Sriram Krishnan has some unsolicited advice advice for Marissa Mayer.
I agree with much of what he wrote, but I think the main thing that Yahoo! needs (now I’ll just type Yahoo) is some excitement and some direction. Who really cares about Yahoo right now? When the most exciting thing that has happened for Yahoo is the hiring of another CEO, you know you are in trouble.
Flickr might be a good place to start, but I think #9 on the above list is my favorite:
Institute a policy that Yahoo will use off-the-shelf/popular open source tools and technologies whenever possible. When those don’t meet Yahoo’s needs, teams will fork them and contribute back changes. No more pet projects to reinvent what everyone else in the open source world has already built. Fire anyone who uses the words ‘Yahoo scale’ to debate this with you.
This is going to open up some engineering talent to work on products, which is where Yahoo needs to really work. It also opens up candidates to work for the company because there are many people with experience using those technologies.
Is it going to happen? Who knows. The board will need to buy into whatever Ms. Mayer is bringing to the table, so there will be push-back on almost every turn …
… but for Yahoo’s sake I hope that they do.