Location, Location, Location
It makes sense that Yahoo! got started in Silicon Valley, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best place for its future.
Compared to newer powerhouse social and search giants in Silicon Valley, Yahoo! seems faded and out of place. The bold act of picking up and moving to New York City could cast Yahoo! in the completely different light of a comparatively nascent and powerful player in the media capital of the world. Plus, I love the idea of Yahoo!'s new CEO, Marissa Mayer, making such an audacious move.
The New York Times Company has a market cap less than two billion dollars. Yahoo! Inc. has a market cap over eighteen billion dollars. A geography change would instantly make Yahoo! look dominant. If the company stays in Silicon Valley and continues to be compared to Google Inc. with its market cap over two hundred and thirty billion dollars, they seem tiny, slow, and out of touch.
A recent article by Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times highlighted the fact that, “When tech meant only hardware and chips, Silicon Valley, home to Stanford’s computer science department and large swaths of land for big factories, was the obvious epicenter. But today, a new tech company is more likely to be in retail, media or advertising—all industries based in New York.”
The silicon part of Silicon Valley is becoming a commodity. Internet startups don’t have the same personal relationship with their servers they used to. Media, retail, finance, and fashion companies that don’t necessarily consider themselves Internet companies are, more and more, being built on the Internet. The talent in those industries is more likely to be found near New York City.
Public information on Marissa Mayer paints her as a perfect fit for the elite, fast-moving, and powerful media moguls of Manhattan. Mayer is the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company, she’s already on the board of the Cooper–Hewitt National Design Museum (which is based in New York City), the New York City Ballet, and from what I understand, she’s very interested in the fashion world.
So there you have it, my wacky idea for a major shakeup. When I told Ev this idea a few hours ago he said, “You should put that on Medium. It’s not going to happen, but it might make a good meme.” Nevertheless, I like big, bold moves and Yahoo! seems like it could really benefit from one these days. It’d be really difficult, but Marissa Mayer seems like the type of person who could pull it off.