A couple of months back we had heard from Silicon Valley sources who described Yahoo as the new farm team for Silicon Valley. Call it the YHOO blues. Looks like more folks are leaving the company, according to Valleywag and PaidContent. Among those who are leaving, […]

A couple of months back we had heard from Silicon Valley sources who described Yahoo as the new farm team for Silicon Valley. Call it the YHOO blues. Looks like more folks are leaving the company, according to Valleywag and PaidContent.

Among those who are leaving, the most high profile one is Bill Demas, senior VP of Yahoo Publishing Network. Will Johnson is leaving as well. I wonder what the company has to do to revive its sagging spirits (and not to mention the stock.) Suggestions anyone?

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  1. Who cares about Yahoo VP’s. Take them out of a sinecure position and most them join the competitive positioning hustle which is becoming more intense.

  2. Get rid of Terry Semel, and get someone young and energetic in there.

  3. You know what a $37B company with 10,000 employees should do when it starts struggling? They should start taking suggestions from blog comments…

  4. Willan is a real loss, the problem the company faces though is that Google is becoming the centre of an online advertising singularity and al the web 2.0 shenanigans like Yahoo! Answers isn’t making a sufficient difference.

  5. Brian McConnell Sunday, November 12, 2006

    Yahoo and Google are completely different companies. I never really viewed Yahoo as a search company so much as a content and services company. Google has yet to demonstrate that it can launch successful consumer services outside of its core search/ad business (the YouTube acquisition proves this).

    Yahoo on the other hand has countless services, some mass market, some niche, and a loyal user base.

    As long as they continue to focus on developing new services, acquiring emerging companies like Flickr, and re-launching their mainstay services like Mail, I think they’ll do fine in the long run.

  6. Best hope for the stock is to get Barron’s to keep publishing uninformed hype pieces like they did a few months ago . . .

  7. Simple: Launch a new PPC ad platform that allows advertisers to target and bid directly on peoples’ traits and characteristics instead of indirectly on the words and phrases they type into little search boxes…and this time, with the kind of competition-blocking patent protection (app #11/250,908) they thought they had aquired with their purchase of Overture.

    Take away media darling Google’s paid search feed bowl and see what happens.

    Prediction if they do so: Yahoo stock at $75/share…and Google’s at less than $150/share…both w/in 30 months of the launch of Match Engine Marketing/paid match.

    Long live Yahoo.

  8. Anonymous ex-Yahoo Sunday, November 12, 2006

    The biggest public misconception of Yahoo is that it’s a “young energetic company”. The company has grown and mis-managed to a point where it’s now full of beaucracy and inefficient processes that does more on hindering the development work than to track business processes. There are managers reporting to managers and directors reporting to directors. The transparency is lost in layers and layers of middle management and what’s left is a handful of semi-clueless management making decisions based on fluffy facts. Want to make a change to the production system? A simple production change request must be manually filed into 2 separate tracking systems and signed by 3 to 4 different managers and engineers. If your production request requires adding a new machine to your project, good luck. In addition to the tickets you have already filed, you need to open another one to the hardware committee and schedule a meeting to justify your purchase. Meeting the committee is the easy part. Even if you have your hardware order approved, most of the data centers are at 100% capacity – full of untrackable obsolete idling machines. Departments are relunctant to take down their old machines in fear of losing their rack space for their future projects.

    None of these inefficiencies will get any better with the poor hiring process, where the pool of talents are contaminated with patches of compromised hires.

    With that said, I believe there are still good things happening inside Yahoo – Flickr, Delicious, and Upcoming are all great products. But it takes more than just a few niche products to turn the company around…

  9. Anonymous ex-Yahoo,

    Why is this situation so typical of what were companies that could turn on a dime, were responsive to customer feedback and had a take the ball and run with it/better to ask forgiveness than permission mentality? without fail this always seems to happen. i understand as companies grow up more parameters need to be in place but what you describe is the exact situation of my last employer and the one before that.

    couple that process paralization and bring in outside managers who don’t know how to get anything done and you have a recipe for disaster. seriously, it doesn’t take a stanford or harvard mba to figure this stuff out, it is common sense. i’m a firm believer that shit rolls downhill but has to start somewhere and that somewhere is usually at the top and clueless to boot.

  10. Leverage baby, in 5 steps.

    1. Relaunch GeoCities as both a MySpace/Facebook clone and feed traffic to it thru Yahoo Mail,Chat,Flickr,Upcoming and Delicious.
    2. Reassign Flickr team to build YouTube clone, use Semel’s media and studio relationships to populate it. Sell videos thru it too.
    3. Change MyYahoo 360 into a Blogger clone with advanced “Digg like” ratings and put Zadowny in charge of splog detection.
    4. Use all the idle datacenter machines to offer “Amazon like” corporate Simple Storage (S3) and Elastic Computing (E2) webservices.
    5. Reject the reported one billion dollar FaceBook asking price and use it for a stock buyback instead.


    Peter W.

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