I've had several folks ask me what I think of Google Finance. There's already a fair amount of good commentary out there on the topic (Bambi, TBAiT, Charlene, Matt, Publishing 2.0, Blodget, and others), so I'm going to answer this in a different way.
Warning: This is long and not terribly flattering stuff that's been under mild pressure for a few years now.
You see, I started at Yahoo! back in 1999 as an engineer working on Yahoo! Finance. It was one of the sites I used most often back then, so it was a privilege to get my hands on it and really contribute in a meaningful way. I spent roughly the next three years working with the good folks in our group, including Katie Stanton, who announced Google Finance a few days ago.
Katie was one of the best people we had in Yahoo! Finance. I was disappointed when she left Yahoo a few years back. I remember chatting with her a few times when she decided to go back to work. Trying to choose between Yahoo and Google, she asked for opinions.
How time flies...
Last year I teased her a few times about Google Finance. Of course, she denied that any such thing was in the works. Since I knew it was in the works, I wasn't surprised when it finally came out. Nor was I surprised to see her affiliated with the product.
It clearly has a Yahoo! Finance feel in several areas but with a distinctly Google flavor to it. I have minor complaints about it, but I think it's a good start aside from the fixed width home page.
So why does this make Jeremy sad?
It makes me sad because I end up thinking about how Yahoo! Finance has stagnated for a long time. It never really recovered from the pain of the dotcom crash. So many of my old Finance coworkers have either left the company or moved on to other groups (several moved into Search last year). Heck, I encouraged many of them to get out!
There was a lack of leadership and, even more importantly, a serious LACK OF VISION. It really disappointed me.
It makes me sad because virtually all of the new/innovative/cool features in Google Finance are things we talked about YEARS ago. Many of them I'd lobbied for repeatedly. Some were even prototyped.
- A ticker search that doesn't suck.
- Charts with overlays for news events.
- Blog integration.
- Featuring discussions more prominently.
- RSS support.
Who's gonna get "credit" for all that now?
I'm not gonna name names (virtually none of them are around anymore anyway), but there was a real lack of leadership in Finance for long time and it really sucked the life out of the group. Users noticed. Finance employees noticed. Other Yahoos noticed. We all knew it. And, frankly, I was glad to be out when I moved on (and the next time and the time after that).
Over the years since leaving, I've made pleas to numerous people in the Finance organization: engineers, product managers, engineering managers, editorial, and so on--veteran employees and newbies alike.
Push into community more. Get more into personal finance, not just the high-end Wall Street stuff. Adopt blogging and syndication. Get around to those chart improvements we'd talked about. Fix up the message boards. (Remind me to tell the story of how they freaked out when I snuck RSS feeds out back in 2002. It took another TWO YEARS before someone re-did that work and finally shipped it. But the RSS train had already left the station by that time.)
Last year I started talking about Google Finance and they got a little excited. They talked more about all the stuff they could maybe do. Asked for some input (again). My hope was renewed for a while.
During all that time, I purposely didn't write anything here about my frustration and disappointment. I've been accused of using my writing in public as a instrument to instigate internal change at Yahoo. I've been accused of complaining in public before talking to folks internally. So I tried to be a good Yahoo and give my suggestions to anyone who'd listen.
On the other hand, people tell me they like reading my stuff because it's not sanitized corporate PR speak and I'm not always painting a rosy picture of what goes on. Instead, I tell it like it is--from my point of view, of course.
Well, here we are.
As a company, we need to get better about facing this stuff, dealing with it, and get back to kicking ass. But I have no idea how to make that happen. Maybe this will result in some useful discussion somewhere.
There's a light at the end of the tunnel. All hope is not lost. Unlike a small number of Google product launches, this one didn't blow the doors off. It's no Gmail or Google Maps. Yahoo! Finance isn't out of the game. But I sure as hell hope this is a wake-up call!
On the flip side, Katie's a kick-ass product manager and knows the Finance world very well. I can only imagine what else they're cooking up. The clock is ticking.
- Josh Woodward's take (he and I worked together for a few years on Y! Finance)
(Remember: I'm not speaking for my employer... yada, yada, yada. See the disclaimer at the bottom of the page.)
Posted by jzawodn at March 22, 2006 09:20 PM
This is a brave post, Jeremy. But the fact that you could and would write such a thing is one of the things that makes it thinkable to work for Yahoo, something that was unthinkable recently. Getting large organizations to change is so hard...
If you would only move some product development to Berkeley ....
I fully agree with you and am really disturbed that we did not react in time.... specially since many of these changes would have been very easy to implement. Heck even a better looking UI would have taken the air out of G finance launch....
sigh. man I share your feelings... thanks for writing about this jeremy. I'll just keep it at that. :)
It'll make Yahoo! Finance lift their game. That's a good thing.
With all do respect, I think Y! Finance is still by far better than Google Finance. I was very disappointed to see this product from Google.
It seems that me that Google Finance is lacking the vision!
Fred: I never said it was better. Did I?
Gee, weird timing: http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/2540/jeremyfinance4bd.png
It seems that your sadness got itself all the way to its source.
I feel your pain. Deeply. I'm an IT worker in a country that still uses manual typewriters.
Yahoo suked, sucks and will continue to blow.
If that post don't get you hired at google, something is seriously wrong.
My girlfriend sells a lot on ebay. A few years ago she also dabbled with yahoo auctions, but said there were an number of things that wern't right, making it difficult and not very effective.
I realize back then (early 2003) that yahoo had somehow become a bureaucratic old company (think General Motors) and wondered how such a young company could possibly have already reached senility.
This remains a mystery to me, but this article is the first confirmation that I was dead-on right with my suspiscions.
