The Aftermath: AT&T acquires Akamai


In my previous post, I addressed the rumor of why AT&T won’t acquire Akamai. In this post, I will evaluate the aftermath of an AT&T acquisition. There is going to be a clash of cultures. Akamai employees, an innovative bunch that sees life along the same lines as Google and Facebook employees, is going to have a difficult time integrating into a larger bureaucratic environment.

One thing is certain, there is going to be a mass exodus of employees within the first three years. In the CDN Industry, the sales and engineering staff are entrepreneurial in nature, they need to be constantly challenged. AT&T is more about structure, job security, benefits, paperwork, process, systems, and moving up the ranks. In terms of company culture, these two are polar opposites.

The ramifications of the acquisition will be extraordinarily insane, impacting the CDN and telecom industries beyond our wildest dreams. Currently, there is an incredible amount of brain trust within Akamai. There are geniuses employed there, that have the capacity to change the world of transport, and probably don’t even know it yet. Sometimes, it just takes a little jolt of life to unleash the creativity within.

Akamai is constraining their intellect and creativity. Once the “Akamai Wrecking Crew” is freed from these constraints, by the way of the acquisition, we will see something special start to happen. These employees are going to flood the startup market and start a new generation of transport companies that will go way beyond CDN. The Akamai Wrecking Crew has the capacity to create new wealth to the tune of $1 trillion dollars. Before you roll your eyes, let me finish my crazy story.

Oracle is responsible for spawning the start of the cloud. Former Oracle employees started Salesforce and Netsuite, the pioneers of the Cloud. During the same time period, a new bunch of young entrepreneurs arose from the ranks to start Paypal. After they left Paypal, they became known as the “Paypal Mafia”. The Paypal Mafia created the next generation of B2C internet companies that are now worth several hundred billion dollars. They are responsible for helping us recover from the painful dot com crash.

What Larry Ellison is to the Cloud and the PayPal Mafia is to B2C internet applications, the Akamai Wrecking Crew is going to be to internet transport. They will transform the delivery mechanism of the internet known as TCP/IP. In fact, they are going to usher in a new generation of an intelligent protocol that replaces TCP/IP entirely. That in turn is going to change the game of WAN Optimization, Content Delivery, Video Delivery, Voice Delivery, Wireless Content Delivery, and so on.

The Cloud has solved many problems, and in the process reduced the cost structure by the tens of billions of dollars. B2C applications like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Snapchat, have created an insane amount of wealth. However, both these applications encounter the same problem every day; that problem is TCP/IP. This protocol is not only old, but also slow. The Akamai Wrecking Crew is going to solve this problem, something that Telco’s and router manufacturers have been unable to do so far.

The new protocol will be intelligent, and incorporate artificial intelligence. It will act similar to a virus, that adapts to constraints and congestion within structures. In tight pockets of congested Internet pipes, the packets will break up into smaller chunks. When the pipe is empty, the packets will join together and transverse to its destination incorporating all the benefits of IP, UDP, TCP, and HTTP.

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