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29/05/2013 by

Why I Love Twitter And Barely Tolerate Yahoo?

I used to be a die-hard Yahoo fan in the 90s, but now I love Twitter and can barely tolerate Yahoo. What happened to my purple love?

Why I love Twitter And Barely Tolerate Yahoo?

This week Yahoo tried to impress and seduce me one more time.

The company purchased Tumblr for $1.1 billion, rolled out a major update to Flickr and reportedly put in a bid for Hulu.

Serious movement you could say.

But once the true love and trust are gone: dating, fancy dinners and movies cannot bring the love back, I guess?

Yahoo going for PlayerScale & Hulu?

AllThingsD reported earlier this month that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer had met with Hulu executives.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer: what's her why?

But after the company dropped $1.1 billion on micro blogging platform Tumblr and another several million for gaming platform PlayerScale earlier this week, it seemed that the company might not go ahead with its bid for Hulu.

But that appears not to be the case — and even after the Tumblr acquisition, Yahoo has around $4 billion more in cash to spend.

This week AllThingsD and The Atlanctic reported that Yahoo was bidding $600 to $800 million for Hulu. Normally a platform like Hulu should be getting $1,5 to $2 billion.

I am thinking about my break-up with Yahoo. It feels like Marissa Mayer is not the true visionary or strategic leader.

So far, I don’t really like the why she is showing. Same for her public performances and quotes in the media. What’s wrong?

Her first real public storytelling about the “new” Yahoo probably made me lose my last hope. That performance was really disappointing.

Read the story here on ViralBlog. It will make you understand, I hope.

Design Chief Tim Parsey is leaving Yahoo

Revealing the new Yahoo homepage in February 2013 was a true shock to me. But not a positive one. The Mayer “show” gave me a lack of trust. Just a gut feeling or experience?


On top of that gut feeling, this week was announced that Yahoo’s VP of User-Experience & Design Tim Parsey had left Yahoo. He had joined in 2011 and created the “new” Yahoo homepage.

So 2 months ago Mayer was ecstatic about her new homepage. She did her show in a homeshopping alike advertorial on TV.

3 months later their Chief Design resigns? Parsey told The New York Times that “the type of role I feel I’m better at is when I’m able to lead a transition of design at a company, and that job is done at Yahoo.”

“I’m very proud of that,” he added. With this change, we wouldn’t be surprised if Yahoo’s look continued to evolve over the next few months.

How can Parsey say the job is done? When you are truly design obsessed and working in digital: The job is never done!

Buying all kind of “new” companies? Well it does not bring my love for Yahoo back.

Will Yahoo ruin new acquisitions with ads?

I do understand Mayer’s urge for quick wins. Yahoo is in serious need of new revenue streams.


And I do know it was former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel that fully neglected search and paid search. That was not Mayer’s fault.

That Yahoo fired its next CEO Scott Thompson for lying about his resume. Mayer can’t help that.

But Mayer is not showing me strategic power like I see at Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos.

Having an aggressive buying strategy can be good. Certainly if the clock is ticking and shareholders are breathing down your neck.

But Mayer shows a buy, not a make mentality. So how about her intrinsic value as a thought leader? How about Yahoo’s intrinsic value?

Also Mayer’s decision to ban Yahoo employees from working from home, showed a cold personality. Of course Mayer claimed it took on a life of its own and that she never intended it this way.

Not extremely handy, or should I say: pretty clumsy for such a senior leader?

Well, that exact same feeling I had when she presented Yahoo’s new homepage on TV: OMG, how clumsy is this?!

So I am afraid that Yahoo will ruin Tumblr and Hulu with ads. That Mayer has a hit and run playbook.

Mayer’s need for growth and results is so obvious and tangible the way she acts, it scares me a bit.

And Yahoo has a bad reputation when it comes to acquisitions, why will it be better with Mayer?

Big is only good when smart, right?

Why I love Twitter?

Twitter is a young and immature company. Run by a group of very young people.

Sometimes a bit foolish but mostly very refreshing. And how about Twitter CEO Dick Costolo? He is a dedicated and very passionate guy with a clear vision and direction.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo

Costolo and his blue bird certainly reflect a purpose and a belief. Their why is why I fell in love with them.

Twitter is at least trying to add pieces of meaningfulness to our lives. And embracing new things like Social TV.

I do have the feeling that Yahoo gave up on its users, and are 200% in it for their shareholders, not their users and members.

I met Mayer at Google HQ a few times, when she was still working for the search giant in Mountain View.

She felt a bit like a cold, PR-alike woman. Pretty corporate for her age. She did not seem like a very passionate or inspired person.

Maybe that’s why the love is over: I don’t feel Mayer’s why. She seems to have chosen Yahoo for other reasons than passion.

More like a marriage of convenience? Buying to grow profit, not making anything new. And not adding value to users.

It could fit Yahoo. It’s a mature or old company. A company that has been struggling for years. A company with shareholders that Mayer needs to show the money.

But if you look at Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk: Start with why, you will know what I mean by “How great leaders inspire action”.

It probably all starts with being an “inspired” leader.

I do miss Yahoo’s drive for change, disruption and innovation. So far, Mayer hat not shown the power that will fuel that change.

But if Mayer acts like the company’s Chief Revenue Officer, then who is going to be Yahoo’s visionary and inspiring leader?

What About You?
With my arguments on Yahoo and Mayer’s leadership, do you understand my break-up with Yahoo? How do you feel about Yahoo? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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About the Author
Igor Beuker was CMO at 3 listed companies, chairmain at the IAB, jury member at Webby, AMMA and Esprix awards, founder of 2 agencies (sold to WPP) and Global Chief Social Officer at Mindshare. Now he is ‘freejack’ consultant and still a sought after keynote speaker.


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