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James Hong

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Yahoo for Yahoo!

Terry Semel is out and Jerry Yang is now CEO of Yahoo.

This is such incredibly good news for Yahoo, I can't express in words how strongly I feel this is a good move.

Let's be honest. The companies of the future are not big media companies that force feed content down user's throats. That was only true in an old world where 2-way communication could not economically exist. TV, Magazines, Books, they are all very compelling, but not as compelling as conversations. The biggest companies of the future connect users, they don't speak directly to them.

The biggest companies of the future also let other people make money off of them, they don't try to do everything themselves. They are ecosystems for other excited companies.

Ebay. Paypal. Google. Facebook... these companies all fit that bill. (yes, notice Myspace is not there.. I hope they are working on an app platform)...and now with Yang at the head, hopefully Yahoo will regain its rightful place as an innovator and a company to watch.

I have no doubt that with him at the top, and folks who "get it" like Bradley Horowitz involved in product development, Yahoo's future is bright. It's going to be a painful transition though, over the last 5 or 6 years Yahoo has gotten bloated with lots of "big company" types who think a certain way. Yahoo management is going to have to be VERY strong and adamant that the culture is changing, and if people don't like it, please leave. Heck, they should probably set up a career center to help those who don't fit in leave faster.

So in a nutshell, Yahoo for Yahoo! Change is good, and in this case, it's REALLY good (and needed).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, thanks for the kind words both for Yahoo and me personally... If I "get it" it's just because I have my ear to the ground listening to guys like you!

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MySpace has an app platform. Anyone can make a widget for it. No restrictions. Why build an AOL-like walled garden for apps? It's a failed model that certain executives aren't old enough to remember. I think lots of people confuse popularity with a good business model.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I agree that user gen content is growing exponentially - I do think there is still a place for a publish model. I would say that the difference is that crap publishers are going to be quickly weeded out because they are no better than UGC. For example, I don't think the economist or the NYT are going to go out of business - they are a trusted source for content that would be very hard to get conveniently from UGC.
But I do agree that the way forward for Yahoo is as a platform to help UGC merge with some of the more traditional content - that is the new hotness. Some authoritative and some UGC...

9:11 AM  

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