First off, I’m very excited for Yahoo! and even more so for the Yahoos, especially the ones I know from back in the days when I was still working there. Taking in the news about the new CEO has to be the sweetest thing, coming from headquarters, since before the Microsoft takeover bid.
They so deserve it – just as much as Yahoo! as a whole deserves to get a “second chance”. And strangely enough this landmark hire, by the board, that got so much blame and was “forced” to change, seems to have achieved just that. Over night Yahoo! is an exciting place to work again – I’m not saying, that an audience of 700 million people a month is not exciting as is.
But now, even the future seems bright. Looking back, you could almost say, it seems like destiny now, that we had to go through the Scott Thompson SNAFU, to realize that bullying is not what Yahoo! stands for – even if it could have made them more
successful profitable eventually. Regarding Ross Levinsohn, I couldn’t help but feel that, while he seems to be excellent at what he does – selling. A world class salesman was not what Yahoo! would need right now.
This goes both ways – internally, as there is quite a need to break up old silos, and get almost silly things, like a consistent navigation across all products sorted. Even more important is the outside effect of this hire. Marissa seems to be extremely well connected, in the Valley as well as in Washington. She is perceived as someone who has a very keen understanding of user-needs and online product design, which is where you should put your money if you want to get this company turned around.
“50% of business is psychology”, is a famous quote of former German chancellor Ludwig Erhard.
And I think it is very much a truth for Yahoo!. Yahoo! has never been as “bad” as people were made to believe.
There is one big IF standing in the way to make this a fairytale wedding so. And that is the “well that’s just how it is done” disease. It’s deeply ingrained into the inner workings of not just Yahoo! or Microsoft, but many companies in the new ecomomy. This still relatively new industry, has produced companies, that have grown to a size that allow for this kind of mindset to develop and infect the whole organization. In a fast changing world, like the online industry, this is a very dangerous development.
Google is fighting this as hard as they can, so Marissa is well aware of the issue. Because even whilst you are a running a big company, you have to be nimble and almost act start-up like just as well, to keep up with the pace of the world around you. And I’m not saying that nobody at Yahoo! saw that before, the infamous Brickhouse, a start-up like environment set up by Yahoo! back in 2006 is testament for that.
I’m hopeful that Mrs. Mayer will see this through as this is the make or break of this chapter at Yahoo! – but given that this is her Big chance we can be certain she will be at her best.
I’m really excited to see what the future will bring for Yahoo! Hope they can yodel much louder and more cheerful in the future.