Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, November 18, 2021

Gotta hate it when internal memos get leaked — and into the Wall Street Journal, yet. Brad Garlinghouse, Senior Vice President of Communications, Communities and Front Doors for Yahoo!, will now forevermore be famous for his “Peanut Butter Manifesto”, a communication in which he criticizes the company for being too bureaucratic and spread so thin that it has a marked lack of focus.

The question is, how unintentional a leak is this? Such a damning assessment from one of the Yahoo!’s brightest lights is significant, and I can’t help but think that exposing it to daylight would be a tactic for further spurring the change espoused. I’m not saying that Garlinghouse himself delivered this Manifesto to the Journal, but perhaps someone in support of this call to action figured this was an effective way of shaming everyone at Yahoo! to get on board.

What makes me think this is the specific “peanut butter” complaint — i.e., the company being involved in too many Web sectors. How is this a problem, especially when you consider that Google is spreading itself just as thin? Granted, pursuing the multi-faceted portal path is an ultimate road to ruin. But since Google’s the acknowledged measuring stick of success for Yahoo!, why should the same strategies employed by both companies be perceived as genius for one, and folly for the other?

Here’s what I think: Despite framing it as a company-wide cure, this Manifesto is really another example of the siloing Garlinghouse is lamenting. Cutting back the workforce and getting back to basics would mean putting his areas of oversight — basically Yahoo! Mail, Messenger, and the Yahoo.com site — indisputedly at the center of a newly stripped-down operation.

Garlinghouse’s solution, it seems, would be to make his department the vaguard of a Web 2.0-optimized Yahoo!. That would be great for him; would it be the best option for the company?

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/18/2006 08:10 PM
Category: Business, Internet
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I admit, I regard the Retro Kids, a squad of homies who take their fashion cues from Theo Huxtable and Bel Biv Devoe, with mixed feelings.

On the one hand, I feel an affinity for others whose pop-cultural tastes run to oldschool, especially when it comes to rap.

On the other, there’s that undeniable acknowledgement that I’m getting older, because of the youth of these new adherents:

Since most of the ’80s-loving men were in diapers when dookie chains were all the rage, they’re giddily living out a fashion moment they mostly know from pictures. “I feel like I should have been born in the early ’70s,” said Kenneth Barclift, 20, who will begin studying fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in January.

Hey Kenneth: I was born in the early ’70s. It was equal parts magic and tragic — like any other era, I suppose. I’m not sure I’d wish it upon anyone who wasn’t already born then.

How much of the Reagan-era fashion trends did I indulge in? Fortunately, most of those records are permanently sealed (thank God for no World Wide Web back then). But I’ll admit to having made a few trips to Chess King (vintage attire from which I can’t believe survived the ensuing twenty years, as it tended to disintegrate within months of purchase).

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/18/2006 06:57 PM
Category: History, New Yorkin', Pop Culture
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