Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Like Yahoo Founder, Like New Yahoo CEO: Data Is Now King?

I love talking points as much as the next person, but there’s a striking similarity between recent statements by Yahoo’s co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang and its new CEO Scott Thompson, who was just hired after a stint running eBay’s PayPal unit.

It seems from the pair that the exploitation of Yahoo’s troves of data might take center stage from the “premier digital media company” moniker that the Silicon Valley Internet giant has been using of late.

Premier consumer data mining and usage company just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? (And it’s also usually called Google!)

Here’s Yang from an interview with Walt Mossberg at our AsiaD conference in Hong Kong this past October (this is a liveblog with quotes and paraphrasing of quotes).

Q: As you look at what Yahoo could be, what are the one or two key areas that it could go after to truly transform itself?

Jerry: We’re really focused on trying to “turn Yahoo inside out.” We do a huge amount of services internally: Data, content, personalization. Lots of other people on the Web around the world could use that.

And, from my liveblogging, here’s Thompson last week on his aspirations, which were much less focused on Yahoo’s longtime — and, ahem, bill-paying — advertising business (which the new leader keeps saying he knows nothing about) than on exploiting its consumer data businesses (which he certainly does know about from running the online payments giant).

The data these Internet businesses create, the ability to use analytical technology to build a better businesses for your customers. … I feel certain that wealth of data is going to be exploitable for next generation products, next generation experiences. … My instinct says down in that data we’re going to be able to find ways to compete and innovate that the world hasn’t seen yet.

Data it is, then!


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