More on Leadership
5 months ago
Yahoo could have purchased Google for $1 billion
Let's see this once-dominant IT corporation crumble.
What's the capital of Kazakhstan? If you don't know the answer, you can probably find it by Googling. Google Search returned results for Nur-Sultan in 0.66 seconds.
Google is the best search engine I've ever used. Did you know another search engine ruled the Internet? I'm sure you guessed Yahoo!
Google's friendly UI and wide selection of services make it my top choice. Let's explore Yahoo's decline.
YAHOO stands for Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle. Jerry Yang and David Filo established Yahoo.
Yahoo is primarily a search engine and email provider. It offers News and an advertising platform. It was a popular website in 1995 that let people search the Internet directly. Yahoo began offering free email in 1997 by acquiring RocketMail.
According to a study, Yahoo used Google Search Engine technology until 2000 and then developed its own in 2004.
Yahoo! rejected buying Google for $1 billion
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google's founders, approached Yahoo in 1998 to sell Google for $1 billion so they could focus on their studies. Yahoo denied the offer, thinking it was overvalued at the time.
Yahoo realized its error and offered Google $3 billion in 2002, but Google demanded $5 billion since it was more valuable. Yahoo thought $5 billion was overpriced for the existing market.
In 2022, Google is worth $1.56 Trillion.
What happened to Yahoo!
Yahoo refused to buy Google, and Google's valuation rose, making a purchase unfeasible.
Yahoo started losing users when Google launched Gmail. Google's UI was far cleaner than Yahoo's.
Yahoo offered $1 billion to buy Facebook in July 2006, but Zuckerberg and the board sought $1.1 billion. Yahoo rejected, and Facebook's valuation rose, making it difficult to buy.
Yahoo was losing users daily while Google and Facebook gained many. Google and Facebook's popularity soared. Yahoo lost value daily.
Microsoft offered $45 billion to buy Yahoo in February 2008, but Yahoo declined. Microsoft increased its bid to $47 billion after Yahoo said it was too low, but Yahoo rejected it. Then Microsoft rejected Yahoo’s 10% bid increase in May 2008.
In 2015, Verizon bought Yahoo for $4.5 billion, and Apollo Global Management bought 90% of Yahoo's shares for $5 billion in May 2021. Verizon kept 10%.
Yahoo's opportunity to acquire Google and Facebook could have been a turning moment. It declined Microsoft's $45 billion deal in 2008 and was sold to Verizon for $4.5 billion in 2015. Poor decisions and lack of vision caused its downfall. Yahoo's aim wasn't obvious and it didn't stick to a single domain.
Hence, a corporation needs a clear vision and a leader who can see its future.
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1 month ago
Provide a product roadmap that can withstand startup velocities
This is how to build a car while driving.
Building a high-growth startup is compared to building a car while it's speeding down the highway.
How to plan without going crazy? Or, without losing team, board, and investor buy-in?
I just delivered our company's product roadmap for the rest of the year. Complete. Thorough. Page-long. I'm optimistic about its chances of surviving as everything around us changes, from internal priorities to the global economy.
It's tricky. This isn't the first time I've created a startup roadmap. I didn't invent a document. It took time to deliver a document that will be relevant for months.
Although they never change, goals are rarely understood.
This is the third in a series about a startup's unique roadmapping needs. Velocity is the intensity at which a startup must produce to survive.
A high-growth startup moves at breakneck speed, which I alluded to when I said priorities and economic factors can change daily or weekly.
At that speed, a startup's roadmap must be flexible, bend but not break, and be brief and to the point. I can't tell you how many startups and large companies develop a product roadmap every quarter and then tuck it away.
Big, wealthy companies can do this. It's suicide for a startup.
The drawer thing happens because startup product roadmaps are often valid for a short time. The roadmap is a random list of features prioritized by different company factions and unrelated to company goals.
It's not because the goals changed that a roadmap is shelved or ignored. Because the company's goals were never communicated or documented in the context of its product.
In the previous post, I discussed how to turn company goals into a product roadmap. In this post, I'll show you how to make a one-page startup roadmap.
In a future post, I'll show you how to follow this roadmap. This roadmap helps you track company goals, something a roadmap must do.
