Google has long been a successful model for tech companies. More recently, other companies have been making bold moves by hiring Google executives away from Google and picking up company strategies that made working at Google fun. The most famous example to date of this practice is the July 2012 hiring of one of Google’s top executives, Melissa Mayer.
Mayer was the twentieth employee and first female engineer hired by Google back in 1999. She is now the CEO of Yahoo! and is currently the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 Company. As soon as Mayer was hired, the media started speculating as to what Mayer would change first. Would she suggest paring down the busy Yahoo! home page and make it more simple, like the famously white Google home page? Would it be to bring some of the famous Google perks over to the Yahoo! side?
Google famously offers all kinds of perks to company employees including free haircuts, free meals, gaming tables, and more. Google does this to keep company moral and employee satisfaction high. It especially appeals to new college graduates. While Mayer hasn’t gone to this extreme yet at Yahoo!, in September Yahoo! did announce that the company would pay for smart phones with monthly data/voice plans, which is a start in a more employee-friendly direction.
Earlier this month, Yahoo! had a company wide meeting to announce new goals through all tiers for the company. Google also has strong company goals that help to focus employees throughout the company.
Major themes of a Yahoo! meeting in September were mobile and personalization. It sounds like Yahoo! is also interested in hiring (not buying) a flashy mobile start-up and a company that specializes in advertising tech space. This would help Yahoo! become more competitive with Google, especially in ad platform marketings that would directly compete with Google’s Admeld. Some of the lingo from the meeting included the term partner-friendly, which might be an indication of some sort of partnering with (gulp) Google after Google’s Eric Schmidt talked about interest in partnering withYahoo! that very same week. Another theme from the meeting was that Yahoo! will only give the green light to products that can scale to 100 million users or $100 million in revenue.
What might be in the future “Googlization”?
Yahoo! has traditionally liked to refer to itself as a media company or the even more confusing “technology-powered media company”, not a technology company. Google has always prided itself on being on the forefront of technology companies. Mayer was a big proponent of product innovation, even stating in “Melissa Mayer’s 9 Principles of Innovation”:
“I tell them, ‘The Googly thing is to launch it early on Google Labs and then iterate, learning what the market wants–and making it great.’ The beauty of experimenting in this way is that you never get too far from what the market wants. The market pulls you back.” Melissa Mayer
So judging by Mayer’s own words, Yahoo! is likely to start being more innovative with new products and possibly even dust off long forgotten product innovations from the back shelf of Yahoo’s inventory.
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