December 12, 2012

Old school tries to go new school

New from Lycos: Evincible.

Lycos, MySpace, Nintendo making new plays with new offerings

Ayelet NoffSometimes the second time is the charm.

Many companies that are now part of our daily lives — Twitter is a good example — did not start out like the current versions we’ve become so accustomed to. In the ever-changing world of Internet technology, it’s not surprising that companies must reinvent themselves in order to stay afloat and popular among users. Here are a few examples:


Here’s a blast from the past: Lycos, one of the original Internet search engines from the ’90s, just released a mobile game application in late November, proving that old school can be re-created, updated and make it into the headlines again.

Understanding the importance of the changing Internet world is something that Lycos is used to: They acquired websites like and Lycos’ newest addition, and arguably a pivot for the company, is a game built in house. The reinvented Lycos came out with Evincible. It’s no retro PacMan for your mobile device; instead, it’s a social word guessing game with a different spin: You sign into Facebook and play with your friends or complete strangers.

Lycos realized the trending importance of technological pivots for the future health of the company and decided to try it for themselves. CEO Rob Balazy explains: “Evincible is new territory for Lycos. Historically we have focused our development efforts on browser-based game experiences, so taking a mobile-first approach represents an exciting new endeavor for Lycos. We didn’t set out to simply remake the top game in the market; we developed Evincible to be uniquely fun and challengingly addictive.”


A pioneer in social networking in the early 2000s, MySpace was one of the original social networking sites, made popular by teens and young adults. We see it as old school, and people may be hesitant now to admit they once sported a MySpace page. Or Friendster. Remember them? Friendster was yet another once-popular social networking platform with bulletin boards and places for your closest buddies to talk about how cool you are.

After losing popularity with the arrival of Facebook, users jumped ship and MySpace was quickly another remnant of the past. Hold on, don’t put them away just yet. With the addition of investor Justin Timberlake last year, MySpace recently announced the launch of their new and revived network. The new product features a horizontal navigation system, focuses on music integration, is rumored to be more visually stimulating, and has features aimed at tablet users.


Another older example from really back in the day is Nintendo. What originally started out as a Japanese playing card company in 1889 has changed forms many times to meet the evolving market. In the 1950s, owner Hiroshi Yamauchi understood that the playing card industry was limited, and began trying his luck at various business ventures until launching into the game market. What is now known as one of the most influential videogame companies worldwide, Nintendo continues to be at the cutting edge of the technology front, from old school entertainment box systems to the newly released Wii U.

As we’ve learned from companies in the past, adaptability is a key factor to success. Being dynamic and willing to meet the ever-changing demands in the global market is not only important but essential. When companies like Nintendo or Lycos are able to modify their vision or product, their long-term viability is much stronger. To continue their success, companies must be open to change and willing to keep up with the changing world of technology. As we see the trend continuing, consumers may need to brace themselves for more tech rebirths.Ayelet Noff is a partner in and founder and Co-CEO of Blonde 2.0, an award winning digital PR agency with branches in Boston and Tel Aviv. Contact Ayelet via The Blonde 2.0 website , email, or follow her on Twitter and Google Plus.

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