I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Yahoo. I have been on the Internet long enough to remember their first sites fondly. This was way pre-Google. Back then, we found things on the Net easily because Yahoo cataloged them so well for us. Yes, Yahoo was a true labor of love before the big bad Google spider came along and automated everything.
All of a sudden, Yahoo was struggling to find a purpose and haphazardly jerked about in different directions. Yahoo could never find it’s mojo again. Now it’s a Google world and Yahoo barely hangs on to it’s own very survival. But somewhere God must love Yahoo too because He sent them an angel in the person of Marissa Mayer.
Marissa was employee 20 at Google and was responsible for much of the clean, utilitarian look and feel of Google. She was recently moved into the maps and local group which is not benefiting of her considerable skills which is why this Yahoo opportunity i’m sure looked pretty sweet. Not that it’s a plum job, many have said they wouldn’t want it for the world. Yahoo is an extremely sick company that is very close to death. As Marc Andressen as quite correctly remarked, this is a Steve Jobs like situation. When Jobs regained control at Apple, Apple was also a very sick company very near death. I don’t know if Mayer is as good as Jobs, but she might have to be.
I wish Marissa Mayer and Yahoo all the best. Competition is good for consumers and the market in general. It’s going to be fascinating to watch and see what Yahoo is going to be. This has been the primary question for so many years. Are they a technology company? A media company? An Ad company like Google? They seeded most of that to Microsoft already. Where can Yahoo survive and thrive? Where indeed.
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