Good post and very brave. I'd have to say the one line of this post that caught my attention was the "who will get the credi tnow" line. Many high-tech people who don't use Yahoo! at all for search or any of their services, are under the misconception that Google does nothign but innovate which isn't always the case. Yahoo! has done great things with the UI and other areas that Google has somehow received credit for among the "masses" i.e. places like Digg.
Yahoo! has been incredibly innovative in some areas and I hope that they will continue this hard work, but extend it into areas like Finance. All is not lost for Yahoo! Finance since all Google is really doing is scraping news and information from sources like Reuters and Yahoo! and then making a very nice, functional graph+news interface. There is a lot of room for improvement by both sides and can't wait to see the "arms race" between the two. Competition is great for the user.
You know, Katie's a bright woman, she might just be on the look out for more engineers to work on it to make it better.
This is your best post ever !!
..and yes, this is what cutting edge business is all about. Who gets there first wins the spoils of the the battle.. I remember the RSS thingy for Y!Fianance, thats was the most brillent of all features for the users (at least me). What sucks is that Yahoo has the ability to improve, make new stuff and they just did not..
yes , hopefully your Mngt will now wake up to these facts and understand that you (yes - you) actaully do have some reasonsable insight on how things need to get done.. If I were one of the mngt, the first thing would be to put you in a room and harverst your mind ..:)-
I think it's important to distinguish the afterglow of a release (especially a Google release) from something that really has lasting value.
That said, these things still contribute to a general perception - especially among the less technical - that Google's stuff is somehow a cut above. I don't think it's the same impact as Google Maps on Yahoo! Maps & Mapquest, but it still makes you sort of tilt your head and say "hmm, that's clever."
Generally speaking, it's rarely money that stops orgs from making more aggresive moves. It's risk aversion. You can't win big if you don't bet big on occassion.
Rich: agreed. This is not about the launch as much as it is about a larger problem. Heck, there's a ton of stuff Google could have done to really blow people away with Google Finance, much like they did with Google Maps. Had that happened, it would have just been more painful to think about (at least for someone who invested ~3 years into the site).
Frustrating isn't it? To see the train coming straight at you and no one listening to your cries to jump out of the way. Great post.
Maybe Y! Finance needs to bring Mike Reilly out of retirement.
I do IT consulting in the corporate world. I have never worked on a project where the project leader said something like: Let's do something great and really rock our user's world. Let's put together a team of great developers. Let do real user requirements and real specs.
It's a struggle just to get the basic things done right.
It the same old game of bad management and disappointed users.
Jeremy, it is indeed sad news when things like this happen. I can only assume what the Yahoo Calendar team will feel like, when Google starts their Calendar project. But as HappyY! mentions, competition is something that only makes one work harder, which is not always a bad thing :-)
I have sent many e-mails to yahoo and google, because I have an idea that will be big. I don't work for either of them, I just want to see it.
I want to see a debate website, were you can clasify your post as a reasons to agree or disagree with an idea.
Please think about how cool this would be. If you don't understand check out my site.
I hope this relates to your subject, in that I see something so clearly that will be the future, but I can't get anyone else to understand...
Thank you for sharing this wisdom and background on Y! Finance. Goes to show what can happen when a company gets complacent and stands still for too long.
For what its worth, I hope your post wakes Yahoo up to give Google a run for their money.
And maybe open-source an even cooler dynamic Flash chart :)
google finance is weak. flash charts? BARF. no technical overlays? LAME. blog inclusion? NOISE. i'm not going to tell you yahoo finance "rules" but for people who are moderately interested in real financial data it is still miles ahead of google. i would be very surprised if google takes even 5% marketshare in finance.
that said, these public tirrades against fellow employees are tasteless and unwarranted. and don't tell me you are just assailing the bureaucracy, thats a cop out.
grumpY!: if the private (IM and email) feedback I'm getting is any indication, you couldn't be more wrong.
Besdies, these are not fellow employees. As I said, most of the guilty parties are *GONE* from Y! Finance.
A cop out is using an alias so that other Yahoos don't know who you are. What are *you* afraid of?
Very well said Jeremy, and you are right - Katie was one of the best people we had working in Finance.
"if the private (IM and email) feedback I'm getting is any indication, you couldn't be more wrong"
popular does not mean right. this is why the schoolyard bully has a crew of sycophants in tow at all times, he wrongly equates peer support with justification.
"A cop out is using an alias so that other Yahoos don't know who you are"
see: irony. you have a problem with me anonymously critiquing you for assailing a group of present/past coworkers who you also refer to in a similarly anonymous fashion?
look i don't want to turn this into the specific type of personal scuffle i abhor. my guidelines are simple - recognize incompetence or weak efforts, do your best to remedy the situation, but at all times exercise discretion. pay your present and past coworkers the minimal respect of not using your public platform to address their failings.
We gave our suggestion to Google Finance but it applies equally to Yahoo too. If you are emotionally invested in seeing Yahoo be better, you might consider our suggestion regarding the use of technicals.
grumpY!: fair enough. We have different philosophies...
I tried to reach Business Development folks at Yahoo on different occasions, with a view to discussing making our analysis available.
However I was entirely unsuccessful in reaching a human being at Yahoo other than the switchboard operator and attempting to reach the appropriate persons by e-mail was fruitless, since I could not find out who was responsible for new business.
So it would seem that Yahoo Finance is the victim of the complacency that sets in once one is a 'success'! "We know all that there is to know so let's ignore the outside world."
Pity. Our "Early Warning Service" would be a useful add-on to Yahoo Finance, according to my admittedly prejudiced beliefs. Well maybe Google will like us.
Keep up the good work.
