Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

’Twas the Deal Before Christmas? — A Holiday Poem for Yahoo

’Twas the deal before Christmas and all through the Valley,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a PE.
Their low bids for Yahoo were hung by the board room with care
In hopes that Dan Loeb would not soon be there.

Board members were nestled all smug in their heads,
With visions of $31-a-share that had long since been dead.
And Yang in his purple, and Filo in back
Had just settled in for a long drawn-out hack.

When out on Wall Street there arose such a clatter,
The media sprang from their texting to see what was the matter.
So, away to my blog I flew like a flash,
And posted internal memos I had found in the trash.

The gloom on the face of the crest-fallen staff
Gave the lustre of frustration to the latest board gaffe.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature Ma and eight bankers so near.

With a loud declaration, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must make Yang sick.
More rapid than eagles his offers they came.
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Yahoo, you sell back those shares I sold you!
Which I thought then were worthless — as it turns out, not true!
So return them to me, Alibaba for cheap!
Or the government of China will bury you deep!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the board room, the directors they flew,
With the legion of lawyers and a six-pack or two.

And then, in a twinkling, and not just for greed
The prancing and pawing of Andreessen and Reid.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney the VCs came with a bound.

They were dressed all in terms sheets, from their heads to their feets,
And those papers were all tarnished with deal points and deets.
A bundle of LP cash was flung on their backs,
And they looked like some peddler, just opening his packs.

Their eyes — how they twinkled! Their dimples how merry!
Their cheeks were like roses, their noses like a cherry!
Their droll little mouths were drawn up like a bow,
Since the carry on a deal was as deep as the snow.

The stump of a PIPE they held tight like a goose.
All golden, tho shareholder wrath circled them like a noose.
Those investors had taken so much in the belly,
That it shook when they cried, like a bowlful of jelly!

They were ready to dump the sad stock of Yahoo,
But always held hopes of a plan that was new.
The board had long promised it knew just where to head,
Which made me think now I had something to dread.

Soon the lawsuits will fly, if they can’t get it to work,
To give Yahoo a chance and not hire a jerk.
But that seems like asking for snowfall in spring
To hope that this crew knows how to handle this thing.

Yahoo used to be grand, it used to be great
And it certainly does not deserve this sad fate.
But if they don’t act real soon, it could fade out of sight
Leaving Google to rule, which just gives me a fright.

(And to the fantastic rank and file of Yahoo: Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!)

[UPDATE: At the request of Fortune magazine’s Miguel Helft on Twitter, I did a Hanukkah version, using the famous dreidel ditty:

Yahoo, Yahoo, Yahoo, I made it on the Web.
And when it’s dried and played out,
It might turn out dead.

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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