Uber search-chick Kaila posted this, discusing the potential or otherwise of Yahoo out-sourcing search to Google.

I replied thus;

Yahoo outsourcing search to Google is a tacit acceptance of the fact that Google is better at it than everyone else. It also, as you point out Kaila, begs the “well why are we in business” question.


While Yahoo is a behemoth that seems to be failing strategy 101, we can turn this around. If Yahoo had the strategic nous of the Google boys – they’d accept that their prvious core business had died in the ditch. They’d also realise that they can’t cut search out of the business model anytime soon or anytime fast. What they can do is outsouce search to give business continuity, and create a new, but somewhat connected, business model in a space that the competition aren’t aready creaming.

The competition is creaming desktop office apps, smart move is to do office apps in the clouds. The competition is moving manufacturing to China, smart move is to find a niche you can continue to manufacture locally. The big boys are creaming search, smart move is to invent something that adds value to that search (and lock it up tight so the big boys can’t steal your thunder)

Jerry Yang if you need help with some trategic consultancy, just give me a call, you know where to find me…..

This entire debate reinforces for me why Google is great. Sure they’ve got great algorithms (I had to say that or Falafulu Fisi would hound me!), sure they’ve got some fantastic developers but most importantly – they understand strategy – backwards, forwards and inside out.

I keep saying it – a mediocre technology product with great business accumen will always, always outperform a kiler app exectued with poor busines skills.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Ben said…
    they understand strategy – backwards, forwards and inside out.


  • Thanks FF!

  • Ben,

    [This comment also appears on my blog in response to your original comment.]

    ‘Uber search-chick’? I’m so flattered! And I love your sales pitch — Yang would be a fool to say no!

    You said, “a mediocre technology product with great business accumen will always, always outperform a killer app executed with poor business skills.”

    Marc Andreessen says “…market is the most important factor in a startup’s success or failure… In a great market — a market with lots of real potential customers — the market pulls product out of the startup… Conversely, in a terrible market, you can have the best product in the world and an absolutely killer team, and it doesn’t matter — you’re going to fail.”

    What do you think about that?

  • I think it is a very lucky business indeed that can stumble upon a space so empty that bad execution still creates a success.

    Not impossible but very rare.

    Let’s work on marrying good ideas with a good market space and great business execution…

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