While Google, Yahoo and Twitter are looking to expand their services into every conceivable area imaginable, Yahoo is going in the other direction as rumors swirl regarding the company shutting down social sharing site Delicious. It is fascinating really and it shows how companies with positive momentum seem to be able achieve anything and those with negative momentum have an incredible battle when they compete on the Internet.
As InformationWeek recently reported, a leaked internal slide from a Yahoo presentation shows the company was targeting AltaVista, Delicious and other services for elimination. The news spread like wildfire. For example, The San Jose Mercury News posed the question regarding Yahoo closing down Del.icio.us and referred to an article from Michael Arrington exclaiming that Yahoo has hit rock bottom. Perhaps the best summary of what is going on was summed up by The San Francisco Chronicle headline explaining the Internet has freaked out over Yahoo killing Delicious.
Others took a different approach – ferreting out Delicious alternatives. GigaOm for example has five to consider including Licorize, Pinboard.in, Diigo and Evernote.
Last night I tweeted an article from TechCrunch about Yahoo killing consumer confidence in them and Microsoft’s Richard Sprague concurred, including his thoughts about him dumping Flickr.
At the height of the controversy, Yahoo responded today, explaining that they aren’t planning to shut the service down but they are looking to potentially sell it. Sounds like an auction to me.
Yahoo is in an incredible position, owning so many valuable services but they lack vision, focus, execution and innovation. They have massive negative momentum and are losing key execs.
My sense is that spinning off a social networking/bookmarking site like Delicious when this sort of service is what others are trying to emulate is incredibly illogical.
What it proves however is the company is just too large to manage and current management has to reduce the size of the company to get a grip on it all.
But this negative PR circulating through the Internet further damages a brand which is already beaten up pretty badly. This Delicious mess is a problem Yahoo just doesn’t need.
Other than bringing in a new CEO with a new strategy it is difficult to see how they can turn this ship around.