Yahoo: A declining star (II)

I wrote on the previous post that for a particular combination of search terms, Yahoo seemed to offer better results than Google. I read long time ago that in fact search was turning to be a commodity. I didn’t believe then, and I’m not convinced yet, despite the simple test I described on my post.

Anyway Yahoo has services that are (in my opinion) far better than Google’s. My favourite is a nearly unknown project called myweb, which could be said to be related to Google Bookmarks or Google Notebook. I also like Yahoo Pipes although I think it needs something easier to extract information from pages (not structured sources), something like Dapper. Of course, you also have one of the best news sites with Yahoo news, and the killer-app of online photography (this one an acquisition): Flickr.

So Yahoo has a decent search engine, some very good services. Notwithstanding, it has each time less importance, less market share and more problems. I don’t know where it all started, but today Yahoo looks like a knocked out company.

Are Google’s developers better than Yahoo’s? I don’t think so. Although maybe there is a problem when (as Jeremy told a few days a ago) in your company people are being laid off and is not the first time.

What makes Yahoo a “declining star”?

I think the true difference is the absence of ambition. I see in Google they have the goal of changing the world. They fight to be the first, to make things different. Some of its movements are successful, some are not. But they always try to make a new twist. They try to rethink everything. And they continue doing it even when they lead the race.

No doubt, you need good leadership to point a (and keep) your goal. I think leadership, ambition and vision are quite related.

Yahoo doesn’t seem to have that ambition/vision/leadership.

First published here