Yahoo's Big Miss Further Demonstrates That Competing Requires More Than Just Copying

from the sounds-familiar dept

Yesterday, we wrote about how, despite Microsoft’s technology advances (in some cases better than Google), it hasn’t been able to keep up with Google in terms of market share. The same story could be said for Yahoo as well. In fact, Wired News is running an entire article on how Yahoo “blew” their opportunity. After deciding not to buy Google in 2002 for $5 billion (they felt the price was way too high), the company proceeded to buy Inktomi and then the key piece of their strategy, Overture. The idea was to recreate what Google had done internally. It wasn’t hard to figure out what Google had done, but despite the supposed simplicity of “copying,” Yahoo discovered that it’s not so easy to just make your own Google. They ran into all sorts of strategic problems as they moved forward. Again, the technology part wasn’t the real issue. Copying what Google has done is possible — but doing so in a way that actually beats Google in the market is a totally different problem, and it’s not one you solve by simply copying the leader.


Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Yahoo's Big Miss Further Demonstrates That Competing Requires More Than Just Copying”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
19 Comments
Mike (profile) says:

Re: turn it around and it argues for copying as ro

The article explains that Google saw what Overture was doing with thier ads and realized it was the way to go. They wrote thier own software copying Overture and now they’ve not only overtaken Overture but also their main competitor – Yahoo.

A few things. First, despite what the article says, Google did not “copy” Overture. It took a very different approach. At the time Google launched, Overture’s approach was extremely different. So it’s hard to say they “copied” them.

If anything, what they did was invent a better solution — one that Overture *should* have done from the beginning.

The fact that it was much better is what won them the market, not the copying.

Dave Walker says:

Re: Re:

I used to be a Yahoo customer but eventually canceled all my accounts and moved on. I was tired of all of their services being almost good enough but not quite.

-Yahoo had picture sharing but you had to pay extra to share anything more than 640×480. They only had mediocre file sharing. Google is working on GDrive and even allows you to share Word and Excel documents in real time.
– Yahoo had great mail service (that I was willing to pay for) but I had to constantly login (whereas Google doesn’t constantly ask me for my password when I tell it to remember it). Now Google has more storage space for its non-paying customers than Yahoo has for its paying customers.
– They had my domain but charged a fortune for DIY web hosting.
– Their search page takes forever to load compared to Google
– They are missing newsgroup searching

Honestly.. Yahoo has ALOT of potential but it will never succeed until someone gets behind the helm and gets that company moving. Too bad i’m not a CEO. I could really do amazing things with that organization if given the chance.

|333173|3|_||3 says:

Yahoo!'s death

I will be prepared to bet that Yahoo! keeps on hanging around for years, but its market share will also continue to drop almost imperceptably, until they eventually turn into a company that is remembered as a company which was OK for its time, but has become like an old man in his second childhood, fading fast. I would guess that by 2020, this will have happened.

By the time the young people of today, who used yahoo! when we were kids, are in thier thirties/forties, we will most likely be using it as the example of a failed company, which waas good, but never quite innovative or lucky enough to stay ahead.

Bill says:

What does copying mean if not this?

Google did not “copy” Overture but Google is paying Yahoo! 2.7 million shares for patent infringement for Overture’s patent. In any event, Yahoo! was the first with web search and then Google came along with web search. Yahoo had e-mail and then Google came out with e-mail. Yahoo had Yahoo Finance and now Google has Google Finance etc. etc. etc. Who is copying who?

I think this argument is silly. We’re talking about huge corporations with similar markets and who’s making more money. And you’re trying to compare this to something like copying an iPod?

Search Engines WEB (user link) says:

Google Yahoo Microsoft AltaVista Excite

It is ironic that Yahoo decided not to purchase Google in 2002, because that was the year – they actually began using the Google SERPs instead of Inktomi – and replaced the default search listings with Google instead of the Yahoo Directory.

But, even more dramatic is about 4 to 5 years earlier, Google was attempting to sell their technology to AltaVista and Excite for One Milliion dollars and no one accepted

And in 2003, Microsoft attempted to buy Google, or form a partnership, but was refused

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...