I would like to announce that I’m ready, willing, and insane enough to go long and go big with Yahoo! as your new CEO. Yahoo! showed glimmers of hope when it bought Flickr and Delicious. It’s been a bastion of some of the most impressive technology of the last 15 years. I believe it can be great again…Sounds great, how the hell am I going to do it? I’m going to take the $20bn in market cap and build an empire of product and design talent that will be beyond reproach. Then I will give them the support and freedom to do what they do best: innovate.
This sort of thinking is what I’ve come to think of as the “Supergroup Theory of Corporate Culture.” It’s sort of like the idea that if we could put Keith Moon, Jimi Hendrix, John Bonham, and Jim Morrison in a room together they would inevitably produce the greatest rock record the world has ever heard. In reality, the results tend to be a lot more messy than that once you encounter in the inevitable ego conflicts, divergent visions, and different work styles that come with “genius” territory. Yahoo! has tried the approach of acquiring a laundry list of the world’s hottest startups in the past. It didn’t give the company a soul or coherent vision then, and I’m skeptical that even with Stump’s best intentions it would now.
I get what you’re saying, but actually, at that moment, where Yahoo! was acquiring Flickr, Delicious, etc… that pretty much was the last time they had a soul.
Update: Also, the Travelling Wilburys were only ok, but Reindeer Section and Tired Pony were awesome.