Our Advice To Yahoo: First, Avoid Bad Advice

from the hail-mary dept

Everybody knows that Yahoo is under a lot of pressure right now, and a lot of people in the media are playing the "what should Yahoo do now?" game. A lot talk has focused on management changes, some of which were announced earlier this week. Perhaps the most wild suggestion comes from Jupiter Media's Alan Meckler, who thinks the company should buy out Dow Jones (via Tech Trader Daily), the parent company of the Wall Street Journal. The way Meckler sees it, Yahoo already has a strong position in online finance, so it should consolidate its lead and put a focus on that. We hate to recap the recent history of the internet business for Meckler, but for some time it's been clear that trying to buy up all the good content doesn't work as well as positioning yourself as a place to find content elsewhere. Companies should make acquisitions if they think they can get a really good deal, or if they think the acquired company could really help transform the acquirer for the better (what some used to call synergies, before that become a bad word). It's hard to think of a single benefit for Yahoo if it were to buy Dow Jones, not to mention that investors would slam the company for saddling itself with a low-growth, low-margin company. For awhile, there was a lot of talk about how Yahoo was trying to position itself as being more socially-driven than Google, a strategy highlighted by its purchases of del.icio.us and Flickr. So far, it hasn't done much to follow through on this, but such a move would be better than making a desperate buyout. And if it can't come up with anything better then maybe its time to succumb to a sale of its own.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    anonymous coward, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 3:28pm

    If Y! can't be successful with its current portfolio of companies and technologies, it should just fold up shop. They could buy one company or a dozen, they still are missing the point. They need to innovate. They are having their asses handed to them by competitors large and small. If Google doesn't best them, the two guys in the garage are. Flickr is the sole exception, but that is not the centerpiece of a publicly traded media company...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    zeb, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 3:34pm

    Only a matter of time

    Give it two weeks, either Google, Time Warner or Wal-Mart will buy them out and they won't have to worry about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Spud, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 3:41pm

    In times of crisis it’s amazing how much advice you get from all sorts of people. While some of it may be good advice plenty of it will be rubbish. Yahoo need to find the good advice and act on it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 6:02pm

    There's really no way back for them. They lost their culture and no company ever gets it back.

    Once they encrusted their management with a bunch of non-technical MBAs, they were over. It's the danger of acquiring media companies and not shit canning the execs. You end up with a bunch of fast-talking suits with expensive haircuts, BMWs, and no friggin' thought beyond their own take.

    Good engineers will work for good engineers turned exec. They won't work for non-techies unless the pay is large and the options fat.

    And why should they? The valley comes up something new every day.

    Too bad they can't just walk away. All their talented people already have.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    W.B. McNamara (profile), Dec 8th, 2006 @ 7:53am

    You made Alan Meckler cranky...

    Well, crankier, anyway: he responded to "Mr. Tech Dirt" from last night.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    David H. Deans, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 6:56am

    Yahoo! Under-Valued Assets

    I address the socially-driven asset issue in a column that I wrote for AlwaysOn. However, I believe that they need appropriate marketing leadership to drive this integration.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Persona non grata, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 9:07am

    Re: You made Alan Meckler cranky...

    The magical thing about Meckler is that he's a bottom feeder who poses as a visionary. Add in his lack of impulse control and his blog is a never-ending stream of good-times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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