12 thoughts on “Believe Yahoo's tech makeover? Can I interest you in the Brooklyn Bridge?”

  1. Thank you very much for pointing out what everybody else seems to be missing: Yahoo doesn’t have a technical head, a technical plan, nor the ability to hire a strong bench of the best technologists and engineers. You are so right that they can’t dig out of their hole until they invest technically. I shake my head at everything else they are doing because it is not believable without first solving this core problem.

  2. I’d hearken back to a Tim Cook-ism. What’s Yahoo’s North Star, and what are the core metrics its success should be defined by? The audience for that isn’t folks like us, or short term investors, but rather, the rank-and-file within Yahoo, and the future recruits that can turn the tide.

  3. Overnight my Yahoo Mail became a different beast, only similar to what I had a couple of days ago. What happened?

    Mail that should be in my Inbox continually is put in the Trash, even with the sender’s address among my Contacts.

    Why are stories which have comments from readers so difficult to rate those comments or even to put in my own two cents.

    The Yahoo TV Schedule went away some months ago.

    Is anyone there, or is everyone asleep at the wheel? This is NO way to run Yahoo.

    1. yup yup. I was at Yahoo Tech Pulse, their engineering conference, last week and they introduced this. So I had some heads up. They are trying to come up with a new way to deal with mail, but they probably fell on their face introducing it properly to the users.

  4. Max Levchin started Slide, an utter faillure that wasted hundreds of millions of dollars in VC and acquisition money. Why does that qualify him to join the board of a large tech company? I understand the ethos of value in failure. But surely such a debacle should have consequences.

  5. The only change I’ve seen is that they’re pages refresh much faster – no doubt to hype their numbers – log out of Mail and you get dumped to yahoo.com – page view! Yahoo doesn’t do any one thing well – trying to be all things to all people AND being very late to the mobile party – will quickly make you an also ran in tech. I see no miracle at the end of any rainbow.

  6. I can’t believe they used Aviary for their app. Its not that hard to make your own photo filters from scratch. I could make one in few weeks. In fact I did.

  7. Om, I think you’re discounting the new Flickr iPhone app too much. It’s not just about filters. Filters are the least important thing about it actually. Who makes the filters, flickr vs. aviary, etc. isn’t very important.

    What the new app does do that is important.

    1. Let’s you easily fave things with the tap/tap fave gesture. This produces fave inflation. Instagram was super smart to introduce this gesture in the first place. It dramatically increases engagement on photos. People fundamentally post photos hoping for engagement. My Flickr views are up 40% since the app has been rolled out. That’s a big jump. People will feel like their photos are being viewed/faved more and will be more likely to use Flickr.

    2. Group threads. The most hardcore social on Flickr. Those that spend in some cases 20 hours a day on the site (I’m not kidding), LIVE inside of Flickr groups. This is a huge part of their life. By adding a group thread reader, this solidifies flickr’s relationship with this important super user and makes them even more active when they are not in front of a computer.

    3. As a way to browse photos of your contacts, Flickr’s new app is the most intuitive app on the market today. They’ve actually leapfrogged Instagram with this one here. It is easier to browse photos, fave photos, navigate easily back and forth between flickr streams of your contacts, etc.

    4. Along with the new app, Flickr also has been working on their relationship with Facebook which should help them. Two big moves. Flickr photos on Facebook are no longer postage stamped size, they are full sized, just like Facebook’s own photos — same goes for Twitter what Twitter/Instagram taketh away, Flickr giveth back with this new release. The other significant thing here is that you can now load up your Facebook/Twitter contacts and port them into Flickr. Who knows how long Facebook (who owns Instagram of course) let’s this functionality go on, but it works for now.

    Whether or not Yahoo can make a come back remains to be seen. Certainly the stock market would seem to think so based on the recent jump in the stock price. But the new Flickr app is far more than just about filters and there is some pretty powerful stuff that comes along with it as far as social lubrication goes.

    Flickr is hiring aggressively right now.

    I think Flickr still needs to better address personal relevancy with so many photos on the site and groups desperately need an overhaul (it may be too late for them now there with Google+ launching communities), but the app itself is pretty impressive, hopefully it comes to Android soon. 😉

  8. I think you’re spot on with some of your comments, and off on a few too. I disagree that you can’t buy innovation. Yes, you can. In fact, it’s often easier to acquihire than build within (Oracle exists to do just that). Sometimes it’s just faster. As a former Yahoo (left in Jan), I saw so many cool, creative, innovative things going on — the problem was getting anything to market. The systemic construct made it really hard to be “nimble” — product managers were constantly frustrated with the “turf wars” going on. This happens in all tech companies, but it was hard to sit and see things that seem like game-changers languish cause of marketing strategies. You’re right about attracting talent. I worked in that space — and it was hard to get engineers to come on board. When we were trying to hire mobile engineers, we finally gave up and decided we had to “build that competency” from within. Some of the best engineers in the Valley were leaving in droves. Mayer can probably attract some new, good talent, but I’ll tell you — Yahoo has good salaries, so waving money at em won’t work. They’re gonna need to feel like they’re working on some real forward-thinking products that won’t just sit and simmer in politics. I think they need to be 100% mobile-focused and cut 1/2 the fat and 1/2 the properties. Slim down and get laser-focused on mobile entertainment. Otherwise, what are they? A junk email platform? Who uses them to search? When I was there, I tried to convince my 18-year old daughter to use their search, and she refused, saying, “Dad, no one uses Yahoo for search. I go to their news page when I want to see the sill stories that don’t matter…” Than comment resonated. If they can’t attract the younger ones… then what will they become?

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