Is Yahoo On Its Way Down or Up?

Whenever an article has the quote “it was a clusterfuck” in it, you know it’s worth reading.  While Wired’s article titled “How Yahoo Blew It”  by Fred Vogelstein is very critical, he’s got a few new nuggets in the article that I hadn’t heard before.  Yahoo has a response which ends with “We know that Yahoo! had its challenges this year and we know that we’re going to continue to take bruises publicly until Panama begins to bear fruit, but we’re here for the long haul, and we’re focused to win.”  In addition to the “build” of Panama, there continue to be big, interesting strategic moves (and challenges) for Yahoo – a few of which are highlighted by Vogelstein.  Once again, Yahoo has the chance to try to change the game – as does Microsoft – and I’d think they would each take a shot this time at being bold (rather than just follow “slow and steady execution”) if they really want to assault Google this time around.

  • First of all, love the new design (I’ve been reading your feeds for quite a while). I put my thoughts on this in a post titled “Yahoo Does Acquisitions Right, Can Google Do the Same?”.

    Although I think Yahoo’s financial troubles are real and need to be addressed with some good organizational love (hate the non-word restructuring for this case) I think their track record with recent acquisitions suggest that there is hope. Whether that means spinning of their best services into more autonomous entities is anybody’s guess. However, the fact that they can absorb web 2.0 companies and make them better suggests that there is hope and that they do “get it” on some level.

    This is more than we can say for many of Google’s aquisitions.

    What are your thoughts on that?

  • Just posted about this piece about 20 minutes ago. I like the insight it gives to the thought processes, but I think it tried to cover too much.

    Loved seeing clusterfuck in that piece, because it’s one of my favorite terms to describe the general dysfunctional nature of corporate America.

    I think being bold is important, but it will be difficult for Yahoo, because they are so cluttered and try to do so much in one place. I used to be a regular user and gave up a long time ago.

    They had a real chance to go to market with a compelling set of small business services – web sites, email, advertising, analytics, etc. and they blew it years ago. I remember doing a phone interview for a gig with their “corporate” products team and realized that they had no clue what tools they had that would be incredibly valuable to a small business if put together in a suite. Now Google is just a few steps away from doing just that. Essentially Google just needs an interface to their tools and a small business could actually be run using their tools.

    • Web sites with domains
    • Payment processing
    • Analytics
    • Branded email
    • Branded Chat
    • Spreadsheets for accounting
    • Word processing
    • Collaboration – Google Groups Private

    So many companies claim they want the small business market, but then blow it when it comes to seeing what they have and what is in front of them. Crazy.

  • I think their acquisitions have been fairly smart over the years with the exception of not purchasing Google. They have bought smaller businesses with strong niches.

    It is going to be interesting to see if they implement these companies and continue their growth.