“The Stock Market is NOT highly efficient. Some people know more than others.”
- Mountaintopguru, January 2003
Letting products languish is typical Yahoo! and is endemic in the corporate culture. I don't know what is in the DNA of Yahoo! management, but I really do not think Yahoo! management understands what great products and great product development is all about.
When was the last time Y! Briefcase was updated? Yahoo! Calendars? (maybe with the new Y! Mail?) Y! Greetings (outsourced to American Greetings), Yahoo! IM - VoiP - finally picked a codec that is on par with Skype, Google Talk, etc. (a product manager in IM once told me that management didn't want to pay for the codec because they didn't think voice quality mattered that much! - ?!?!)
With Tom Cruise visiting Yahoo! yesterday, I think this is the sign that Yahoo! has "jumped the shark"
I am one of those that actually uses Yahoo Finance every day, sometimes for a couple of hours [in and out, among other sites like Clearstation], so I don't think it is as bad as you may think.
I also heard Google launched a new service and checked it out yesterday, I won't be using that instead as there is no discussion [Raging Bull was a big discussion site a long time ago and died, it takes users to make discussion.] I also noticed they had no discussion link for their own ticker, rather odd.
Anyway as to your improvements that are needed at yahoo Finance,
A ticker search that doesn't suck.
Charts with overlays for news events.
Featuring discussions more prominently.
None of that would really make it better. The ticker search is fine for me, never had a problem with it. The charts with news overlaps looks cute but it does nothing for me. Blog integration, can't say I would read all of what the unknowns have to say, so blogs aren't the most important thing now [Yes, I know everyone in discussions are also unknowns but why look at a blog when if that is what you want it is posted in the message boards]. So discussions are fine and RSS, haven't a clue.
The things I would like to see is more technical charting, better breakdown of company finance, better comparision of industry companies, releated company searches, most popular message boards,real time pricing, things like that.
Anyway it is interesting to see you speak out on how bad Yahoo is, I can say I worked at companies I had troubles with but would never do this. Sometimes better turns out worse, and changes always don't work out as planned. I think the things you wanted done may not have been the best, sorry to break the news.
I once owned stock in AMTD and they were trying to build a site OnMoney.com. They spent millions building it, and they hired webmasters who had no clue on how to build a site [Not saying you don't, just as an example]. AMTD should have sold it but claimed it was worth much more that others wanted to pay, quietly it closed a year or two later after steep losses in many millions [I know, it affected the stock].
Anyway my point is I can tell Google Finance was built by people that don't use these sites as a necessity, it is a job build, and there is a difference. OnMoney was the same way, built by those that never discussed stocks for example, they had them categorized not by ticker but by industry.
Well that's about all, I am not sure Yahoo needs to be worried about Google Finance, what they should do is ask those that use the site what they would want to improve yahoo.
PS Thanks for the interesting thoughts on your site.
Here is some video of the shark jumping at Yahoo!
Video: Yahoo goes crazy for Cruise
Here is what I have to say. The first to market with a search that includes quotes, and does not suck.
I employed this sort of ticker search first I think!
Yes yes and Yes! Great post. ---another former employee (1997-2001) chimes in.
Nobody takes people who don't capitalize letters (ie grumpY!) seriously. I can never figure out the reason for this practice. Is it supposed to save time, or is it just cool?
Lots of folks just think with herd mentality. The herd can't be wrong can it? It must be that independant thinker causing the problems.
Yes, I totally agree with you
John, a bit of investigation revealed that the girl-gone-wild in that video wasn't actually a Yahoo. You can see her visitor's badge in some of the shots of her on Flickr.
I have to say that the Google Finance venture is bland and not much to look at. I want all of the cool stuff you are talking about, and somehow with finance, I don't mind a "busy" page. I like alot of things going on, as much information as I can cram into my eyesight. I don't know if others feel that way, but UN-busy is BORING to me in the finance world. Keep up the GREAT work.
"Who's gonna get "credit" for all that now?"
Dude... Get used to it. The market doesn't care about ideas all its cares about is working code :)
I've had plenty of ideas over the years only to be stalled by other people.
If you want to see your ideas come to life you need to be an entrepreneur and not an employee. :)
Jeremy, the problems with innovation at Yahoo go far beyond Finance. I left Yahoo almost 2 years ago because I was sick of Jeff Weiner spouting off about innovation as if it was something you could force, and the general sloth with which everything was built. I grew entirely too cynical working there. Google's done a much better job hiring intelligent, hungry people, which is why (as much as I hate them) they'll continue to beat Yahoo off the blocks in almost every area.
Thet is why I prefere to work in the start-up...
... and about google finance there are good stuff but to be honest yahoo finance has richer tool-set.
RE: "Google's done a much better job hiring intelligent, hungry people, which is why (as much as I hate them) they'll continue to beat Yahoo off the blocks in almost every area."
Matt, you hate Google???
I feel the same: Yahoo! is losing its passion.
Hey there Jeremy. There is an old saying, "If you come up with a great idea 10 other people have come up with the same thought and already have it commited to paper." If Yahoo's people came up with the idea so many years ago, that makes a strong statement for Yahoo. It also shows that procrastination makes a difference between good and great business.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Google Finance. Sounds like a case of being at the right place at the wrong time. As the saying goes... timing is everything. Google is just riding the wave of their recent success at the moment. It's not to say that Google Finance is better than Yahoo Finance. Just that Google generates a lot more buzz everything they do a launch. Personally, I've been using My Yahoo as my starting page for the longest time and I don't intend on switching... :)
I use it every day. Shameful how when you want to discuss a stock and every post has a troll ready for the response. Google will closely monitor the "boards" they say. Yahoo dropped the ball on that one. I can personally attest that literally hundreds of posters have visited and left the Yahoo Finance message board system never to return after being insulted for no apparent reason. Gone, and we will never know the extent Yahoo might have contributed to the Web2 phenomenon if they had put one ounce of effort into enforcing the communities within their system. Even so today hundreds of stocks have communities trying to discuss and debate in spite of the malevolent interlopers. Good luck Google, keep it clean and friendly and you will gain audience share.
