I was really pleased to see Yahoo! make a public statement about some of the work going on internally to transform the way the company operates and the resulting changes in the product line. As Cody Simms added in his blog post on YDN:
“We’re moving from a model in which each Yahoo! property develops much of its own technology to one where we share common data and frameworks that can be easily surfaced across multiple Yahoo! properties and off the Yahoo.com network. It’s a major rewiring of Yahoo!. “
Here’s the video of Yahoo! CTO Ari Balogh’s keynote at Web 2.0 Expo:
Now, there wasn’t a lot of time in Ari’s presentation. That meant that he had to focus and left out some important pieces, in my mind.
First, he definitely understated the cluefulness the company has shown with things like Fire Eagle, MyBlogLog, Y! Live, OpenID and Hadoop support, Pipes, YUI and, of course, Flickr, to name a few. Yahoo! has innovated around openness and Internet services for a long time. The company needs to be proud of those things and recognize that the advances on these small teams really matter. In fact, it’s those types of advances that I find most compelling in Yahoo!’s arsenal as opposed to the things that help me “get distribution on Yahoo!’s monumentally popular properties”.
I was also a little disappointed that Ari didn’t at least touch on how the company intends to serve the wider Internet and all the activity happening outside of yahoo.com. There are a lot of ways everyone benefits from Yahoo!’s data, tools and services wherever those things are used, but he focused exclusively on what happens on yahoo.com.
Lastly, it would have been nice to hear about how developers can benefit from Yahoo!’s ad platform or to hear whatever other ways they can build businesses in the Yahoo! ecosystem. All things considered, I think that was a forgivable omission. I hope they don’t take too long to answer that question, though.
My criticisms here are purely driven by my desire to see Yahoo! win. Again, I know there’s some great stuff happening there, and I love seeing the company stand up and speak with confidence about its future. It should do more of that.
I’m looking forward to seeing all this unfold in the coming months. Well done, Yahoo!.
Step 1: Define vision. done
Step 2: Make it so.