Posted by: Jon Fine on October 18, 2006
Regarding Yahoo’s current slump: A bunch of questions are rattling around my brainpan, which I list below in hopes of hearing your thoughts on them and Yahoo’s situation in general. I’m going to lean, crutchlike, on the excuse that I’m still jetlagged from work-related travel in Europe last week to account for both my inability to land on any one of these answers and my utter silence for the past week.
1. Mediaheads like myself—that is, East Coast and employed by old-media entities—were all nodding our heads when Yahoo began hiring people like Greg Coleman (former head of publishing at Reader’s Digest Association), Wenda Millard (sales exec at Ziff Davis and elsewhere) and LA-ers like Lloyd Braun and Terry Semel to senior positions. You know—how smart to bring old-world media savvy to the brave new frontier, etc. In retrospect, this leads me to …
2. Did Yahoo make a mistake in thinking theirs is a media-driven business and not a technology-driven business? After all, Google has done much better focusing on building off one very good thing, instead of building off an aggregation of many, many things.
3. Is it possible that if you factor out Google that there is a growth slowdown brewing for the biggest players in new media—and note I said ‘growth slowdown,’ not ‘recession’ or anything like that—and that Yahoo is the leading edge of this?
4. A year ago, many ad and marketing types just loooovvved Yahoo. Do they still?
I honestly have no idea what the answers are the points 3 and 4, and would like to know if I’m all wet.