Yahoo the original social network?

I few days ago I interviewed a person for a job, she worked at yahoo, developing a game for Yahoo’s lab. I thought to myself, why the hell is yahoo’s lab working on games. Don’t they understand their situation? Don’t they have a sense of urgency and focus. Then I hear the announcement about Marisa Mayers

What’s a social network, place to share stories, share photos, read what others are doing, comment, chat, store profile info. hmmm, looks like Yahoo was a social network before we knew what a social network was, and AOL before them. The problem with Yahoo is, it did not realize it, appreciate it, or leverage it. It was off doing what google was doing which was everything and not focusing not its core business.  Google seems to be regaining focus but its a big ship, now.

So here is a list of relatively simple things that yahoo can do to save its ass. Yahoo has to go all in, stop sitting on the sideline, and show the world it mean business. to do it it need to reclaim the Social Network primacy.

  1. Create a new “Yahoo” share button, every website has a Facebook, twitter and now even a Google+ buttons and some have an endless list of also rans.
  2. Create a utility to import everyones Facebook friends and feeds, photos, gmail, mac.com mail etc
  3. Re-design the my.yahoo page to be more like Google+ (not Facebook) keep the news, but add a personal news stream. yahoo chat stream, flickr stream
  4. Create killer,iphone, ipad and android apps
  5. Fix the security problem in yahoo mail
  6. Create the Yahoo cloud for online storage
  7. Announce to the world, that its a new day at yahoo

None of these are  terribly technically challenging for a company in Silicon Valley, the talent is there, all they need it “the will” to change course and then the stay on course. Only time will tell if Yahoo can become relevant again.  Social Networks come and go, it Yahoo’s choice if it wants to be a footnote in the history of the internet.

Marisa Mayers has her hands full, changing yahoo won’t be easy, which reminds of an old joke.

How may psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

One, but the light bulb has to want to change.

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