There are some sobering lessons in this excellent Gizmodo article, How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet.
Extracts that stood out for me:
- It is a case study of what can go wrong when a nimble, innovative startup gets gobbled up by a behemoth that doesn’t share its values.
- Even early on, there were signs that the transplant—which had seemed so successful at first—was going to fail. That the DNA didn’t match
- All Yahoo cared about was the database its users had built and tagged. It didn’t care about the community that had created it or (more importantly) continuing to grow that community by introducing new features
- Because Flickr wasn’t as profitable as some of the other bigger properties, like Yahoo Mail or Yahoo Sports, it wasn’t given the resources that were dedicated to other products.
- As a result of being resource-starved, Flickr quit planting the anchors it needed to climb ever higher. It missed the boat on local, on real time, on mobile, and even ultimately on social—the field it pioneered
- Yahoo needed to leverage this thing that it had just bought. The first step in that is to create a unified login. That’s great for Yahoo, but it didn’t do anything for Flickr, and it certainly didn’t do anything for Flickr’s (extremely vocal) users.
- If you want to see where it completely fucked up, turn on your phone and launch the Flickr app. Oh, what’s that, you don’t have one? Exactly