I have to agree with grumpy.
as someone who actually uses financial pages alot during the day, i can say that google finance is mostly crappy.
review of google compared to yahoo finance:
1. c level management takes up too much space...these guys don't change everyday, and they don't matter to continuous users of the page. if they want them there, fine, but move them to the bottom.
2. you complain about the ticker search. i assume you mean you should be able to type "apple" for example, and get the charts for Apple Computer, which you currently can in google, but not yahoo.
However, there are other companies with Apple in their name. Who gets the "apple" search? the most popular? the largest? This should not be for a developer to decide and influence.
3. google has no downloadable historical prices that i have found. you need this for Portfolio Allocation. you need 5+ years.
4. google financial docs on the front page are crap. once you click, they are better than yahoo. more years = better.
5. yahoo has way better daily data available.
6. google has beta on the front page - that is good, but they can't match the yahoo "key statistics" page.
7. the google scrolling flash chart is one of about 10 things i've seen on the web that was done well in flash. well, actually, there may be less than 10 good flash things, though, so that chart is up there.
7b. those tabs to events are nice, and good to read if you are bored, but unless they swing the stock (1% move or more, then they are really just reading material).
7c. including a chart of the S&P, or Dow, or something would be nice, and much more valuable than the minor clickable events...
Will Apple Benefit from Vista Delay?
Sci-Tech Today - 22 Mar 2006
This one for example -- answer "NO". stock dove a dollar.
8. options needs to be much better and closer to the top.
9. i don't see any way in google to compare multiple stocks.
10. the blogs + discussion = whatever. nice to read and participate if you are bored i guess.
11. yahoo's side bar dominates google's nothing.
11b. yahoo's top tabs (banking, retirement,etc) dominate google's nothing.
12. where's the market open/close timer?
in summary, google is different, but needs alot of work.
yahoo, on the other hand, needs minor changes and updates.
Lets be real guys...there are phenomenal interacting java based charting services out there (bigcharts.com)...and great chat rooms that are industry specific nee silicon investor etc...why try and reinvent the wheel...just take the best of breed out there and duplicate it and bring it to the masses on yahoo. I have to go to numerous sites to get what im looking for because yahoo doesnt provide the in depth items that other FINANCE SPECIFIC SITES provide. Take for example.."competitors"...yahoo lists a few with financial comps....whereas if u read an analysts research report from a brokerage firm...they will be specific to numerous companies with specific comps...c'mon guys..hire a few REAL finance people from wall st and yahoo finance will blow doors in. The butchers shouldnt be making the donuts here.
I've worked at Yahoo! for a long time and I appreciate posts like this. In the end, I think that by being openly critical and providing the constructive arguments you do, you help the company move forward. It also helps to keep Yahoo! honest and give that little nudge to take risks in products that they might not have tried otherwise.
Yahoo hasn't been doing software for many years now. They still think they are an e-services company, whatever that means. Apparently it wasn't enough to have Google eat their search lunch.
Most of us in the dot-com who did not win the lottery realized that the people running things had no clue pretty early on. It's alot easier to spot the problems when you have less money to hide behind.
Those of you priviledged enough to be in the right place at the right time are going through the same dilemmas we (the other 98% of the market) went through well prior to the collapse. You are psychological about late 1999 first half of 2000 with your current mea culpa.
Google is the only company doing software outside of Microsoft, currently. And Jaimie I can't really empathize with you on your problems given how much money you have made and how much reputation you have had attributed to you, while many many many other very very good people have been out in the cold for at least 4+ years.
You complained to your boss? Please... You guys live in California fantasy land. As long as they keep throwing money at you, you assume you must be brilliant.
I think the word "sucked" has lost it's rigor. In fact, it's my belief that the word demeans the writer or speaker to such a degree that one cannot take the issue at had seriously. I suggest that we refrain from using this word in future posts and use our imaginations to think of an appropriate replacement.
You are way to harsh on yourself and Yahoo! Finance. Sure, it must feel frustrating to see Google do some things before Yahoo Finance, but how important are those things.
The blog posts, for example, what's the point if half of the posts are spam. How does that help.
The news overlays on charts are neat, but is this really why people use sites like Yahoo! Finance?
Where Yahoo! Finance has failed is in not seeing finance as a global activity. Why have a Yahoo! Finance UK site that has some good detail on UK and European companies, but the same level of detail isn't available on the main Yahoo! Finance site?
I'm in Canada, and I have never used Yahoo! Finance Canada. It should be shut down. It is not needed.
I think Yahoo! Finance people simply need to get closer to users of their service, a lot of whom are professionals.
They soon will be inspired again.
I bet that Google Finance site was not created by people familiar with money/fin markets (probably just developers). At least site looks like that. And without that knowledge (I have to agree with Bart here) there is no way to create a proper financial site.
I like to use Yahoo Finance for general information, but for charting prophet.net, stockcharts.com, additional info about markets on morningstar.com and marketwatch.com.
nice piece of history.
type 'google finance' into google and Yahoo finance is returned
Jeremy - I would also have been frustrated with myself for not fully admitting to myself the state the company has reached. What else would you expect from a large, bearucratic company? The fustration should not be directed at Yahoo, but what seems like your lack of facing reality. Hoepfully this is a wake up call for you.
