June 06, 2013

Stormy Weather At Yahoo

I am a heavy Yahoo user. Yahoo has been the home page on all my computers since the beginning of time.

However, like most users of most brands, I'm not terribly loyal. I'm just too lazy and disinterested to change.

But lately, despite all the hoo-hah about their new ceo and all the miracles she's planning to perform, I'm thinking of leaving Yahoo.

According to the news reports I've read, she seems to think that Yahoo needs to find "innovative and differentiable angle(s)" for their products and services. Apparently they will be focusing on "content" and "mobile" (by the way, is there anyone on the planet who is not focusing on content and mobile?)

To tell you the truth, I don't really give a shit about new content or new mobile capabilities. I'm not all that interested in innovative and differentiable angles, whatever the hell that means. I'm thinking of leaving them because their weather module sucks.

Their weather module won't let me change the cities I monitor (the ones I travel to most often.) According to the threads I've read on line, this has been a problem for years, and they haven't bothered to fix it.

One can only imagine the frenzy of trying to discover "innovative and differentiable angles" that is going on at Yahoo these days. There must be hundreds of content strategists and  software strategists and strategy strategists running around in concentric circles looking for angles. Meanwhile, real live customers who want to know how the weather is in Buffalo are sitting there scratching their asses.

It seems to me that the weather is one of the simple, practical things that people want every day from their home page. I can't envisage how you can expect to be a preferred home page when you can't reliably provide your customers with this most basic of needs.

I'm a believer in specifics. When I have a brand preference it is usually for a specific reason. I think a lot of people are like me.

I have a favorite Italian restaurant. I don't go there because of their "real old world goodness." I go there because I like the garlic rolls.

I don't go to my favorite gas station because their gas "keeps my car running smoothly." I go there because it's 3 blocks away.

I don't fly out of Oakland Airport because they are "my gateway to the world." I do it because the TSA lines are shorter than SFO.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that if you run a business, most people don't give a shit about your grand vision. They are your customers for simple, practical reasons.

So before you run off looking for innovative and differentiable angles, first fix your fucking weather module.


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George Tannenbaum said...

I'm not sure that this is on topic or not. Back in 1978 I worked as a clerk in a liquor store on Rush Street in Chicago. It was quite a summer job. My domain was the cash register and the counter behind it, where cigarettes, pints and miniatures were sold.

One day a customer came in and asked for a carton of Winston cigarettes. I looked for them and we were out. I told the guy we had none. He taught me a marketing lesson. He said, "Son, Winston are the second best-selling cigarette in the US. You should never be out of them."

ie. Get the basics right.

paulbenjou said...

Clouds are beginning to gather ay Yahoo!

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Gary Kempton said...

Ms. Mayer recently suggested that all future Yahoo hires be from;

Brown, Cal Tech, Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, Yale...

Perhaps her problems would be better managed, if her employees weren't

entirely Ivy-encrusted?

It always amazes me that mass-marketers mostly stock their

org. charts from pristine waters. Perhaps it does take one to know one?

Chances are Stanford grads with gaudy a GPA's, really are at a handicap

when selling to we dumbed-down state university simpletons?

Sonny said...

You can change the weather cities. Just click on “Weather”, it takes you to the weather page. Then look along the banner with your first city on your home page list. There are the remaining cities across the bottom of that banner. To delete a city - move your mouse across those cities, you’ll see an “X” click it and that city goes away.

To add a city just search for it under weather and it gets added.
The problem is that only the last 10 cities can be listed at a time.

bob hoffman said...

Thanks Sonny. It almost worked. I was able to remove one city I didn't want. But my home city on the Yahoo page does not correspond to the home city on the detail page and there are still cities on the home page that I could not remove because they do not appear on the detail page.

bob hoffman said...

Thank you, Sophia

VinnyWarren said...

yahoo is f**ked. simple as that. their moment has passed. and all the king's horses and all the king's men can't fix that.

Shanghai61 said...

Saw a piece the other day that argued Steve Jobs wouldn't hired by Apple now. He didn't have the right qualifications, and wasn't enough of a 'team player'. Go figure.

Cecil B Demille said...

VULTURES are beginning to gather at Yahoo.

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johnfraserlowery said...


I have an iPhone 5. It has myriad buttons on the screen that
allow me to read QR’s, whatever they are, Swype, whatever that is, Path, whatever that is, I think I can even check the weather in Buffalo. It’s a miraculous piece of technology; at least it is according to the guy in the mobile phone shop.

Except it’s not.

Despite the fact that I live in central London, I can’t make
a phone call in my house unless I climb three flights of stairs. And no, it’s not the network. My previous phone, an ancient Nokia, functioned perfectly well on the same network.

So it’s differentiably an iCan’tFuckingPhone 5.


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Well...they DID fire him once.

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