March 02, 2006

Why Yahoo is smart, very smart

While others sell on Yahoo's news of their mistake and change in direction with respect to original media content, they should be applauded and accumulated.

The most excellent blogger Fred Wilson who is a daily read, posts the following:

Saul Hansell has a story in today's New York Times about Lloyd Braun's new strategy at Yahoo!Media Group. Lloyd is backing away from long form video and focusing on user generated content and "content acquired by other media companies".

Lloyd is quoted as saying:

"I didn't fully appreciate what success in this medium is really going to look like," he said. "This is not about creating one-off hits like in my old business. That is not going to create a sustainable competitive advantage over the long term."

Frankly this is a good thing. Nobody really knows what "this medium is going to look like". So weaving and bobbing is what is required right now.

But I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that I saw this coming last September when I posted about another article in the NY Times about Lloyd Braun. At that time, Lloyd was promoting this strategy:

"more immersive," "more engaging," and most of all, more "original programming"

I said in my original post:

My initial reaction was, "that's not going to work". Original programming isn't really what the Internet is all about

Lloyd's challenge, and the challenge of anyone coming from the traditional content world, is to forget what they learned about original programming. That's not where its at on the Internet.

The challenge is all about how to take the work of the masses and assemble it into compelling content. The company that figures that out will do very well.

It's good to see that Lloyd and his colleagues at Yahoo! are figuring that out quickly before they throw lots of time, energy, and money down a rat hole.

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