Sorry - that sounds harsher than I meant it. Thank you for the brave post, just reminded me what its like to work for big company.
Just curious, but why is it that a company founded on search (ok, directory) that has a rededicated mission to search can't have a collection of Finance message boards that can be searched? Let Google spider it at least.
I represented a firm that provided fundamental analytics to individual investors in the form of easily-digestible reports that translated all of the finance gobbledegook into readable english. The service was started by a finance Ph.D. and he sold/sells his research mostly to hedge/mutual funds. I personally am very involved with equity research and investments and I felt this could be a great service to offer to Yahoo!s customers. I firmly believe that it would've differentiated Y!Finance from GFinance. It would drive repeat customers, add a sense of value to current users and provide additional information and analysis that would be difficult for the other to replicate.
But, guess what, we couldn't figure out how to get an audience at either organization. There was absolutely no response through any channel. Crazy.
Have Yahoo! and Google already jumped the big, bureaucratic, Not-Invented-Here shark?
Also, if you actually want more information about this service, email me. I'd be happy to tell you all about it. In fact, if you want an evangelist that can take Yahoo! finance to a higher level, drive significantly more visitorship and substantially increase the vertical's revenues. Email me.
But maybe that's just too innovative of a move to expect from Yahoo!...
I use yahoo finance everyday, but I don't understand why no finance sites keep stock data past 5 years. I'd love to see what certain stocks were priced at prior to the dot com bubble burst. is there some sort of legal reason for this?
but yes, yahoo could really use a revamping. it's not very user friendly. i'm used to it, but google's finance page is looking pretty good. the blog feature is particularly interesting. too bad yahoo couldn't have been first.
Who says yahoo ticker search is good, they sucks, I have reported number of times using feedback, but seems like no body listens. Try putting something like "yhoo\" it does not work. Now "\" is a special character has to ignore, and goog finance does that. Apart from they they just focus too much on advertisement, sometime it take a while to load. Being said that I am not switch to google finance yet.
Jermy, you are brave to write such a post, I thought this does not comply with the company's compliance guidelines. Or you are exceptionally smart enough not to afraid of any action based on your post.
It saddens me that Y! is always reactive to Google. Believe me, Y! Finance is going to get the fire put under it asap.
Really G finance isn't all that, Flash chart, kinda cool.. but overall meh! But because it's Google, it's so hot right now.
No no no, UmeshP, it should search for EXACTLY what you put in...it should NOT arbitrarily delete characters you enter just because you fat finger, and on average, it thinks it knows what you mean.... it could suggest (like google web search does on a misspell) that you mean "yhoo" instead of "yhoo\", but should NOT automatically change what you search for....
a \ is not a special. a * is not a special. a / is not special. they are characters that people can and do search for specifically on a regular basis.
Jeremy, you need to understand the google business model. Their business model is of remaining cool and mostly derive searches to make money. The real-estate on a webpage is limited. People do not like long pages.
Google could put more content without increasing the page length is because google does not have to make money on this. If you see over the last few months or so, Yahoo websearch has started beating Google websearch. But still the market share of google is increasing. Because it is a function of maintaining the image of remaining cool and clever. That's how google finance will be financed, at least in the short term. Because google finance indirectly will increase the market of google web search.
Your post is good for the company.
Yahoo Finance still has a lot of things they can do. I've used them for a long, long time now and I'm just used to them. To be honest, I have yet to check out Google's product simply because I'm not "unhappy" with Yahoo finance. Of course, if I continually hear about Google finance enough - I may wobble on over to check it out - that is what they need to prevent... the good news is, Google still thinks they're top for finance. ;-)
Ok, bad, bad joke... I know.
Yahoo Finance still has a lot of things they can do. I've used them for a long, long time now and I'm just used to them. To be honest, I have yet to check out Google's product simply because I'm not "unhappy" with Yahoo finance. Of course, if I continually hear about Google finance enough - I may wobble on over to check it out - that is what they need to prevent... the good news is, Google still thinks they're top for finance. ;-)
Ok, bad, bad joke... I know.
Ok, so some of the Google Finance features are interesting, but it doesn't complete with the like of Yahoo, TheStreet.com, or MSN. It's an interesting experiment for a post doc, but it's not useable. As long as Google continues to rely solely on software developers for the Finance portal (yes, Google is now a Portal player), Yahoo is not facing a serious threat.
I have been heavy user of Yahoo finance and quote section.
Couple of things are missing.
For example, if company is no longer in the business (bought or bankrupt), my yahoo needs to update/remove ticker similarly. Same things goes for the mutual fund section. Mutual fund section picks up data from Morningstar which is good but needs to be more comprehensive. Chart seriously needs some work. I did not enjoy google chart much. For charting, I use MSN which is best. It allows comparision against company, S&P etc on the chart. For the long term performace view, it works out good.
Any way, it is always hard to reach anyone at yahoo. I also run business. When I contacted Google regarding providing/indexing content, they were prompt in replying. I have been for last 3 years to reach someone live at Yahoo but no luck. I had better luck with MSN in finding someone live.
I own Yahoo stock but feeling that Yahoo is wasting so many opportunities. Instead of wasting their energy in building content for movie industry (and draining several millions), Yahoo should do what it does best. Community, be at the forefront of internet content and integrating the content within the site (RSS is mentioned already here). Rest should fall in the place automatically.
Yahoo search is not bad. Indexing result are comparable/better than google. But I do most on Google. Yahoo search looks more cluttered. It does not have clean look.
I appreciate writing about such professional personal experiences.
