Yahoo: Bet Big, or Die

16 Jan 2012 Sandeep Mehta

Recently Yahoo appointed a new CEO (Tim Morse).  Here are some suggestions to Yahoo from Knowledge@Wharton  in The ‘Morse Code’ at Yahoo: Bet Big, or Die: “

Hosanagar suggests that Yahoo should go back to its roots in media products. “It needs to come out with a new compelling product that is not an effort to catch up with Google or Facebook or anyone else, but instead is revolutionary. It should think about how to create that culture of innovation within and find that spark that resulted in Yahoo being formed in the first place.” Efforts to catch up or beat Google at search or email, or to compete with Facebook in social marketing, “will be misguided,” he notes. ” Just like Nokia, the challenge is in developing new products.

Interesting! Just like Nokia, the answer to Yahoo’s trouble is also in getting innovation to market through effective R&D.

Hosanagar notes that Bartz seemed focused on financial and organizational re-engineering. That “was fine to an extent … but she never successfully positioned herself as an innovative CEO who is seeking to bring new products and services to consumers.”

Furthermore, just as in case of Nokia, the resources and R&D teams are in place. Effective R&D management remains the most important challenge.

Morse has sufficient momentum to build on, says Werbach, pointing to Yahoo’s “valuable assets, lots of users and some very talented people.”

The mangers need to come up with a vision and challenge the R& D team to innovate.

Yahoo needs to find a strong future strategy if it wants to remain an independent company, he adds. “The very few large tech companies that have successfully turned around [such as IBM and Apple] had long-term visions that played to their unique strengths.”

However, this is very hard to do.  I wish them luck…

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