//EDIT: TechCrunch announced the official purchase of Buddy Media at $689M today — title changed to reflect announcement.
I’ve never met Michael but he seems like a really sharp, hustle-type entrepreneur – his degree in Journalism clearly having paid off in spades.
So… We’re all probably looking through his LinkedIn profile trying to figure out his interesting voyage. Did you know he started an “Associated Press-like network” of University newspapers only to become the CEO of Golf.com? ***
How the hell does that happen?
Then he sells Golf.com to Time, Inc. Pretty good start, but he left after only a year and 4 months… likely way before his earn-out at Time (usually an earn-out is 2 years). So either the Golf.com properties produced poorly or Michael couldn’t stand working for a big company.
My bet is he spurned the big corp politics. That would make sense as most entrepreneurs don’t like being forced to fit a role that doesn’t have lots of freedom to experiment. There’s a good chance he left a lot of money on the table.
So he starts a consultancy… But four months into that it says he began Buddy Media. What’s interesting here is there’s a small hiccup in the history. He actually bought a virtual currency company called Acebucks (remember when virtual currency was all the rage? horrible name btw).
Michael knew he was on to something, enough so to get back in the game and get things moving. And move he did by roping in investors like Howard Lindzon, James Altucher, Peter Thiel, Roger Ehrenberg , and even Mark Pinkus. Rockstar, right?
From the surface (and the Google), it looks like Michael is on his way to a glorious exit with a company that’s making every effort to lead the “Social Enterprise.”
The big questions.
Will people at Salesforce begin confusing Gordon Evans for Michael Lazelow, or vice-versa?
Well that’s not it. Actually, the bigger question is how will Mr. Lazelow & Buddy Media fit in at Salesforce? There’s an already established pecking order of social thought-leadership.
In addition, Salesforce has yet to fully realize the potential of Radian6 and Rypple as part of their offering. The marketing tells a unified Social Profile story inside their CRM, but the technology hasn’t quite caught up… yet.
Buddy Media is the logical compliment without question, but in the end it’s really going to boil down to these two issues:
- How long will Mr. Lazelow play nicely with a new set of big corp politics?
- How will Buddy Media play nicely with existing Salesforce offerings?
Let me know how things go, Michael — we’re cheering for ya!
*** he started Golf.com and Buddy Media with his wife Kass. They also have 3 kids. Anyone else seeing some similarities here… 😉