Pardon my double posting today but a series of posts really got to me and I felt the need to speak up. This really is the very definition of a "petty annoyance post" on my part so I apologize in advance (especially since my last post fell into vaguely the same category)
Anyway, the first quote came from Mark Evans who discusses Yahoo's current predicament...
Maybe the beginning of the end was the appointment of Terry Semel as CEO, who may go down as Yahoo’s John Sculley. Semel was intent on leveraging Yahoo’s traffic to maximize revenue. From a business perspective, it was probably the right decision but this laser-like focus on cash took away from the fact Yahoo made its mark by delivering solid services that people used and enjoyed.
There are so many things wrong with this paragraph that I barely know where to begin. Here's a quick list though...
- How did Yahoo! "make its mark by delivering solid services" exactly? Yahoo! was semi successful as a portal and free e-mail provider but those services were always lackluster. Yahoo! was never a good search engine and in fact was losing market share to Altavista before Google ever came along. Their messaging system always sucked, their IM has always been an also ran, and so on, and so on. Yahoo! hasn't been a successful company since the dotcom boom and is still alive largely based on a colorful brand and an early entry into the portal market
- How did Semel get the blame for this? I didn't personally agree with the direction he took the company but the man was brought on after the ship was already sinking. He was fired because he couldn't get it back above water but his failure was purely one of not being able to solve the problems. He didn't create them.
- This is off topic but people who throw John Sculley's name around either need to study Apple history or shut up. Sculley had a run at Apple that was very successful overall and its Sculley that was responsible for the Mac's initial success (Jobs refused to put a hard disk in the Mac so it was largely a failure until he was ousted). Sculley had faults to be sure but he wasn't a failure by a long shot and he's responsible for more of the current Apple mythos than he gets credit for.
The rest of the post is just about as bad. I've been a reader of Mark Evans blog for a while and I don't mean to attack...well no, I do in fact mean to attack him here. This post was just stupid and in this case he deserves to be attacked. If you want to discuss the history of the technology industry than you should have some idea what you are talking about.
Anyway, Mr. Evans points to a post that amazingly annoyed me even more. In it blogger Steve Hodson gives this advice that he believes will "save" Yahoo!
1. Kick Yang the hell out of there ASAP – like yesterday
2. Take the penalty and ditch the upper management as quickly as possible.
3. Tell Carl Icahn to go sit in the corner and STFU
4. Pay whatever it cost to buy FriendFeed ASAP
5. Put the FriendFeed boys in charge of Yahoo ASAP
You've got to be bloody kidding me. I swear, I had to read the comments just to make sure he he wasn't kidding. FriendFeed? Do you have any idea how small and insignificant FriendFeed is in comparison to the whole of Yahoo?
I mean, its a nice little service but the sheer idea that FriendFeed would make any difference at all is ludicrous.
Forget the down right insane idea of "putting the FriendFeed boys in charge" for now (he claims he was "being facetious" in that one claim but serious in all his other ones). FriendFeed is an 8 person company with $5 Million in VC money while Yahoo! is a 14,000 person company with $7 Billion in Revenue per year. Saying FriendFeed would make a bit of difference is like proposing a guy with a water bucket can purify the Pacific Ocean.
I mean honestly, FriendFeed was launched less than 5 months ago and this guy just seriously suggested they have the proven leadership to not only run Yahoo! but save it from years of downward spiraling.
I'm sorry. This post is harsh and I know its harsh but I have to admit I don't feel the least little bit bad about it. Really folks, how can anyone take this type of thing seriously? It blows my mind. If the above is considered serious discussion than what exactly is considered idiotic discussion?
Addendum: On the Semel point I offer this...
Again, hardly a great run but I wouldn't call him a failure either.