Dismal Yahoo News Of The Day and The Power Of A Name

The Layoffs have Started.  Meanwhile, Yahoo is countersuing.

Honestly, I can’t see any reason for Yahoo to continue as anything else.  Their refocusing doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, I don’t see a plan, and I can imagine they’ve annoyed the bejezus out of people with the lawsuit.  What’s left?

However I’d add this – even if Yahoo does have a plan, a winning strategy, something that will work, there’s one barrier that really is holding them back.

The name.

Yahoo used to be cool.  It used to be a big thing.  Then they slipped, and everyone else came in and, well . . . you know the rest.  Yahoo is now laying people off and suing other successful companies, and people are just feeling sort of angry/sorry for them.

The name Yahoo now means “failure” (and a rather drawn-out, lashing-out failure at that).  There’s little chance Yahoo can get over that.

So, oddly, I think Yahoo’s best chance, whatever their other plan, is to acquire/partner up with some others and form a newly-named business to get the hell away from their name.  That may be enough psychological boost – and a good branding exercise – to help good plans be realized.

That requires good plans, but even they will have to overcome the name problem . . .

Steven Savage

(Oh, and I maintain my “only apply with the utmost caution to Yahoo” stance.)


Really. Yahoo is suing Facebook

No, I’m not kidding.  I’d heard rumors of this coming, but there you go.

It seems incredibly obvious with the timing (and past history) that this is an attempt to get a settlement out of Facebook to give them some cash.  However reactions I’ve seen across the net are mostly “what a load.”

For Facebook, well, they’ll weather this (they have other problems).  For Yahoo this looks incredibly pathetic (and a repeat of their suit against Google), and breaks a kind of unwritten rule among web companies of “don’t sue over this.”  They’re going to loose a lot of sympathy over this.

Also, frankly, the patents don’t seem to be very defendable because they’re rather general (though the linked analysis seems a bit off) and look like the kind of things Yahoo could sue enormous amounts of companies over.  Some good lawyers could probably take this thing apart fast.

This is humiliating for Yahoo, and smells of desperation to me – they’re resorting to patent trolling.  Sure they might win – or they might get smashed while everyone else looks on and applauds.  But they’re making a lot of people angry.

If they’re resorting to this level of action to raise money, I’m going to say take Yahoo OFF your to-work for list.  I think they may be in worse trouble than we thought.

Steven Savage

– Steven Savage

Frustration Friday: Lawsuits From The Sweet Spot

Frustration Friday: Lawsuits from the Sweet Spot

So, as usual we hear about various lawsuits in IT this week.  Ironically I could be writing this column any week in the past decade and you could be nodding your head.  For that matter, for all you know I wrote this column two years ago – and I'm still right.

So, anyway, the usual IT lawsuits are flying about, it seems like there's quite an extensive web of them, especially in mobile IT as of late.  This company sues that company over patents, this company sues another, etc.  It's like a very strange game of tag, where everyone gets to be it.

Now it's too easy to dismiss these lawsuits as being about greed, stupidity, or both, but I'd like to suggest that we keep another reason for the constant Technical Law Suit Tsunamis that we progeeks see and wring our hands over.

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