OPW - June 19 - It seems POF is refocusing its business, and high-end speed dating company Fast Life is no longer part of its plan. Plentyoffish acquired the company 21 months ago. The company operated in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and UK and was unique because of its high price points and offering exceptional venues and service. I think POF had the intention of moving up the value chain, and rounding out its offerings a la Match. Likely this proved to be too much of a diversion. Events are tough. They pull attention. But they can be powerful real-world experience and branding pieces.
If you're planning on acquiring a company as a strategic asset, I generally recommend keeping the team as an autonomous unit. I'll be presenting a special session on innovation at iDate London in October, bottling some of what I learned from Clayton Christensen at HBS, and discussing innovation through acquisition.
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