Businessweek’s Moira Herbst and Catherine Holahan captured the story on the Yahoo layoffs. I think that Twittering and Blogging this massive layoff will go down as one of those inflection points in our new global digital real time always on social bla bla bla ..<add buzzword here>.
Here is what BW mentions about me at the end..“But the exchanges of laid-off Yahoo workers isn’t all about commiseration; it’s also about finding leads. John Furrier writes in response to a story on TechCrunch that he’s hiring: “Bummer about Yahoo. I hope they can pull together and survive. Open call for Yahoo entrepreneurs who know social networks and social graph technology: I’m looking for product managers and engineers for my new social advertising startup. For info go to furrier.org—information on the startup is buried in the blog.”
To clarify: “Information is buried in my blog”- means that information about what I’m working on is weaved in and out of series of posts. Many have figured out what I’m working on and have contacted me. I guess it’s a social media form of lead generation for finding like minds to collaborate with.
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.