On April 17, 2008, Dow Jones & Company (www.dowjones.com) announced it had acquired Maynard, Massachusetts-based Generate, Inc. (www.generateinc.com) for an undisclosed price. Combining Generate’s patented technology (the patent is titled "Method of and System for Determining Connections Between Parties Using Private Links") with the rich content within Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group (EMG) should significantly improve the ability of Dow Jones to deliver pertinent, authoritative information to its main B2B customer base. Generate’s content and technology will be integrated across all EMG products.
Generate is a 3-year-old company, co-founded by twin brothers Tom Aley and Darr Aley, that uses next-generation social graphing and relationship mapping to unlock the "who you know" within the enterprise and externally. It crawls 75 million websites, 25,000 media sources, and 3 million blogs daily to create databases on companies, executives, news, trigger events, and social networks. Examples of some of the 100 trigger events include product purchases, mergers, acquisitions, new investments, management changes, joint ventures, licensing and contract deals, bankruptcies, and SEC filings.
Dow Jones will form a new business unit, Business & Relationship Intelligence, to include Generate, Dow Jones SalesWorks, and Dow Jones Companies & Executives. Headed by Tom Aley, this will become the fourth business unit in Dow Jones EMG reporting to Clare Hart. The other three are Factiva, Dow Jones Indexes, and Dow Jones Financial Information Services. Darr Aley will be vice president for marketing and business development of the new unit. All Generate employees became Dow Jones employees upon the company’s acquisition, and its offices in the Boston area and in Montreal will remain in operation. Pricing is not expected to change, according to Hart.
Hart believes the acquisition of Generate aligns with her group’s goal of driving intelligence into the enterprise. Customers want access to information about people and their networks. She particularly cited the rich, timely content about executives and companies and the unique web crawling capabilities of Generate as key factors in making it a perfect fit for Dow Jones. "Partnering is in our DNA," she says. "And Generate will strengthen Dow Jones’ position within the enterprise."
Tom Aley added, "This will take the industry by storm." He noted that Generate’s technology "supercharges" existing EMG content. Hart was particularly enthusiastic about enhancing current awareness functionality, describing the trigger events as "alerts on steroids." Increased focus on information outside North America is expected to be another outcome of the acquisition.
Reaction to the acquisition has been positive. John Blossom, Shore Communications (www.shore.com), deemed it "one of those win-win deals that you hope for and are glad to see when they come about." Rafat Ali, PaidContent (www.paidcontent.org), commented that this acquisition brought Dow Jones into business social networking "without the exorbitant cost of buying something like LinkedIn."
Adding Generate’s harvesting technology to the global content already resident within EMG brings Dow Jones closer to the workflow not just of information professionals but of other business professionals, such as sales and marketing, business development, bankers, financial analysts, investors, and venture capitalists. It truly expands the purview of EMG beyond traditional search products.