I'm reading RSS feeds for the first time in over a day and just came across Yahoo Emerges From Dot-Com Gloom which seems to do a good job of summarizing the highs and lows from the last few years at Yahoo. Yeah, it's a bit dramatic in places ("After a mortifying two-year slump") but pretty good overall.
Well, it was good right up until the end when I read this.
Yahoo's early $10 million investment in Google is likely to be worth hundreds of millions if, as expected, the online search leader goes public this year. Semel says he hasn't decided if Yahoo will sell the stock to help finance its own future expansion.
"I haven't given much thought to Google's IPO," he said. "We've been too busy taking advantage of all our opportunities around here."
Oh, please. How stupid does he think people are? I don't doubt that people at Yahoo have been busy. I see it every day. But the bit about not giving Google's IPO much thought really sets of my bullshit detector.
Let's think about this. One of Google's main competitive assets right now is the fact that it's private. They don't have to tell anyone jack shit about their revenue streams. Yahoo's management has to make guesses. Yes, they're educated guesses, but they're still guesses.
Going public changes all that. Google then has to publicly report certain financial data every single quarter. Do you expect me to believe that the folks at the top of Yahoo aren't dying to see those numbers?
In fact, as a shareholder maybe that should set of warning signs. When a company is too busy to even pay much attention to one of their competitor's most important financial events, should you start to wonder even a bit?
Posted by jzawodn at January 16, 2004 12:41 AM