In a diverse area of interests I noticed the same (one way to go) mentalities. Sometimes being more professional doesn't mean to stick to that only and specific direction you should walk. Nor it takes to hold the same point of view of your staff. Revolutionized professionalism persists from being flexible, and sometimes the one who could look through the mirrors too. We're mirrors to each other, aren't we? That's what revolutionized enterprises should consider.
I suggested new commercial ideas for one financing institution here about how to develop a sense of fine art to do commercials as it appears from this link: http://beauty-of-the-earth(dot)blogspot(dot)com but no personnel has a clue to whom should I talk. She at last redirected me to somebody who has also no clue about even why should he takes this as it could develop something inside his institution.
One of my friends said about this that people who work on those institution will never think out of the frame, to see better things there, and they're well used to this dogmatism until they become static. Well, that's %100 right.
Thanks to this enlightenment from the heart.
Mediocrity hires mediocrity. Too many layers of management means diminishing talent, top to bottom. Ahh, the beauty of bureacracy. So damn sexy.
Jeremy later made the point that poor attitude, low morale and lack of vision in Yahoo! Finance does not reflect Yahoo! as a whole. Some readers may not realize, but Jeremy is still employed at Yahoo!. He left the finance group years ago and found happiness elsewhere in the company.
I am a little shocked that there aren't any Yahoo!s chiming in to support a company I have truly enjoyed being apart of.
I also work at Yahoo! and our team as well as others (such as mail, search, local, go) are producing new high quality innovative products at break-neck speeds. These groups are generally happy because they have good management and a vision.
I believe the vision was missing from Finance for years, which it is now showing it's age. I personally blame Finance's management (not Yahoo!'s) for a lack of vision for the product, which caused low morale and consequently caused outstanding people to want to the leave the group or even the company, in some cases for another company doing the same job.
Hopefully things have changed over the years for Finance. I hope they now have management with vision, so they can add more services to a product which is showing its age.
I personally would like to see Finance have the updated look of Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo.com, with new strong incremental upgrades (integrated stock ticker lookup and search) with a sprinkling of whiz-bang features... which does not mean pretty charts.
Google finance has some nice features but it still lack very far behind in terms of global financial data.
Yahoo financial is still my source of daily information for the Asian Market.
Jeremy - excellent points. In my opinion, Yahoo Finance had alot of potential & never executed on much of it. I experienced this personally several years ago when speaking with Yahoo management about an opportunity to be the Finance General Manager. I expected to find a company that would embrace a large vision...but this was not the case. I hope Yahoo re-focuses and does not continue to waste an excellent opportunity to add value for it's clients.
I am having a difficult time understanding the commenters who call Jeremy's post "brave."
Bold maybe… but not brave.
Yahoo is just a company. What’s the worst they can do… fire him?
Yahoo clearly needs to bolster “Finance,” and if Yahoo is a company worth working for, his boldness will be rewarded.
As an outsider, I see Yahoo undergoing a true shift. My outside perspective is that 2 years ago, all employees of Yahoo were given the kind of Kool-Aid that commanded them to “love the company” for the sake of the company, and never tolerate denouncers.
Yahoo is changing. Yahoo is becoming Google, which is funny, because in some ways, Google is becoming Yahoo.
It’s a tremendous experiment. Run a big company and encourages individualism.
Congrats Jeff for bucking the trend.
Google Finance is a nice aggregation of financial data on one page. However, if you don't want to spend hours reading it, StockRing ( http://www.StockRing.com )can analyze Google or Yahoo Finance information for you and tell you what stocks you need to buy or sell in seconds.
By the way, recently I started to wonder if Google in fact entered a business of wasting its visitors time by duplicating a bunch of data and confusing the users with an overflow of information. Let's say I enter "IBM" in Google Finance ... I get a page with the following:
20 numbers describing current trading activity such as recent price, gain, volume, etc.
25 numbers describing IBM financials such as revenue, profit, loss, etc.
30 numbers describing IBM competitors current stock prices
40 links to other IBM related information.
Now imagine you have a portfolio of 20 stocks and you do your research on Google Finance. Then Google Finance will provide (20+25+30)*20 = 1,500 numbers describing 20 stock portfolio. Also Google Finance will provide 40*20=800 links related to your 20 stocks. Now if you analyze your portfolio once a week Google Finance will provide for you 1500*52weeks = 78,000 numbers and 800+52weeks = 41,600 links during 1 year that will describe your 20 stocks.
Let me ask you a question ... can you really analyze Google Finance 78,000 numbers and 41,000 links in 1 year for you 20 stock portfolio?
Overflow of info in Google Finance lacks much needed creativity to help people QUICKLY analyze and manage their stocks and mutual fund portfolios.
StockRing will actually analyze Google Finance information for your stocks to quickly tell you what you need to sell or buy right now.
Neither Yahoo nor Google is going to get attention from serious investors until they start using quality data that includes dividends, capital gains, enabling true total return. If Goggle Finance were to differentiate itself from Yahoo Finance, that would be a good place to start.
Paul - fasttrack.net
YAHOO: FINANCE, one of YAHOO's best products, is taking an awful lot of heat from an infant GOOGLE FINANCE. What happens as the Beta grows up?
I like yahoo finance, the power of habit .
My dad's made quite some money investing in shares and he does it the old fashioned way. He reads the salmon pink paper and makes my mom watch CNBC while he is at work.
You see, news overlays might look good but they do not serve much purpose without perspective. On GFinance I saw a company make more money yet its shares fell, out of perspective you can not understand why that would happen. Google's Finance website at present might look good to sports-only enthusiasts (like me) but good newspaper editorials and common sense still make best investors. I sometimes go to Yahoo Finance, but I use it as a sort of biz encyclopedia (I am only a student) I dont see that feature at Google. But if Yahoo is not infused with a new found zeal to improve the finance site, and Google keeps innovating - you guys are dead.
btw, I liked the ease with which I could manage my portfolio at GFinance. I dont actually deal in shares but acted as if I had bought some shares the day GFinance was launched. Guess what, I am already making money :)
Nice post Jeremy! Not like the good 'ole days eh?
