The aftershocks of the Peanut Butter Manifesto continue to be felt long after the explosions stopped. Earlier this week, The Street.com noted that Brad Garlinghouse, author of the PBM had worked at @Home, CMGI’s @ Ventures and at DialPad, three entities that met ignominious fate.
The fact that this observation was included in the snarky “Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week” column, got one of their readers (name Tyler, second name not given) quite riled up, who wrote a stinging response, and copied his email response to some of us in the blogosphere.
The precis of the response was that Brad left @Home right at the time of Excite@Home merger, or near the top of @Home’s market valuation. He hightailed from CMGI to join Dialpad in late spring 2000 at a time with CMGI stock was almost near its peak. Since DialPad was a private company, it wasn’t the same public market situation, but in the end it did get taken out by Yahoo, where Brad worked.
Which brings us back to Tyler who observes, “the more accurate conclusion is that we should learn/watch when Brad leaves a company and know that it is likely the early warning indicator that his efforts to effect change have failed – and sell!” Okay that is something we had not thought of but the idea of Brad being a market indicator is intriguing. The only problem – Yahoo stock is already down 30% for the year.
9 thoughts on “Yahoo & Peanut Butter Market Timing”
But YHOO is up over 20% in the last month…while $500+ GOOG is up just 5%. Ever since YouTube, money has moved back to YHOO.
Even with those gains, Yahoo is up just under $4 a share, while Google is up around $30 a share. The disparity in actual dollars is pretty huge.
There is a nice little piece in The Economist this week on this – says it all.
What matter is percentage ?
Yahoo is up by 20% and Google about 5%.
In actual dollars YHOO is up $4 and Google is $30 a share.
If you invested $500 on both YHOO and Google, you would have earned $100 on YHOO and only $25-$30 on Google.
The Economist makes fun of the memo here:
Valley insiders who know the Bradster say he’s got a VC gig lined up..others say he’s playing the Terry fiddle…
My view..he leaked, or had the ‘nutter mani leaked…
Bottom line remains. YAHOO is in need of a shake up and the winds of change are there.
I have often wondered the benefits of a matrix organization structure, especially one so complex as Yahoo’s, where GMs are basically glorified product managers, with ownership of nothing – neither engineering, nor sales. This makes it terribly difficult for true GMs to be effective.
Unfortunately, many large companies follow this structure, and many of my larger clients do so too.
All it does, is creates immense politics, finger-pointing, crappy accountability dynamics, and a general disfunctional environment.
A proper divisional GM with full ownership and accountability a la GE is a highly desirable change, not only in Yahoo, but in a lot of the larger Billion+ companies.
Does anyone realize how much publicity Brad has got due to this memo? There are quotes everywhere – from WSJ – “a second tier yahoo executive…” and from Economist – “a manager just senior enough to be noteworthy..”
Was this the main intention of leaking out this memo? Obviously Yahoo’s troubles are far too complex for a fast-track, cliche talking, MBA (no tech) VP like Brad to fix. Maybe this was the only way out for him?
The valley needs to clean out such people and show them the door. Not just Yahoo. Its time, some real product nerds who really have a passion for developing great software take over the reins from fools like him.
Did some research on the SVP of Whine at Yahoo. There is a strong degree of truthiness in the following, but it’s more a life story of Brad Garlinghouse cobbled together from the internets: