26 July 2016

EDITORIAL - What Yahoo can Teach us about Business

The VOX Technology article by Tim Lee yesterday provides an explanation of Verizon's purchase of Yahoo.

There's no happy little internet story here.

In fact, Yahoo, like AOL is a story of missed opportunities and failed strategies.

A company that made correct early stage investments in the very companies that would later dethrone it in 'search' and 'social'. A company that was once the biggest play on the internet brought to its knees and sold for a tiny percentage of its earlier market valuation.

Analysts suggest that Verizon will reap the benefits of adding Yahoo’s advertising engine to its 100 million subscribers, and well they might.

However, the real learning for everyone in business may be from understanding how a company with the largest base of subscribers in early internet history, a trusted ecosystem if you will, lost its way.

Personal digital devices and a ubiquitous internet (mobile network) have redefined the power structure for consumers and marketers.

Around the world consumers, who own 'demand' are being empowered to evaluate and discover brands that own the 'supply' (product/service) at the moment they desire something. We observe that movement from brand to brand is often radical and completely unrelated to the value or supply chain that was once paramount. The new environment honors the quick draw and the agility of those who command this new frontier. Remember the 'Oreo tweet' of Super Bowl 2013.
Expect to see more traditional brands like Unilever acquiring upstarts like Dollar Shave Club in a quest for loyal subscriber/customers.

Expect to see more brands experiment like P and G's approach to the Tide brand with the Tide Wash Club.

Expect to see subscriber-based valuations for ecosystems like LinkedIn or Wind Mobile continue to rise well beyond traditional valuations which are based on free cash flow or income.

Expect to see the 'experience factor' (length of subscriber experience) of active residual subscribers become the most important aspect of value.

The times, they are 'a changin' and it may be time to review the things we value in business.

About Executive Producer, Larry R. Evans:
Larry Evans is a futurist, a brand developer and a collaboration advocate. He is Principal of The Paradigm Corporation, which is headquartered at Thunder Ridge just outside Crossfield, Alberta, Canada. He is known for bringing a unique and predictive lens to paradigm shifts during a career that spans 45 years. Now from his wheelchair, he brings a grounded, tenacious view of brand, client rights and trusted relationships for the digital age. His perspective and values influence his life, business and ministry.

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