So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again,
Learn to live so free
-- From "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister
It looks like Yahoo!
There's a deliciously ironic twist here -- because Yahoo!'s greatest strength comes from the competition. This company is never more comfortable than when it's leaning on Time Warner's
See, Yahoo! became an industry titan on two strengths: an early jump on the nascent Internet bandwagon, and an enormous talent for making 2 + 2 = 5, or more. Nobody could make a mishmash of other people's content look so good. But it seems like management forgot about that part in recent years, focusing instead on largely irrelevant ventures like search and advertising platforms, or challenging eBay
It's back to Portals 101 for Yahoo!, and not a minute too soon. Imagine what this company could have been today if it had stayed on target through the years. Google used to run Yahoo!'s searches, and could have done a much better job monetizing that massive portal traffic than the in-house gang did. And with one exclusive goal at the top of everyone's mind, I believe that Yahoo! could have grown its global user base much further and faster. Diversity isn't for everyone.
Not every "back to the basics" effort pans out, but this raises fond memories of my days at CSX
I believe that Yahoo! is setting itself up to do the same thing in the business world -- if the new attitude of Yahoo! Music spills over into the company's many other silos. Good work, Carol Bartz. Yahoo! seems to do better under your wing.
eBay is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Apple, Amazon.com, and eBay are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. He really did work for the railroad, feeding and grooming their computers. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.