From hiring to firing to IPO
In Zillow’s earliest days, they invested a great deal in their talent, snatching up the best of the best, then in 2008 announced layoffs and this month announced plans to go public in 2011 indicating a major turn of events. Over the next year, Zillow will be sweet talking investors for their candidacy as an IPO which is being hailed in technology circles as commendable, noting Zillow’s innovations. Others criticize the move as Zillow is not in profit mode, but companies not valuated on the profit model, rather the potential profit of their model and for the critics of Zillow’s current profit mode, I would ask people to compare how many dollars Twitter.com has made versus the millions invested.
Is their innovation debatable?
Companies like Trulia and Realtor.com compete for home seeker eyeballs and are running the same race to be the first to invent the shiniest iPhone app to keep the attention of the A.D.D. prone web users, so Zillow’s level of innovation is debatable, however their chutzpah is not. When was the last time you heard of a major company going public? Those days have been gone for some time.
Trulia announced this week upgrades to their advertising platform to offer hyper-local ads and Zillow plans on altering their ad platform as well to improve their chances with investors to take their Mortgage Marketplace ad income from 10% to 50% by next year via lead generation Zillow’s COO Spencer Rascoff told BusinessWeek.
Why Zillow and not the others?
Did companies like Trulia that avoided remaining loyal to their employees and not laying off their talent hurt themselves by not shedding weight in the toughest times? Did Realtor.com wait too long to get into the iPhone app store? Does Zillow plan to take the route of Redfin and become an industry disruptor with the help of a high powered, high price public relations firm? We can speculate a great deal about the way forward, but what is clear is that Zillow intends on taking a stand.