There are currently more than 140 search engines in the world of the Internet. But far from using them, how many do we know? Most people know Google as a search engine, but those who have a long association with the Internet and have been using the search engine for a long time will want to keep Yahoo alongside Google. Because this search engine once ruled the world of the net.
In 2005, Yahoo was one of the most popular websites in the world. Just as we use Google Mail or Gmail today, most people used Yahoo Mail back then. Yahoo Mail also topped the list for a few days in 2011. But gradually Google seemed to snatch everything from Yahoo. Finally, in July 2016, Yahoo agreed to sell its core business to US telecommunications company Verizon for 4.46 billion. Forbes author Brian Solomon called the deal one of the saddest in the technology world.
We may all witness the fall of Yahoo, but little is known about its glorious days. Let’s find out now.
History of the beginning
Yahoo began its journey in 1994 with the help of two Stanford University electrical engineers, David Filo and Jerry Young. But in the beginning the name was not Yahoo. David and Jerry named their website “David and Jerry’s guide to the World Wide Web”. The website was renamed Yahoo in March 1994. At that time the whole internet world was scattered. So the main purpose of creating the website was to create a directory of websites like telephone directory. At the time, the website of two new graduates was one of the biggest efforts in the technology world.
Despite its lack of recognition on the World Wide Web, Yahoo quickly gained popularity in the 1990s. When Yahoo first made a public offering in 1997, it was valued at about মিল 900 million. Yahoo! Over the next two years, the company’s stock rose about 600 percent. By mid-1997, Yahoo had added a variety of services, including email, shopping, games, traveling, maps, weather, and online magazines.
Shares of Yahoo rose to বিল 40 billion that year. Yahoo started its journey at the speed of a storm. The company soon made it to the top of the technology market by providing search engines and free email services. But even then Google has not started its journey, no one could have imagined that the day of black shadow is ahead.
Yahoo’s times were like waves – sometimes up and sometimes down. In 2000, Yahoo’s total value stood at বিল 125 billion, the highest in the company’s history. Soon after, the dot com sites started gaining immense popularity by rushing and the prices also increased tremendously. This is called dot com crash or dot com bubble. The value of Yahoo is slowly declining due to the high price of these sites. In just two years, it dropped from 125 billion in 2002 to 10 billion, a shadow of past glory.
The idea of the services we receive today, such as YouTube and Facebook, was born out of Yahoo. Broadcast.com was a platform similar to YouTube, which later became known as Yahoo TV. There was also Flickr like Instagram, Yahoo Notebook like Evernote and Yahoo Music was Spotify at that time. But where did they get lost?
Mountains of wrong decisions
There may be various theories behind Yahoo’s downfall, but everyone will agree that Yahoo’s decisions were grossly flawed. Yahoo’s mistake is also responsible for Google’s position today.
In 1997, two Stanford PhD students went to Yahoo to sell their algorithms. Yahoo didn’t think it was reasonable to buy that algorithm for 1 million. Who were those two young men? Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Thanks to the pagerdank algorithm they created, today we get the desired thing as soon as we type a word in Google.
Larry and Sergei offered to sell Google to Yahoo even after Google was well established. However, the then CEO of Yahoo Terry Semel did not take it seriously. When he wanted to give his consent, the price of Google has increased to 5 billion dollars!
Around that time, a 22-year-old man who turned down Yahoo’s offer was Mark Zuckerberg. Yahoo wanted to buy Facebook for 1 billion, but Zuckerberg refused.
Not only sound education but his alertness and dedication too are most required. In 2008, Microsoft expressed interest in buying Yahoo for 44.6 billion, much higher than its current value. But then that too was rejected.
In 1999, Yahoo signed two famous acquisition deals, two of the worst in the history of technology. One is Geocities, and the other is Broadcast.com.
At the time, Geocities was the third most browsed site in the Internet world. In 1999, Yahoo bought Geocity for ৭ 3.6 billion. This allowed users to create their own homepages on the Internet. Due to lack of proper management and innovation, it gradually lost its users and was discontinued in 2009.
In the same year, Yahoo bought online video streaming service Broadcast for ৭ 5.7 billion. Yahoo later launched a separate music and video service from Broadcast. The internet at that time was very slow for video streaming. Arguably, the broadcast was ahead of its time. Although Yahoo could not manage properly, the founder of the broadcast, Mark Cuban, made a name for himself.
In 2005, Yahoo bought photo-sharing site Flickr for 30 million. They tried to turn it into a social media site but failed due to poor management. The main concern was how to survive without innovation. In the same year, Yahoo bought a 40 percent stake in Alibaba. This later saved Yahoo from bankruptcy, and the current value of this percentage is about ৫০ 50 billion.
But why did so many failures surround Yahoo? Because no CEO of Yahoo was ideal. From the beginning, no one had a clear idea of how the company would be run. They were not a search company, nor a tech company. Yahoo was a media company that had technology to make a profit. Employees besides the CEO are responsible for the failure. Yahoo was full of unskilled workers. As a result, they have not been able to innovate in any sector. As of 2015, Yahoo had acquired 114 companies, none of which had returned their glory.
Former Google employee Melissa Meyer was appointed CEO of Yahoo in 2012. This is the only one in the history of Yahoo that could bring the company back. But it was too late for Melissa to arrive. Melissa also failed to give proper direction to the company that lost everything, and finally Yahoo’s internet business ended in 2016 and Altaba.Inc was formed with the rest of the company.
Yahoo is a real example of a billion-dollar company that could collapse if it doesn’t keep up with the flow of technology. What Philo and Young have created is undoubtedly worthy of praise, but they have not managed Yahoo properly. Wrong decisions and mismanagement have ruined Yahoo’s existence. The wrong steps taken by Yahoo will be instructive for any technology company.