Yahoo Will Be Overtake?

 yahooIt’s a hard desicion to loose some of your best employees for the stock-market stake that’s not in the proper heading.And far from the frustated shareholders, Jerry Yang doesn’t had any choice unless to eliminate about 10 or 20 percent of their 14000 Yahoo employees to save some large amount for the company.

Here is the issue with Yahoo: the founders Yang & Filo are nice guys. But they never *really* ran Yahoo. They created the original site alright, but today’s Yahoo resembles *that* original directory (remember that word?) about as much as a Boeing 747 resembles the Wright brothers plane. By comparison, what Brin and Page created is still at the heart of Google. It was really Tim Koogle & Jeff Mallet(remember them?) who assembled – that is the correct word – what is today Yahoo.The founders did not make the big decisions for the most part – Filo ran the nuts-and-bolts data center stuff, stuff like using BSD, run it on as little hardware as possible etc. for which I give him credit – but strategy and vision was all Koogle and Mallet, during the crucial late 90’s when Yahoo became Yahoo.

Understanding that history is crucial to understand Yahoo’s cultural DNA. I respectfully submit that neither founder has the breadth and depth to take on the challenge of turning Yahoo around. Sue Decker is Meg Whitman 2.0 – enough said.

Yang, who is in the hot seat now, is a smart guy, but at a very fundamental level, he doesn’t *know* who is *really* good and who is not at Yahoo, even among the executive ranks, leave alone in the crucial middle management. As an example, Jeff Bezos knows that to this day in Amazon.

I cannot emphasize how crucial that kind of knowledge is. Lacking that knowledge, you simply don’t know who to trust your key initiatives with. So what do you do? Simply play it safe, run everything by a committee, let Sue set up “metrics” and “process”, and trust that she knows what she is doing (the Meg Whitman types are impressive on the surface compared to the Bezos types, but compare EBAY vs AMZN over a 10 year period to know how that turns out).

The occasional (very occasional, I must add) cool stuff that comes out of Yahoo happens because there are still passionate Yahoos out there, but they are leaving at a rapid rate.

I am very pessimistic that any of this is going to change. I would love to have a Jeff Bezos in charge of Yahoo, but I guess he is happily married to Amazon.


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