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CrowdQuery: Why Do Companies like Yahoo Degrade & Implode?

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On October 27, 2010 @ 8:00 pm In Valuation,Web/Tech | Comments Disabled

Of all the half assed companies out there, I cannot for the life of me figure out WTF is going on with Yahoo.

There are some companies that suck, but they do so in a way you almost understand. Delta — “America’s Meanest Airline [1]” — is a perfect example. The airline relentlessly cut costs to the point that if you need customer service, suicide is a preferable option. Delta has the lowest passenger satisfaction, highest flight delays, and highest baggage fees in the industry. (We have been long various airlines this past year).

I understand their suckiness, I get that its actually a cost savings program the company puts into place between bankruptcies.

Yahoo, on the other hand, seems hell bent on destroying their own value as fast as they can, across all of their properties:

Yahoo Message Boards area perfect example. They were once a huge traffic driver, but became so overrun with Spam and penny stock touts as to be all but worthless. And Yahoo owned search as one point in time, before Google steamrolled them.

The latest debacle is Yahoo messenger. I cannot log on without being greeted with a dozen spims (Spam IMs). Its made the product utterly unusable.If i could figure out how to resign from the program, I would — its tied into mail, which is why Yahoo is now my junk mail address.

At one time, I used a ton of Yahoo offerings. Now, I use Yahoo Tech Ticker, a home page, and their email as my junk address. That’s pretty much it — from indispensable to annoying in a few short years . . .


A dark horse for self-destruction is the usually astute Amazon. They are running a similar risk by allowing their eejit kindle fanboys to pollute the once valuable Amazon rankings.

Consider this extreme example: Of the 519 review of the The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine [2], 87 are 1 star reviews. Nearly all of them are kiddies whining about the lack of a kindle version. Amazon apologized [3] to Lewis, but left all the irrelevant 1 star reviews posted. (As benevolent dictator, I would impose capital punishment, but that’s just me).

Thus, I no longer waste my time reviewing products or sellers, as the Amazon review system has become corrupted. Its no longer worth my time. I have found myself paying less attention to Amazon reviews, as I now know they are written by eejit children, so their value is far less than I previously believed. Even worse, I know Amazon makes the kindle, so we have bad faith thrown into the mix.

We shall see if it impacts my shopping habits . . .


Question: What is the next valuable property to allow itself to be devalued will be? Who will somehow take an asset and turn it into a negative?

Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/10/how-did-yahoo-allow-itself-to-implode/

URLs in this post:

[1] America’s Meanest Airline: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/10/americas-meanest-airline-delta/

[2] The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393072231/thebigpictu09-20

[3] Amazon apologized: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/03/amazon-apologizes-to-michael-lewis-over-kindle-flap/

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