The rise and fall of Yahoo

Posted Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016 by Jeff Safire

Poor Yahoo! This makes me a little sad. I remember seeing the Yahoo! portal sometime in early ’95 (I think) and just could not believe my eyes. I thought it was a beautiful thing and a great new technology (not so much, really) – even with all of the mostly plain-text links. But, there was so much information available from one screen! This was going to be awesome. Well, as it turned out, it was in fact quite awesome for some time, until Google showed up. Anyway, I purchased a small amount of stock from the Yahoo! IPO and sold it about 3 weeks later at a pretty nice profit. But, alas, all – well at least, most – good things must come to an end. Although, I don’t see why. The following article, although far from complete in some areas, is a decent overview of what Yahoo! was able to accomplish, and then what happened.

Yahoo-logo

The rise and fall of Yahoo

By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols for Between the Lines / ZDNet

There was a time when Yahoo was the internet company that Google is now.
What happened?

In the 2000 movie Frequency, a cross-time ham radio link connects father and son across 30 years. Along the way, our present day hero tells his childhood friend, “I want you to remember this word, OK? It’s kind of like a code word: Yahoo. Can you remember that?” His friend does, and because he invested in Yahoo, he becomes filthy rich. That was then. This is now.

By December 1999, Yahoo stock was peaking at about $500 a share, or just over $108 a share after splitting. It was a monster company. Now, Verizon is buying Yahoo for the bargain basement price of $4.83bn in cash. Spoiler alert: I think they’re over-paying.

What happened?

When Stanford University students Jerry Yang and David Filo created the proto-Yahoo in 1994 as “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web,” it had no real competition. Yahoo rapidly became the search guide to the still-new web. By 1996, it had competition in the first, successful early search engines, Alta Vista and Excite, but they never came close to challenging Yahoo.

How did Yahoo do it? By investing in its web portal and, later, its search engine technology.

Read full article…

 


1 Comment

  1. User AvatarKim Parnell

    I think there are a lot of valid points in this article. It seems like Yahoo really reached too far when they had the $35 per share offer from Microsoft and Jerry Yang nixed it. Yahoo really went down from there. Maybe if they brought in a CEO like Marissa Mayer at that time, maybe it could have been salvaged.