There was a time when Yahoo was one of the most successful internet companies in the world.
But in recent years, it’s made more headlines for overpaying for young startups, and destroying their value through mismanagement along the way.
Photo-sharing site Flickr is perhaps the best poster child for Yahoo’s struggles with startups.
Flickr, founded in 2004 by Stewart Butterfield, was once considered the best online photo-sharing service in the world. But after getting acquired by Yahoo in 2005, it was “murdered and screwed out of relevance,” according to Gizmodo.
“It was really frustrating,” Butterfield said in a recent interview with Business Insider, when asked about his experience with Yahoo.
Further elaborating, Butterfield perfectly sums up what might be causing all the problems at Yahoo:
“I think I learned a lot and overall it was a good experience. But it was so hard to get the resources that we needed. I think we missed out on so many opportunities where Flickr could have been a lot bigger and more successful than it was as part of Yahoo — because of Yahoo’s internal ‘screwed up-ness.’”
When asked about Flickr specifically, Butterfield says he has “mixed feelings,” although he likes a lot of the changes that Yahoo has made over the years.
“I think it doesn’t have, to my mind, a clear focus. It’s a little hard to tell what it is, what they’re trying to do, what the focus of Yahoo is,” he told us.
As Butterfield points out, what Yahoo needs might just be better internal communications and a focused strategy.
In fact, ReadWriteWeb says Yahoo shut down 31 of the 38 startups it acquired since CEO Marissa Mayer took over two years ago. Yahoo’s revenue declined for the fourth time in the last five periods last quarter, falling 3% from the previous quarter.
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