I just read that Google bought Vark for $50 million. That's great news for the Vark folks. Pass the Patron!!!
I love Vark, and I use it at least weekly. But when I think about Google's track record, I wonder if it's really a win. Google has a history of buying small, cool startups and then either ignoring them or letting them die on the vine. Take your pick of examples, but it tends to kill much of what it embraces.
Vark seems like it's just getting rolling, and it gets better week-by-week. It's flat-out useful. I hope Google doesn't turn it into another squandered opportunity.
Oh, and the one on the right? I'm pretty sure that's MSFT.
Update: Like John Battelle says:
To me the critical question around this move is this: Will the Aardvark acquisition be a Dodgeball, or will it be a Applied Semantics? With Dodgeball, Google bought a promising startup in a strategically important space, but instead of integrating the technology and committing, it let it languish (the founders left and started Foursquare). Google later determined it must play in the space, and rolled out any number of features inside its mobile, map, and even Gmail products that mimic Dodgeball's early features.