Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Yahoo! ship is rudderless

... and that might not be the good news that everyone thinks it is. I don't think it is a coincidence that both Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Finance have had outages during core business hours today. These are the only 2 services of Yahoo! I use on a daily basis so I can only speak to their reliability; I wouldn't be surprised if there were outages in other Yahoo! services.

It's a sad day because Yahoo! was an Internet stalwart pioneer, a company that defined what it was to build a true Internet portal. I might be wrong in my analysis here but had Yahoo! not offered so many services for free, the Internet wouldn't have been adopted the way it has been. Yahoo! set the standard for free services, a model that was either replicated by new entrants into the fray or forcibly adopted by established players that charged fees for similar offerings. Creating a market for free services was both Yahoo!'s biggest strength, and in my opinion, the biggest reason for its downfall. With Internet advertising on the downward trend, Yahoo! is seriously strapped for cash. That it can't keep pace with Google's innovation engine is just the 1-2 punch that meant just one thing - "lights out".

Good thing Microsoft never acquired the ailing giant.

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