The Internet changes nothing – Yahoo!

Claims business plan hasn't changed since 1995

Does Yahoo! understand the interests of a business audience. Not a lot judging from CEO Tim Koogle's dull performance at the European IT Forum in Paris. It was less than riveting to hear how Yahoo! had continued to follow its original business plan and strategy from the days of six employees in 1995. Did we believe that? Not a word of it. History always gets to be written by the victors. Perhaps this was another retrofit to show how great the foresight of the founders had been. Koogle summarised Yahoo!'s position as one where "the model seems to be working, but the company needs some close management". Of course. There were some Yahoo numbers: an 80 million plus audience, 65 million unique registrations, 310 million page views/day (in June 1999), 19 international Yahoos in 10 languages, but (just) 33 per cent of the traffic was non-US. Yahoo'!s acquisitions were profitable in just two quarters, the whizz ex-kid said, and its revenue was increasing better than linearly. In response to a question, Koogle agreed that there was no single element that enabled Yahoo to keep ahead of competitors, but being an early mover had probably helped quite a bit. He had a number of bottom lines, and a good store of off the shelf cliches. Yahoo! "changes the way people live and work" and "Do you Yahoo?". Yuck. No. ®

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