At this point, I'd just like to see some innovation in online finance, whether it's at Yahoo or Google. There hasn't been much in the last 5 years or so on any finance site. If it comes from Katie & Google, so be it. Good for her for moving things forward.
Hopefully some of Google Finance's differentiating features will find their way into Y! Finance in the near future...
I think your ex-colleague made the move to 'Google' because she felt her ideas could be fleshed out there.
I think we find challenges in any organization to get our ideas across.
Sometimes it is better to move on to another company than stay where you are and being full of frustration or negativity.
My view is from being a good broker: but consult with the best brokers with proven sales records. I mean, if you want to truly get a company more "competitive" - more customers. In one office I worked at, the best in sales offered the least amount of information - got the most _action_ from customers. More information is a big, big negative. I learned my lesson. Sure, read as much as possible - in private, on the loo. Just keep it to yourself, or for the young, if they have time to listen. On the positive - just tell us "these are my favorite features at ----!" These are my favorite investments...
Is it just me or was this topic mentioned on WCBS Newsradio 880 (NY) today? I was listening to the business report around 10:30am and the announcer refered to a blogger who was disapointed with Google Finance. Funny as I just read your post Sunday night.
Really? I'd love to hear a recording of THAT! :-)
It looks to me that Yahoo and Google are imatating one another. To be relevent to the finance portal users, they need to have leadship features. For example, stock predictions. www.magicta.com contains predictions for all stocks traded in the U.S.. May be that's what they should do.
what a frickin politician. i was close to yahoo finance and never once heard jeremy speak at the monthly meetings or at weekly team meetings on his perceived lack of vision or ideas with charting. seems jeremy is a great politician that fits in well with yahoo 2.0. he's right that yahoo finance needs to innovate but they certainly grew over 50% in revenue and rose to the #1 in audience after he move to search which has steadily dropped while he has been there.
seriously-- second guess everything jeremy says.
I like Yahoo Finance, but cannot find any email address to relay my few concerns. I once posted on Yahoo answers hoping someone from Finance would read it and comment, but no such luck. My biggest concern is that when a public company is sold or merged, the ticker symbol just simply disappears along with any info as to the fate of the company. Yahoo Finance just says "no such ticker symbol", which is technically true, but not a big help to someone curious about what happened to it. I now use MoneyCentral, which keeps the de-listed ticker in it's database, I presume for a reasonable length of time.
moussa: your time scale is wrong. Sorry.
I believe that Yahoo have the good engineers who can promote and creat those dynimic interaction stuffs like Google does.
But most properies seems to remain like plain pages simply filled with visual design and editorial elements, which is pity.
The problem that I have with Yahoo finance is that several times a day I get a "yahoo.com not found" message when I try to use it. It may be my system, but I don't have problems with other sites. I use Netscape 7.2 to access it on Sptint DSL. Are other people complainig on an inability to connect to the site?
I feel your pain. I have been through the same thing as you....ideas that are never executed, only to be used by a competitor years later. I used to work for Fleer Trading Cards (yep, the baseball card company). My boss and I worked with a few consultants and came up with many bright ideas about ways to expand our web presence....ideas that would have taken only a few months to implement. Ideas that no one in the industry had ever thought of. What happened? Bad management from the top...deafness...lack of vision and commitment...you know the drill.
Well, as of now I am still out of a job (been unemployed since end of May 2005) and Fleer's brands were bought by a competitor, UpperDeck. What amazes me about corporate America sometimes is how the top never listens to what the working stiffs have to say....and we are usually MUCH, MUCH closer to the reality of the situation then they are.
So, if you know of anyone that needs a Senior Network Manager and Business Analyst in the Philadelphia area, let me know! I'm available, thanks to idiots from the top.
Based on your previous posts, you are no longer with Yahoo's Search Team, right? Are you still working for Yahoo at all?
My suggestion is that you and I and several of your former colleagues should get together to start brain storming and work together to come up with financial based search tools that will fetch out information and data that investors (users) could get their hands on, so that these investors can make an informative investment (trade) decision.
All we have to do is to create a site with all the invest tools that you believe should be on Y! finance or G! Finance, but has yet to rollout for whatever reason. From that point on, let the investors (users) that comes on to our new site to decide what they want to use and how they want to use it. If any of the tools are proven to be useful, we can then license it out to Y! finance, G! Finance, or even MSN, AOL, and other investment/ financial sites or financial institutions for a profit.
It is always better to work outside the box and once you have a proven tool or technology, I am sure the management at Y! Finance and G! Finance will not only listen to you, but license the tools from you.
Thus, creating a win-win situation (innovation) for you and the investors (users) that you want to empower with your innovative tools.
About myself, I have been in the investment/ finance industry for more than 10 years served as a fund manager, investment advisor, and even VC. I also have 9 years of online sales, marketing, corporate & business development, and product management experiences working as a strategic advisor.
I believe you and I can work together to create a niche search technology company, that focuses on investment/ financial data search for starter and then expand to other classified/ business directory search.
A bit hard to explain over the email, so it is best that we can at least speak over the phone first and then meet in person to brain storm.
NOTE that any other software developers, programmers that are expert in MYSQL, perl, and search related technology are welcome to join us by sending me an email at SKYJCCHANG@yahoo.com.
