Jerry Yang is taking over as CEO of Yahoo, a move that I think is brilliant. I first met Jerry back in 95 or 96 in Silicon Alley and he was clearly a bright guy. 12 years later, having run Yahoo with multiple management teams, it seems only fitting that he run the show.
What this move shows is that–like Facebook, Apple, and Google–the founders are often times the best folks to run the business. Wall Street and investors are too caught up in the “professional CEO” who knows how to “talk to Wall Street” and get deals done. The fact is our business is about one thing: product.
That’s it. Product wins… nothing else.
Google has better product than Yahoo, Yahoo has better product than Microsoft. The peeking order is based on product on the internet because switching costs are zero. Users go to the best product… it is that simple. Really.
Example: Google search is clearly the best, Yahoo’s is second best. After that you can pick and choose the next three players (MSN, Ask, AOL) since their products are not any better than the first two.
Jerry should rebuild the management team to focus on product and forget about hitting numbers for a year or two. The focus has to be on making better products than Google–not an easy task.
If you build great product everything else falls into place.
Go get ‘em Jerry!!!