Be vague for growth, but direct for execution.
Here's my plan. The real one has more entries and more content in each.
Let's discuss smaller boxes.
Product developers and engineers know that the further out they predict, the more wrong they'll be. When developing the product roadmap, this rule is ignored. Then it bites us three, six, or nine months later when we haven't even started.
Why do we put everything in a product roadmap like a project plan?
Yes, I know. We use it when the product roadmap isn't goal-based.
A goal-based roadmap begins with a document that outlines each goal's idea, execution, growth, and refinement.
Once the goals are broken down into epics, initiatives, projects, and programs, only the idea and execution phases should be modeled. Any goal growth or refinement items should be vague and loosely mapped.
Why? First, any idea or execution-phase goal will result in growth initiatives that are unimaginable today. Second, internal priorities and external factors will change, but the goals won't. Locking items into calendar slots reduces flexibility and forces deviation from the single source of truth.
No soothsayers. Predicting the future is pointless; just prepare.
A map is useless if you don't know where you're going.
As we speed down the road, the car and the road will change. Goals define the destination.
This quarter and next quarter's roadmap should be set. After that, you should track destination milestones, not how to get there.
When you do that, even the most critical investors will understand the roadmap and buy in. When you track progress at the end of the quarter and revise your roadmap, the destination won't change.
4 months ago
Lessons on Leadership from the Dancing Guy
This is arguably the best three-minute demonstration I've ever seen of anything. Derek Sivers turns a shaky video of a lone dancing guy at a music festival into a leadership lesson.
A leader must have the courage to stand alone and appear silly. But what he's doing is so straightforward that it's almost instructive. This is critical. You must be simple to follow!
Now comes the first follower, who plays an important role: he publicly demonstrates how to follow. The leader embraces him as an equal, so it's no longer about the leader — it's about them, plural. He's inviting his friends to join him. It takes courage to be the first follower! You stand out and dare to be mocked. Being a first follower is a style of leadership that is underappreciated. The first follower elevates a lone nut to the position of leader. If the first follower is the spark that starts the fire, the leader is the flint.
This link was sent to me by @ottmark, who noted its resemblance to Kurt Vonnegut's three categories of specialists required for revolution.
The rarest of these specialists, he claims, is an actual genius – a person capable generating seemingly wonderful ideas that are not widely known. "A genius working alone is generally dismissed as a crazy," he claims.
The second type of specialist is much easier to find: a highly intellectual person in good standing in his or her community who understands and admires the genius's new ideas and can attest that the genius is not insane. "A person like him working alone can only crave loudly for changes, but fail to say what their shapes should be," Slazinger argues.
Jeff Veen reduced the three personalities to "the inventor, the investor, and the evangelist" on Twitter.
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11 days ago
The direction of the economy is as follows.
What quarterly bank earnings reveal
Big banks know the economy best. Unless we’re talking about a housing crisis in 2007…
Banks are crucial to the U.S. economy. The Fed, communities, and investments exchange money.
An economy depends on money flow. Banks' views on the economy can affect their decision-making.
Most large banks released quarterly earnings and forward guidance last week. Others were pessimistic about the future.
What Makes Banks Confident
Bank of America's profit decreased 30% year-over-year, but they're optimistic about the economy. Comparatively, they're bullish.
Who banks serve affects what they see. Bank of America supports customers.
They think consumers' future is bright. They believe this for many reasons.
The average customer has decent credit, unless the system is flawed. Bank of America's new credit card and mortgage borrowers averaged 771. New-car loan and home equity borrower averages were 791 and 797.
2008's housing crisis affected people with scores below 620.
Bank of America and the economy benefit from a robust consumer. Major problems can be avoided if individuals maintain spending.
Reasons Other Banks Are Less Confident
Spending requires income. Many companies, mostly in the computer industry, have announced they will slow or freeze hiring. Layoffs are frequently an indication of poor times ahead.
BOA is positive, but investment banks are bearish.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, outlined various difficulties our economy could confront.