Bottom-line, rather than expressing our frustration that is happening at work, we are better off working together for ourselves and to create the next hit tools that will change the Net forever.
The way I see it, you guys (software programmers and engineers) are the miracle workers of the Net, not the CEO of GOOG or YHOO or MSN.
Awaiting for your reply.
You are more than right about Yahoo finance (it's stagnation just screems to the sky), but i also don't think google finance is all that better. it is "crowded" with text, mono-color in flavor, un-usable charts imho (hard to really get a sense of the trading) and focus in gimics (chart time period, news tags on the chart, etc). I personally was very dissapointed. beyond the hype of a new "google" tool, it thrills only in the first five minutes. sorry. i really expected more. maybe its time for a new google to emerge in the finance field, just like google did to yahoo in the search field. there are some neat new web 2.0 finance sites out there today like gstock.com that can teach these big conglomerates a thing or 2...
Yahoo Finance just hit us with blinkie real-time stock prices in the sidebar of recent quotes. I will never go back during trading hours. And I've been a fanatic there since 1998. Blinkie nonsense is simply insane. I can't believe I'm the only one being pushed aggressively away by this. Google Finance does real-time updates, too, but there's no blinkie involved. I wrote to Yahoo Finance but c'mon, that's a feature for the amusement of a toddler. For serious investors, it's completely nutso. I get enough unnerving noise from advertisements, but those I mostly tolerate.
Hey Jeremy..I almost broke out after reading this and the story on techcrunch..250 million users(that what the user base of yahoo). must be unsatisfied of using their products.
Yahoo mail sucks badly..Even the beta version..I have written feedback atleast a dozen of time
I hate google because of their hypocracy.They have become an evil digital empire and google goes where money goes.This is not what yahoo is
recent statistics say that gmail has an user base 50million.
Who are these?The most active people on the internet who check mail at least thrice a day..they are the people who generate the revenue for the product not the remaining people who are left in the yahoo user base only use the yahoo messenger.I don't think this IM generates revenue at all to yahoo.
I recently read a story with says yahoo shd buy themselves to microsoft??what the hell???
with the amazing userbase of almost 270 million of people using yahoo mail as of 2004.what have done to them?
groups are completely useless..spambots are ruling them
360.yahoo.com has reporteadly a userbase of 1 million with the suckiest interface ever.can't u make it better?where are users going to?? "orkut" or "face book"
Now..yahoo wants to buy facebook for a 2 million dollars..what were doing all these days..sleeping??
Facebook is no innovation
Delicious is no innovation.
All the startups yahoo have bought have been staying in the same stagnant state for years..
what are the 11,000 employees doing??
yahoo mail uses same flash ads...
I don't have atleast a reason to use yahoo products besides google ones..
still i use yahoo products..why?? I donno,May be because I love yahoo.I trust my instints.
Man..Tears are rolling down my eyes..I am crying..
I Hope u don't delete this comment.
*2nd person means Yahoo!
I have spent literally hundreds of hours creating company specific Yahoo Groups. I coined them Yahoo Financial Groups, and began inviting members of Yahoo's Financial Message Boards to join them. The boards were a great success with almost 50,000 members joining my roughly 300 Yahoo Financial Groups. Here are a few examples of the groups.
These groups were a very easy and successful exercise. The only problem was Yahoo deleted my user account WEBSTOCKY, and I had set the groups up to only allow approved messages to be posted. So now these groups sit idle growing every day; members are not able to post messages, and I am not able to approve them. I think I am ultimately responsible for the creation of Yahoo Financial Groups, but I am sure no one would ever deliver credit!
I have turned my energy over into the creation of my own Financial Message Boards system at http://EquityGroups.com. Not being a programmer has seriously limited my ability to plan the creation of the site. I am constantly renovating the site based on user feedback. If any of you former execs are interested in receiving more information about my project please call me or drop me an email. You can find my contact information at my web site: Equitygroups.com.
A year after this was published, and Google Finance still sucks. It won't let you add fields to the view, add Cash info form a money market. It's basically worthless---like most things Google creates as betas then never improves.
I think yahoo is not doing to well..they should give more excitement.
Here it is 2008.
Nothing has really changed in Google Finance. Yahoo is pulling away with access and info. What on (google)earth happened ?
Interesting post! It echoed some of my end-user sentiment when, what seems like so many years ago, AOL's stock message boards were left to decay...in favor of YHOO's.
Sometimes managers cross their fingers and adopt a strategy of "let's stay just one step ahead of the next guy" while corporate cash flow is maximized. So, new ideas are pushed aside as too bleeding edge. From time to time a factor revolutionizes an industry and the established organizations get, at least to some extent, left behind as what was considered bleeding edge becomes standardized.
YHOO seems to be slowly following in AOL's footsteps. Sigh.
Totally i agree with you. I can feel your pain. The google finance is weak as u told. I experience a lot.
I was using Yahoo! Finance (inside myyahoo home page) up until a week ago when I upgraded to IE8. Now, when I zoom in a portfolio the next screen is so small I can't read it. So, Yahoo Finance has caused me leave Yahoo entirely.
I switched to iGoogle as a home page, and set up Google Finance for my portfolios. There are some things that are much better with Google Finance (for me), such as the chart interaction, and presentation of analytics and news. However, I can't believe there are some fundamental and basic limits: 1) NYSE is not displayed in the Market Summary (and I can't see how to add it). 2) Cumulative return on portfolio is not displayed on main screen (something I like in Yahoo!). 3) Can't re-sequence portolios in iGoogle. I use a lot of different portfolios and I really wish I could use multiple windows/boxes inside the home page instead of having them stacked up on one another in one long narrow window (neither can do this).
It is nice Blog.