Maybe it’s just time to stick a fork in Yahoo

In an online world that predominately has grown up with Google as the powerhouse brand many may forget that at one time Yahoo held that vaulted spot. Companies like Excite, Alta Vista, InfoSeek all took their turn taking a run at Yahoo’s dominant position. Even Microsoft through its MSN portal tried to take the once mighty Yahoo down and pretty well failed. Then along came Google and everything changed because a series of things were happening right across the web and Yahoo management missed it.

Maybe if it had been a fair fight Yahoo might have survived the struggle for mindshare against Google but this was also the time when Web 2.0 and things like social networking were beginning to rear their head. There was a new web coming and Yahoo management with probably more arrogance than anything else thought that rather than riding the wave of change that they could corral it – bend it to what they wanted.

Unfortunately the wave was bigger than them and they have lost. I can understand the need for someone like Yang who created a once web giant to see it last beyond himself but I just don’t see it happening with Yahoo anymore. I am sure that analysts will have a field day once Yahoo disappears into the bowels of some larger company but right now Yahoo is a defeated company and they know it. As a result like TechWag points out this morning Yahoo is nothing more than a walking bull’s eye

Once a high playing high flying darling, Yahoo seems lost, alone, and quite possibly scared that there might not be that much time to be a major player. They are beset on all sides, not just Google and Microsoft, but by other companies with better leadership and better visions than Yahoo seems to muster. Smaller search engines are all over the internet trying to grow to take on everyone, and Yahoo seems like the easiest target right now.

In the fallout of Google walking away from their deal with Yahoo (like we really didn’t know that wasn’t going to happen) everyone it seems is suggesting that Microsoft might; or should, be lining the company back up in it’s aquisition sights. The problem I have with this is that the idea sucked the first time around and it still sucks now. If anything the value of what Yahoo could bring to Microsoft is even less after all this drama that has been going on.

I definitely don’t agree with Stan Schroder at Mashable when he says

Yahoo definitely pulled the shortest straw here; Microsoft may be a winner, but whether they’re capable of doing something useful with a giant such as Yahoo remains questionable. The real winner is, once again, Google, who interfered just enough to weaken both Microsoft and Yahoo as much as possible with virtually no downside. Well played.

If anything Microsoft may have come away from the original buy-out offer for Yahoo a little stronger. I suggest this because one big problem Microsoft has always had is that it gets easily distracted and Yahoo would have been one big mother of a distraction for the company. By walking away the way they did Microsoft maintained their focus and managed to wound the reputation of Yang and Yahoo at the same time.

At this point I just don’t see what Yahoo would have to offer up to Microsoft other than the braggin rights of taking down their one time web rival. Sure Yahoo has some pretty good web properties in its stable and some interesting stuff in the pipeline but I don’t see anthing there that would make sense for Microsoft spending billions of dollars on to spend the next five years trying to integrate. It would be just a dumb move based more on egos than any sound business moves.

Regardless of Yahoo’s road forward; whether it be merger with some other small smarter company or outright purchase by someone, the best thing that can happen for Yahoo is for Yang to permanently retire and for the entire management team to be replaced. As long as they continue to try and do anything to salvage their personal careers and golden parachutes from the mess that is Yahoo the circling of the toilet will only continue.