Yahoo On Buying Spree?

Well that’s the prediction at All Things D.  With $4 billion from the AliBaba sale, a desire to turn things around, and a company in desperate need of not being a disaster, this seems like a good way for Marissa Mayer to go.

It’s not like Yahoo hasn’t bought things before.  However, I think at this time this is extremely logical – and something to watch for.

Yahoo can’t survive being Google light.  Yahoo has been squeezed in a lot of spaces.  What it can do is buy other companies, innovate internally, and cut projects/sell off projects that aren’t working.  The first two seem to be Mayer’s MO especially, and I’m sure no one at Yahoo will have trouble with the latter.

Besides, if action happens around Yahoo the board and stockholders will probably be pretty happy since something is happening.  So I don’t expect them to get antsy.

Regarding innovating internally, I’m sure that’ll happen.  Mayer was involved in a lot of projects at Yahoo that are well regarded, including Gmail.  I hear good buzz here in the valley. But as for buying . . .

It’s actually a perfect time.  VC is a bit of an erratic game, I’m sure IPOs don’t look as appealing after Facebook and Zynga.  There’s also legions of smart, innovative, and interesting companies out there, and it’s a time of change and transition.

So what does this mean for you?

If you’re at a likely buyout target (and I confess figuring out what that may be is a bit of a poster), keep an eye on the situation, you may be surprised.

Target or not, see what Yahoo does purchase, as we can probably discern a strategy from it.  That can give you an idea of what may happen to you, to them, and new opportunities.

A riches-to-rags-to-riches story with Yahoo could be a kick in the pants to IT, and bring investors and money further forward to other companies.  WIll it be wisely invested is another question, but hey . . .

Yahoo tossing money around and evolving and changing will probably upset and disturb a few competitors (which we won’t necessarily be able to identify until we see what they’re up to).  Yahoo may disrupt a few strategies.

So a lot of money to toss around.  What’s going to happen . . .

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach for professional and potentially professional geeks, fans, and otaku. He can be reached at

Executive Shuffles In Techworld?

We know yahoo has a new CEO, who I’m guessing wouldn’t take the job if she didn’t have a plan.

Netflix has a new CMO.

THQ has a new VP of Production.

I’m smelling a lot of executive shuffling right now.  OK actually I’m seeing it since news doesn’t smell like much of anything, but you get the idea.

Now all these companies have had their ups and downs, even Netflix (which causes their own problems).  But three big changes at three companies in this short time . . . makes me think that they (and probably others) are gearing up for big things, or hopeful big things.  You don’t make some of these changes without planning to MAKE changes.

So this is your friendly progeek’s nudge to keep an eye on these companies and see wht happens – and to look for other exeuctive shuffles.  If this is a trend, we may be seeing a lot of changes in tech . . . which, come to think of it, I’m expecting.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach for professional and potentially professional geeks, fans, and otaku. He can be reached at




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.)