Death Watch: Yahoo!


The "death of…" may not be appropriate label for the passage that follows. The very association with death conjures images of negativity or dark thoughts. Rather, I hope to focus on the positive aspects of what arises from the foibles, and the subsequent constructive experiences, of building a powerful destination. 

Andrew Carnegie said, "There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else." Much later, Sumner Redstone offered the following pearl of wisdom: "Success is not built on success. It's built on failure. It's built on frustration. Sometimes it's built on catastrophe."

The search and content owner with the excited name simultaneously possess both tremendous equity and the potential for catastrophe. Google closed out 2006 sitting on $11 billion while Yahoo! earned a paltry $6.4 billion, over $1.1 billion in 2005.

The company's potential for future success will be built on the long-term survivability of diverse and rich ad models, the integration of user-generated content (UGC) and the ability to effect change and reach out to the user base on whichever screen they choose.

At the close of 2006, Yahoo was actually criticized by analysts because it failed to achieve massive growth. Just how much growth constitutes a massive increase? Unfortunately, Google is the standard by which growth is measured; that's just a bit excessive and, at the very least, impractical. 

Perhaps we can still discuss this "death of," just not the death you might think. Without further delay, I offer you the death of irrational thought, unreasonable expectations and ill-informed analysts panicking already skittish shareholders with nonsensical drivel.

Author notes: Kevin M. Ryan is iMedia's search editor and chief executive officer at Motivity Marketing. Read full bio.