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November 26, 2006

Sticky Situation

Brad Garlinghouse, a senior VP at web search engine, Yahoo!, recently penned a memo lamenting the company's seeming lack of direction in its widespread acquisitions. The cliche-laden document - eventually nick-named the PEANUT BUTTER MANIFESTO for its frequent allusions to the sandwich shmear - was almost immediately leaked to the Wall Street Journal. While some question whether or not this slip-up was intentional, one thing is for certain: THIS DOCUMENT WILL RAISE MUCH DEBATE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF WEB2.0. The PB Manifesto criticised Yahoo! for being reckless and unfocused in its purchases of smaller, user-oriented startups. The document claimed that Yahoo! was over-diversified and its many subcomponents were actually canablizing one another and hurting the overall corporation. Such views prompt one to wonder: since this was a rather forseeable outcome, why would companies such as Yahoo! go on buying-sprees in the first place? Competition could be one motivator; rivalry with Google and Microsoft could have incited a "take-it-so-they-can't" mentality. Or, the big boys simply may have not appreciated the gaining popularity of the smaller Web2.0 ventures they schooped up (acting somewhat monopolistically in the process).
However, whatever the initial intent of Yahoo's loose purse-strings, a more pressing inquiry might be: what's the plan for the future? Pass the Jelly.

Posted by danepr at November 26, 2006 01:11 AM

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