This is not an editorial about what Yahoo needs to do to right the ship, nor is this an editorial about what Marissa Mayer needs to do to improve Yahoo. I think I’ve written too many times over the last 10 years about what Yahoo could do. Some of it may have been right, and I’m sure some of it has been wrong. This is a piece that simply states that I hope Yahoo does something and I hope they do it soon.
I’m a fan of the hiring of Marissa Mayer As President and CEO. I do not know her personally, but I’ve heard nothing but good things. It’s nice that Yahoo hired someone with a great track record and whose resume is on public display, so no need to have to go and verify all the finer points (though I assume they probably did this time around). The leadership she demonstrated in her last role is impressive and the results pretty much speak for themselves. I also think its wonderful that they showed some progressive thinking to hire regardless of her status as a mother-to-be. I applaud that thinking and I’m sure that if someone will successfully handle that kind of live/work balance, it will be her. I just hope Yahoo does something!
I feel the biggest issue around Yahoo is they’ve not done anything distinctive in recent years! They have a history of making announcements around developing content, or big acquisitions in various areas of the business, but I feel like they never truly commit to any one thing and doing it well. In business you have to commit to doing something better than everyone else, and focusing on that one “something” can lead you to success. To me personally, Yahoo’s strategy has felt fractured and disjointed as though they were betting on the next 3 months rather than 12, 18, 24 or 36 months out. If I were Marissa Mayer I’d apply some focus and determine what is that “one thing” I would want us to be doing, and do it really, really well.
There is an enormous opportunity out there for Yahoo. The company is chock full of smart people and smart people create smart ideas. There’s great technology lying inside those walls and it’s crying out to be used. There are enormous brands that want to work with Yahoo, and the consumers (for the most part) still love the brand. This could end up being a turnaround story on par with Apple if things go right, but it will take some time. Nothing immediate will take place. That’s not how things happen. It takes time to put a strategy in place, see it to execution and respond to the results.
Yahoo could easily become the central hub for your cross-channel media experience. It could return to being your start page for online, mobile and everything else you do in a digital world. Or maybe Yahoo will shift to something else entirely. Who knows!
What do you think?