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Yahoo Stalled: No Wind in Their Sails? Google isn’t stalled. What’s the Problem? New CTO? January 30, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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Last year Jerry Yang took over as ‘Captain’ Yahoo but their ship is stalled.  Where are those new ‘sails’ to capture the new winds that are clearly blowing Google and Facebook’s way?  Yahoo needs to change the game.  Where’s the competive strategy?  Where the “Eye of the Tiger” attitude? 

Businessweek had the best analysis on Yahoo’s situation around the recent layoff and future prospects for success.  Display advertising is feeling the pre-recession jitters but not search (or ecommerc) advertising.  Yahoo keeps losing ground in search to Google.  According to Nielsen Online‘s numbers, usually the most conservative measure of the market, Google’s share of searches in December was 56.3% to Yahoo’s 17.7%, and Google got 70% more searches per searcher than Yahoo.

Yahoo needs new products and fast.  Jerry Yang says they are focused on investments on new initiatives.  As Yang’s vow to keep spending on some initiatives indicates, Yahoo’s hope remains coming up with new services that catch people’s imagination as Google, MySpace (NWS), Facebook, and other sites have.

I’ve been predicting a Yahoo comeback and openness for sometime.  Look for Yahoo to join opensocial and compete in the web 2.0 infrastructure. 

New CTO?  What does it Mean:

Silver Lining in new CTO hire:  One promising sign from their new hire, Ari Balogh, is that he’s an infrastructure guy.   He knows how to deal with scale and product rollouts that are managed service based.  What does this mean?  Yahoo could develop (fast) a significant position against both Google and Microsoft Live if Ari Balogh and team can integrate services and leverage user data for new products – a kind of “Mega Mashup” product strategy.  The portal model is dying and advertisers are voting.   

Also look for possible Data as a Service product set.    Yahoo has so many possibilities but they need to pick a few and go with it.   Yahoo has all the ‘raw materials’ and the audience to roll out ‘instant’ killer products. 

For Yahoo to succeed it’s all about competitive strategy.  Can’t wait to see how they execute their plan. 

Comments»

1. Alan Wilensky - January 30, 2008

When I closed my contract with France Telecom, I had an opportunity to get a proposal in front of the Yahoo team that was studying how they might re-use some of their consumer web technology to service high margin verticals. There is a huge opportunity to get to paying customers in messaging, social platforms for skilled trades and technical product services, etc.

Who better to take under-used properties and highly skilled tech labor to markets that have been largely ignored by the Web 2.0 revolution?

But I didn’t have the profile to past the written pitch. Pity. I really believe that such a strategy could realistically add to Yahoo’s bottom line. It might not save the company, but it could be a several hundreds of million over a 36 month rollout.


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