And it's about time.
What, you think that just because I work there I can't point out when we were on the wrong track? Ha!
Had I been writing a weblog back in 2000, during the disaster formerly known as "Yahoo Finance Vision" (the expensive and ultimately failed on-line streaming Finance news broadcast experiment) you wouldn't have been able to shut me up about what a massive waste of money I thought it was.
The thing really was a freaking money pit.
However, I'd like to think that we've learned a lesson or two from that and the many other services that Terry Semel helped axe when it was time to make cuts and he was still "the new guy" on the executive team.
If you're offering a service that customers don't want and it's costing you money, you're probably on the wrong track. Give it up.
Now it may just be that your service really sucks, but if that's the case you'd see demand for an improved version rather than a lack of substantial interest.
I think that Finance Vision stuck around as long as it did because some folks thought it was just "ahead of its time" so we simply needed to wait for the rest of the world to catch up with us--or something like that.
The good news is that in this case, Corporate Messenger was conceived, deployed, and killed in a much shorter timeframe. At least I assume it was. For all I know it was conceived back in 1998 and it took a long time before the Powers That Be decided to build it.
In other words, this announcement is good news. It doesn't mean "Yahoo screwed up again." It means that we're still willing to make a gamble here and there but we're also smart enough to realize when they're simply not paying off and not likely to be worth it in the long run. Maybe that's the Semel influence?
I just hope that the folks who worked on it are now on other projects inside the company.
Posted by jzawodn at June 21, 2004 07:41 AM