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finally came to terms with the sobering truth: they were the Nickelback of tech. And just as Nickelback fans ultimately abandon them for the Foo Fighters, most of Yahoo’s users have slowly osmosed over to Google. With private messaging, a common area to chat with and meet new people, and personal profiles, Yahoo had a sort of Web 1.0 social network in the early 2000s.
Hand in hand with this revelation came their humiliating sale to Verizon for .5 billion. Any other company might have parlayed this into a cornerstone of their success, but Yahoo, a languid “media company” run by suits and overflowing with what Paul Graham bluntly calls “bad programmers”, ran Yahoo Messenger and Chat into the ground.
Their zany escapade lasted until the Web became too big to fit in a phonebook, at which point they immediately started flailing helplessly while their fortune disintegrated.
Yahoo was the Powerball winner who blew their fortune on drugs, hookers, and a surplus Cambodian Air Force Mi G-21, and ended up so deep in the hole, they were reduced to giving rimjobs for crack money.
Mayer’s depredations chased off Tumblr’s homegrown leadership and talent leaving more Yahoo schmucks in charge of the gutted acquisition.
The company failed to hit the made-up 0 million goal in any year, and Tumblr’s stock dropped by a quarter of its value.
The story of Yahoo Messenger was not a unique one in Yahoo’s sordid history.
Flickr was equally ahead of its time in social media, but once it was acquired, Yahoo forced their users to obtain Yahoo accounts and did precisely nothing to actually benefit the product. us, as it was once known, was a site where users could publicly bookmark pages they liked, and you could see which pages had the most bookmarks.
The mass exodus left the once happening Tumblr as little more than an insular echo chamber of fragile twentysomething social justice warriors, and as much a punchline in cyberculture as My Space once was. We can talk about the lousy programmers who couldn’t code their way out of a paper bag, but who hired them?Unlike Yahoo, Tumblr was wildly popular and culturally relevant, even a little dangerous with its adult content. Mayer kept her “hands off” promise for about a year before Yahooing the hell out of Tumblr.It was an injection of young and hip into the company’s frankly embarrassing demographic. Yahoo had finally found itself and joined the world of social, for real. First she forced the oil-and-water Yahoo and Tumblr sales teams to work together selling crappy top-down content for a neutered version of Tumblr referred to as “digital magazines”.The last and perhaps most acrimonious of Yahoo’s monumental fuck-ups is Tumblr.The 2013 acquisition was the brainchild of the can-do-no-wrong Marissa Mayer and promised to finally give Yahoo the social network it needed.