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The Silicon Valley Poison Pill – Yahoo Rejects Microsoft February 11, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.

Great drama in what will be known as the Silicon Valley brawl between Microsoft and Yahoo or TechWar 2008. After some fancy footwork, Yahoo officially rejects Microsoft’s generous offer. I have been liking the Businessweek blog coverage at TechBeat (thanks Rob Hof).

Yahoo just invoked the “Silicon Valley Poison Pill”.

What we have here folks is a cultural mismatch. By and between the Silicon Valley ‘one-cyle’ venture high flyer of Yahoo and the multi-cycle success of Microsoft.

We are seeing what I call the “Silicon Valley Poision Pill” in action. Forget Yahoo’s mismanagement for a minute. There is a general feeling that this fight is about the core ‘DNA’ of Silicon Valley. This fight represents that cultural vibe and people in Silicon Valley (me included) that think Yahoo can put up and succeed against Google. Bloggers think it’s a done deal.

In Silicon Valley you are judged by the ‘business cycles’ notches on your belt. Very few survive and/or even sustain success in multiple business cycles. In technology the Hewlett-Packard Company (opps I mean HP) has sustained the ‘longest business cycle run’ – 1939-Present.

Microsoft buying Yahoo eliminates Yahoo from being listed next to the ‘multicycle’ winners of Silicon Valley. Failure is accepted and excepted in Silicon Valley in fact regarded as a badge of honor. However that is mainly for startups not global success like Yahoo. This Yahoo failure and Microsoft buyout is a knife in the heart of Silicon Valley. Yahoo will be forever known in the history books as a ‘one cycle’ poney.

Sure Yahoo is worth more in breakup value and I’m sure Gordon Geko would love to sell off the pieces. What matters most to Yahoo and Silicon Valley: “Pride”.


1. apple - February 14, 2008

“Failure is excepted in Silicon Valley in fact regarded as a badge of honor. ”

Failure is Excepted or Accepted. Please make it clear.

2. Breaking News: Yahoo to Carry Google Search Ads « Furrier.org - Business & Technology Blog - April 9, 2008

[…] This is the Silicon Valley Poison Pill in action. […]

3. mb - May 4, 2008

Furrier: you again nailed this story from day one. You should blog every day man. After reading the coverage today and watching this unfolded you called it from the beginning. Congrats

4. Victory for Silicon Valley; The Silicon Valley Poison Pill Worked - As Predicted « Furrier.org - Business & Technology Blog - May 4, 2008

[…] number was or one particular issue.  It was bigger than all of that.  As I wrote in February it was the Silicon Valley Poison Pill in action.  The culture in Silicon Valley is deep in tradition and this trophy in Yahoo was not […]

5. No Vietnam or Iraq for Us - Ballmer says in Microsoft Letter To Employees « Furrier.org - Business & Technology Blog - May 4, 2008

[…] Basically I read this as him saying that this won’t be our Vietnam or Iraq. In watching this from the early days (see post here, here, here.. ). […]

6. Breaking: Google and Yahoo Search Partnership Not Microsoft - Yahoo on the Move? It’s a Private War in Silicon Valley « Furrier.org - Business & Technology Blog - June 12, 2008

[…] culture of entrepreneurship. Stanford in at the center of it and so are the VCs. From the beginning I’ve said that Yahoo is executing what I called the “Silicon Valley Poison Pill”. … Even with a deal on the table and close to being sealed (as I reported last month). Yahoo appears […]

7. Microsoft Has To Be Pissed - Google the White Knight « Furrier.org - Business & Technology Blog - June 13, 2008

[…] the Silicon Valley poison pill. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Wall Street may scramble to unwind bad bet on […]

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