Friday, November 7, 2008

Party like it's 1999!

I can't help but compare and contrast two people at the Web 2.0 Summit. Namely Yahoo's Jerry Yang and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

Jerry's had a bad year - make no bones about it. And after seeing him firsthand, I don't think its going to get any better. Listening to Jerry talk about Yahoo! as a business strikes a deep chord back to the mid to late 90's when Yahoo! was the rage for online communities.

But we're in 2008 and online communities aren't anything like what they were 10 years ago, but not in Jerry's mind. The order of magnitude on how he doesn't "get it" is startling when you think about the size of an organization that be presides over and the dollars involved.

Now take a look at Zuckerberg. He knows his users. He accurately observes what's going on online and understands at a fundamental level where they are, and more importantly, where Facebook (and the rest of the online world) is headed.

I also can't help but draw parallels between Yahoo! and Sun Microsystems. Both have an identity problem and both have leadership that needs to step aside and let a capable experienced leader step in and do triage to try to save the patient.

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