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Dear Yahoo!: Just Sell it Already.

Posted by J Powers at 11:32 AM on October 20, 2011
Yahoo!

Yahoo!

Dear Yahoo!:

It’s time. Time to make a decision. Time to stop holding onto the past. Time to realize you were on the top of game in 2000, but now it’s 2011. Time to see that Yahoo! is Yahover.

Can you turn the company around as Jerry Yang talked about during AsiaD in Hong Kong? Anything can happen. But you are not willing to put the money in to do that. Investors are weary and you have no leadership.

If I was your business analyst (and that isn’t even my profession), I would tell you what I tell other companies that choose not to sell:

  1. Change your name
  2. Set a new 2-year business plan
  3. Get a CEO that knows Social Media
  4. Re-build your look and feel
  5. Re-build your clientele

Did I just say “Change your name?” YES! When I hear Yahoo! I think of a company that was on top of their game back in 2000. Eleven years later and I don’t associate Yahoo! with today. I associate Google, Microsoft or Facebook. I even have a better chance of associating AOL  with 2011 over Yahoo!

Even the best business person will buy land just for the land. They’ll strike down the building and create a new epicenter. If the roof leaks and the foundation is shaky; if the building takes more energy to keep going, then rebuilding might take less money than repairing.

I wouldn’t fret, though. You really helped shape the Internet. You should be proud of that. Now it’s time to save what’s left of the company and maybe put together a new venture. I hear Microsoft is putting together a bid, among others. It’s not going to be $31 a share as in 2008, but I would guess it will be comparable.

If you are going to keep it, then find someone that can turn this company around. Get a CEO that knows what’s going on in the new media space. Someone that is active in Social Media. Someone that will bring new blood into the company.

Sincerly:
Someone that doesn’t want to hear about this anymore.

Carol Bartz Out, Where Does Yahoo! Go? Time to Change the Name!

Posted by J Powers at 11:48 AM on September 7, 2011
Yahoo!

Yahoo!

It’s another chapter in the failing Yahoo! book. Yesterday, Carol Bartz – then CEO of Yahoo! got an ceremonious firing from the board. Now, with the dust settling, and Jerry Yang saying the company is still not for sale, where does the now-less diminished company go from here?

Rebuilding Phase – a Name Change, perhaps?

I get told time and again – If you want a fresh start, infuse with a new name. Yahoo! is pretty much a name dragged in the mud. Yahoo! represents the internet from 1999. It’s 2011 – Time to get with the times. Put away the preppy clothes, the teased hair and go with something a little more modern.

A new name could bring confidence back in the company and the customers. A fresh logo that means “The future of computing is here”. Then, of course, you will have to back that statement up…

Fire the Board of Directors? Including Jerry Yang.

Jerry Yang

Jerry Yang says "Yahoo is not for Sale"

Om Malik said it best – Fire the Board. If you’re gonna shake up things, do it right. The board has been flailing since the Microhoo! days. Get a new cast to make decisions and get things done. Om has a great list of who should be on this board.

I am going to take it one step further. Jerry needs to step back even more. The new board has to have free-thinkers with no pressure from Yang. They have to take a major left-turn to keep their businesses satisfied.

Get Back in the Game

During Bartz’ 2 year CEO run, a lot of programs were shut down or sold. Whatever is left should also get some type of a face-lift. Collect the patents and figure out a new plan.

Yahoo might even want to start talks with Facebook. Put a new presence in this social network (since they’ve pretty much destroyed all their social network opportunities). Since they also have a partnership with Microsoft, this might be a really nice fit overall.

Open Up to Everyone

Google does this so well (ok, maybe not with YouTube, but everything else) – Open up to the community. Ask what you want. It worked with Linus Torvolds in creating Linux. Take the information and create something around that.

With items like business email, you cannot do that, but with consumer products like search and home page, open it up and let the consumer feel they have a hand in sculpting.

There has to be 3 items that people are clambering for in the last few years that could be easily integrated. Show the people that you are listening to them.

These are just a few ideas. In thinking of it more, the name change most likely be the best move. After all – if you think Yahoo!, what do you think of? A website that is the future, or a company that represents the past?