations for a lower price, but I am intrigued as to why a service that makes money can’t find a buyer and sites that have no revenue or are deep in the red get scooped up all the time.
Lots of services get bought because of their user base, but how many different ways can you monetize a user base that the original creators couldn’t think of themselves? Measure Map got bought before it was even released with no revenue model in place. There are other examples sprinkled throughout the web and hopefully you get the gist of what I am saying.
Maybe the asking price is too high, but this can be negotiated so what is the real problem here? Do companies only care about users and hype now while ignoring core business principles? I don’t have the answer so I’m simply left wondering.