I’ve been reading lots of stories about Yahoo! vs. Google. No doubt the Clash of the Titans saga makes for good copy, and yes, of course there are folks within Yahoo who are fixated on Google.
But as yesterday’s earnings results show, Yahoo! is a lot more than search. I don’t sit in on other BUs strategy meetings, but I suspect they track the likes of Electronic Arts, Apple & Napster, AOL IM, eBay & Amazon, NBC & CNN, Hotmail, MSN, CNET, Monster, Match.com etc. — in these meetings, I bet Google doesn’t show up on the radar, or is a small blip at best.
Not long ago, Yahoo wasn’t in the search business. The depth and breadth of the offering a couple dozen months later, the favorable impression in the community, and the rapid innovation coming out of Yahoo Search is a testament to the people brought in to deliver on an executive vision. It wasn’t about competing with anyone, it was about becoming a major player in an important space. Now I see that same executive focus on data. I wasn’t at Yahoo two years ago, but I heard stories. In fact about a year ago, one of the employees inside Yahoo told me I should stay far away from “the data group” as it was a morass of confusion. A year later there are a lot of changes in the data group, largely driven by the same executive team that decided we needed to invest in search. It’s both energizing and draining to be a part of those changes.
SDS doesn’t directly compete with the data groups from the companies that Yahoo BUs compete with. But with the influx of folks from those other companies to Yahoo, when we visit them and tell them what we can offer them today and what the roadmap looks like, there’s universal feedback that SDS has a compelling story relative to the businesses they just came from – a roadmap that will allow all the BUs to run their businesses on data-driven analytics and insights. That’s why I keep going to work.