Yahoo: Pragmatic Advice
October 16, 2008
Silicon Alley Insider does a good job of identifying Yahoo’s weaknesses and pointing out some obvious remedies. The consultants racing around Yahoo will have to lay out options for Yahoo, prioritize them, and dress the painful ones in a Project Runway gown. Yahoo has big problems, and you can get up to speed by reading “Yahoo Cracks $12 , Valuation Now Officially Ridiculous” by Henry Blodgett here. I wanted to add one point to Mr. Blodgett’s analysis. Yahoo’s heterogeneous approach to platforms and software adds another, more troublesome problem to the mix. Some fixes can’t be made because the time, cost, and complexity mean the job is just too big. Other fixes work for one service, but the features can’t be made available seamless to other services. For an example, just navigate to Yahoo and run a shopping query. Now navigate to Google’s shopping service and run the same query. I am running these test queries from the UK, so you may have to rekey the search phrase I used, “quad core motherboard”.
Which set of results makes more sense to you? Yahoo has some bright people, but the platform is looking more like a major liability Yahoo or its eventual owner must address.
Stephen Arnold, October 16, 2008