I was very surprised to see that VA Software had sold the Animation Factory assets to JupiterMedia. This brings an additional $9.35M cash to the company, bringing the total equity to approximately $55M. Is this a single event, or is this the start of a strategy to re-invent the company? I hope it’s a re-invention. This is what I’d also like to see.
- Quickly grow the equity by selling off the rest of the e-commerce business (Thinkgeek).
- Divest of the media business (Slashdot, freshmeat, Newsforge, ITMJ and Linux.com), but keep Sourceforge.net.
- Change the name of the company to Sourceforge Corp, — there is far more brand equity in Sourceforge than VA Software.
- Change the stock ticker symbol from LNUX to SFRG.
Steps 1 & 2 should yield at least another $50M to $100M cash. Maybe Novell or Red Hat would be interested in the Linux.com url. If done correctly it would free up a significant server farm that could be used for the new Sourceforge on Demand ASP solution. By keeping one or two of the media ad sales team, revenue from ads on sourceforge.net would be easily accomplished. The cash on hand might very well be used to purchase companies that fit with the sourceforge business and result in faster company growth.
Of course this is wishful thinking. As the former executive who turned around OSTG, I would like to see VA Software succeed at last, and see OSTG become a part of a larger media business where it can take advantage of media synergies.