Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Yahoo! loses it The IT industry has pinned its hopes on broadband and (foolishly) hopes that exclusive content will be what drives adoption. Yahoo! has hired former Hollywood exec, Terry Semel, to lead their new broadband effort which will focus on compelling content to get people to sign up.

I am very pessimistic.

Online, how a site feels is more important than how it looks, and Yahoo! was always had fast, simple designs that worked. Unfortunately they decided their real customers were advertisers, and so, as cash became tight, cluttered up their previously slick pages with annoying banners. It looks like they've resolved to clean up that inconsistency by abandoning page speed altogether and embracing media-centric slow pages in the beleif that inflicting pain on low-bandwidth users will get them to upgrade to broadband, just to make the badness stop.

The one thing that is (sort of) right is the renewed focus on selling services to end users, who were always their *real* customers. Unfortunately, Yahoo! seems to think that "rich, compelling media" is what they need to sell instead of good experiences that serve customer needs. And this notion that people aren't buying broadband because there's no good content for it is flat out wrong. Broadband growth was over 90% last year and as prices fall further, more people will sign up.


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