The problem with acquiring companies for their code is that meshing the software from a startup with all the code currently in house is easier said than done. Sometimes the startup took shortcuts to get products to market. Even if they didn’t, they typically follow different coding conventions, API styles, etc.

And if the acquirer is sucking up several startups, as Oracle did in the 2000s on the road to building the Oracle SOA Suite? The risk is that you’ll end up with little more than the Frankenstein strategy: buy a bunch of parts and hope for lightning. The last think you want is for your Cloud strategy to depend on lightning.

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