Sorry for switching to english again, but it will be just for this post, as I want Yahoo! to be able to read it.
Background: I used to be a Yahoo! employee during 2007 (Mexico's Business Development Director) and I was a Yahoo! mail/finance/front page/ myYahoo!/ sports/ Delicious/ Flickr and other properties user since long time ago....
Google Buzz is having a lot of attention and I should admit I have been readying and playing with it and so far I do not have a strong opinion about it. I do not know if it is going to be the next big thing or the next big forgotten thing in some months (like Wave, which maybe will comeback in some months and I think it is awesome), but when I first saw and played with Buzz and then I started to see comments and articles, like the ones from Jason Calacanis.... in where he suggest Buzz is better than Facebook and Twitter... I started to remember with disappointment again to my dear Yahoo!
Buzz can not be the next Facebook very soon, as it is embedded into Gmail, which is good for the current users, but Gmail it is not the leader on web mail or even e-mail, so when we think in all the Buzz potential to be adopted very fast by a lot of users... that sounds like a relative reality, because it will be adopted by just a % of the current Gmail users, who are less than 15% (maybe more in reacent months, but not too much) of the e-mail users...
I do not want to write about Buzz and if it is good or not, but I like to talk about Yahoo! Their #1 property is Yahoo! Mail and 2 years ago they started to talk about their plans to make it more social (like Buzz) and nothing big really has happened.... As usual Yahoo! is slow, slow, slow and unfocused.
Here you have a Jerry Yang's video (from CES 2008) in where he describes how mail would be evolving to something more social... some of the things that he presented are now part of Y! Mail but NOT ALL OF THEM, NOT THE INTERESTING ONES and that is Yahoo! they do not evolve from that hypothesis, they do not even implemented ALL the ideas! where is my all messages monitor? or my friends comments on other social networks? or the map to browse my friends' local status? if these features are already there, why do not know about it, why there is no buzz!!!!! on it?
The thing with Yahoo!, to me, is that they become too much afraid. They do not risk. I work now for a Pharmaceutical company who is faster developing and implementing IT and digital marketing initiatives than Yahoo! and I say this based on experience in both companies. Yahoo! became too complex losing their capability to innovate. They can deliver new experiences to more than 500 million users and they let others to do so. I like to have new alternatives from start up companies, I believe a big chunk of innovation comes from them, but the R&D department inside Yahoo! (or at least the R&D practices) is good, but we do not see their efforts very often because they keep testing and testing and testing and testing, trying to avoid risks... well now their risk management process became their own new risk!!!!!
be faster, give us an alternative on Yahoo! mail! finish what you promised 2 years ago (and not just with Yahoo! mail) do not invest in fancy campaigns just be more like a start up and less slow than a turtle, that is why all your users (like me) uses every day less and less Yahoo! products.
I wrote all of this with an honest feeling about Yahoo! I really respect what the brand achieved. We can talk a lot about how they do things wrong, but they still are the #2 destination on the world.
They just do not get it. They are loosing every day more and more and that is because of them, not because Google or Facebook or anyone else.
The learnings to me are:
1.- we have to minimize risks but we should not stop risking, we NEED to risk in order to win
2.- be fast, fast, fast and good, good, good
Thanks and let me know what you thinkg