Google A, MSFT B, Yahoo C
At least that’s how it’s seeming after Google’s big YouTube splurge.
Post Goo-Tube, everyone’s looking at the folks who were jilted or caught with their pants down. Here’s a pretty interesting BusinessWeek interview on what Steve Ballmer thinks about the deal, which seems to be confusion. He’s not clear about how he would value a hot web property like YouTube is, calling it more a question of what competitors (Google, eBay, Yahoo!) would pay. Ballmer does have a good point about taking the long-term view however, in that within ten years, any presently hot web company could lose its edge.
A quick decade from riches to rags is the gist of a New York Times article about an equally confused Yahoo!. Supposedly the YouTube acquisition slipped through their fingers, they are considered a bit old-school to rivals and employees alike, and their stock is down (now that’s hitting below the belt). Kind of hard to believe that something that started in 1994 can be considered a “stogy old Internet company,” but there you go.
There’s no shortage of Save Yahoo! suggestions from the blog world. Maybe they should fix their advertising system. Maybe they should focus on building something new. Maybe they should work on less things.
My biggest issue with Yahoo is that I don’t really know what the heck they’re up to. Every day when I fire up my browser, people are writing about everybody else’s cool stuff (Apple, Google, Microsoft). This is partly my own fault, but the message needs to become clearer and louder – there’s no “buzz” from whatever Yahoo! is doing. When was the last time you heard anybody called a “Yahoo fan boy”?
Maybe the company has become too large, unwiedly, and fragmented. Although I visit Yahoo! Finance every day, I rarely poke around the other parts. This is despite having a Yahoo! SBC account and a Yahoo! email which I never use (because it’s clogged with spam). You’d think there would be a way to get some synergy between the different properties.
But what do I know; I’m just a lowly user who loves Gmail, Apple’s iLife, and is considering getting an Xbox.