Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

On the Straight Talk Express With Sue Decker


While I usually give top executives at Yahoo (YHOO) a hard time about their unusually opaque memos and statements that typically say exactly nothing, I liked that clarity in a blog post by President Sue Decker on Yahoo’s Yodel Anecdotal about the appearance she made with CEO Jerry Yang at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual meeting on Monday.

“The challenge is that advertisers and publishers are forced to deal with disparate systems and multiple platforms for buying search, display, video and local ads. That in itself is an inhibitor to achieving that growth,” wrote Decker (well, I hope she wrote it!) “We want to eliminate all the friction and complexity that advertisers, publishers, agencies and exchanges deal with so they can focus on reaching the right audiences and driving greater monetization. … Our approach is as different to current advertising platforms as the DVR was to VCRs.”

I know some at IAB thought Yang and Decker were not specific or substantive enough (and I was not there in person, so I cannot say if their performance was weak or not). But I thought Decker clearly articulated in the blog post the benefit of a strong Yahoo in the online display ad market, which it dominates and where it can push for standards and practices.

And the metaphoric comparison she made was a great one, although there are probably fewer and fewer people who remember what a pain videotapes can be.

Still, it must be said: More Sue Decker out of the cone of silence might be a good thing for Yahoo.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik