Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Yahoo's Earnings seen from Jim Collins' Good to Great

I reacted over at Giga-Om to this story:

Interesting numbers from Yahoo! I’ve been reading Good to Great by Jim Collins at the moment and it seems that Yahoo is showing all the signs of an also ran company. (have a look at

First, it didn’t have a level 5 leader, who selfishly looked at the best interest of the company. They may have ousted him, but one hopes the current management team is up to snuff.

Second, the question is whether they have the right people on board and in the right place. They’re hiring seems to be erratic and not really best of breed in the business.

Third, and really bad from my point of view. They don’t confront the facts. Fact is, Google is a better ad company than Yahoo will ever be. Google places its ads better, through better technology and because of that has commanded the biggest share of eyeballs. Yahoo has nothing to offer to potential advertisers on the technology front.

Fourth Yahoo doesn’t know what it wants to be: Is it the best content company in the business, or is it the best search company in the business? Well, it cannot be the last one. Google has taken that and outspends Yahoo in keeping that goal. Google has a clear focus, though it should dabble less and spend more time in achieving in coherently achieving the goal. Yahoo should focus on its content business, which in the US is the best it can ever be. Yahoo should make it their business to make sure that whenever somebody is looking for something that Yahoo does Google first points to Yahoo for the content, to such an extent that the user will go to Yahoo without even looking at Google (Yahoo financials is a great example)

Fifth, Yahoo should cut all the crap it isn’t willing to deal with. Sell the advertising business to Microsoft, they’re dumb enough to pay top dollar for it. Then move to Google’s Adsense and squeeze every ad dollar out of it. Advertisers would love it.

Sixth, keep focus, keep discipline, keep adding great content, keep focus, discipline, add more great content.

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