Today marks the day that AOL and Time Warner go their separate ways after only 9 years together. AOL will once again be an independent company. The 2000 merger was not a well received business move at the time. Now that move is being rectified.
In the past few years I have seen many corporate spinoffs. Large conglomerates selling off non-performing business units or reducing the number of markets they play in by spinning off other business units that do not fit into a new corporate business model. Sometimes the smaller business that are thrust into independence struggle because they do not have the foundations in place to stand alone.
Others are much better off, and I think that is where AOL will be after today. This is a good move for AOL. They’ve been independent before and have a pretty solid background. It’s almost like they needed training wheels for a little while but now they have the experience, the tools and the business acumen to ride off with a whole new—and possibly successful—business.
AOL got the chance to follow a leader and learn from their successes and their mistakes. Now they have the opportunity of a lifetime. Isn’t that what all business owners want–the time, tools and the determination necessary to run a successful business? I expect to see big things from AOL next year. And I hope to see big things from our customers, too.