But geopolitical tension, high inflation, waning consumer confidence, the uncertainty about how high rates have to go and the never-before-seen quantitative tightening and their effects on global liquidity, combined with the war in Ukraine and its harmful effect on global energy and food prices are very likely to have negative consequences on the global economy sometime down the road.
That's more headwinds than tailwinds.
JPMorgan, which helps with mergers and IPOs, is less enthusiastic due to these concerns. Incoming headwinds signal drying liquidity, they say. Less business will be done.
I don't think we're done. Yes, stocks are up 10% from a month ago. It's a long way from old highs.
I don't think the stock market is a strong economic indicator.
Many executives foresee a 2023 recession. According to the traditional definition, we may be in a recession when Q2 GDP statistics are released next week.
Regardless of criteria, I predict the economy will have a terrible year.
Weekly layoffs are announced. Inflation persists. Will prices return to 2020 levels if inflation cools? Perhaps. Still expensive energy. Ukraine's war has global repercussions.
I predict BOA's next quarter earnings won't be as bullish about the consumer's strength.
5 months ago
This clever Instagram marketing technique increased my sales to $30,000 per month.
No Paid Ads Required
I had an online store. After a year of running the company alongside my 9-to-5, I made enough to resign.
That day was amazing.
This Instagram marketing plan helped the store succeed.
How did I increase my sales to five figures a month without using any paid advertising?
I used customer event marketing.
I'm not sure this term exists. I invented it to describe what I was doing.
Instagram word-of-mouth, fan engagement, and interaction drove sales.
If a customer liked or disliked a product, the buzz would drive attention to the store.
I used customer-based events to increase engagement and store sales.
Here are the weekly Instagram customer events I coordinated while running my business:
Be the Buyer Days
Be the Buyer Days: How do they work?
Be the Buyer Days are exactly that.
You choose a day to share stock selections with social media followers.
This is an easy approach to engaging customers and getting fans enthusiastic about new releases.
First, pick a handful of items you’re considering ordering. I’d usually pick around 3 for Be the Buyer Day.
Then I'd poll the crowd on Instagram to vote on their favorites.
This was before Instagram stories, polls, and all the other cool features Instagram offers today. I think using these tools now would make this event even better.
I'd ask customers their favorite back then.
The growing comments excited customers.
Then I'd declare the winner, acquire the products, and start selling it.
How do flash sales work?
I mostly ran flash sales.
You choose a limited number of itemsdd for a few-hour sale.
We wanted most sales to result in sold-out items.
When an item sells out, it contributes to the sensation of scarcity and can inspire customers to visit your store to buy a comparable product, join your email list, become a fan, etc.
We hoped they'd act quickly.
I'd hold flash deals twice a week, which generated scarcity and boosted sales.
The store had a few thousand Instagram followers when I started flash deals.
Each flash sale item would make $400 to $600.
$400 x 3= $1,200
That's $1,200 on social media!
Twice a week, you'll make roughly $10K a month from Instagram.
$1,200/day x 8 events/month=$9,600
Flash sales did great.
We held weekly flash deals and sent social media and email reminders. That’s about it!
How are mystery boxes put together?
All you do is package a box of store products and sell it as a mystery box on TikTok or retail websites.
A $100 mystery box would cost $30.
You're discounting high-value boxes.
This is a clever approach to get rid of excess inventory and makes customers happy.
Be the Buyer Days, flash deals, and mystery boxes helped build my company without paid advertisements.
All companies can use customer event marketing. Involving customers and providing an engaging environment can boost sales.
1 month ago
Russia's greatest fear is that no one will ever fear it again.
When everyone laughs at him, he's powerless.
1-2-3: Fold your hands and chuckle heartily. Repeat until you're really laughing.
We're laughing at Russia's modern-day shortcomings, if you hadn't guessed.
Watch Good Fellas' laughing scene on YouTube. Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, and others laugh hysterically in a movie. Laugh at that scene, then think of Putin's macho guy statement on February 24 when he invaded Ukraine. It's cathartic to laugh at his expense.
Right? It makes me feel great that he was convinced the military action will be over in a week. I love reading about Putin's morning speech. Many stupid people on Earth supported him. Many loons hailed his speech historic.
Russia preys on the weak. Strong Ukraine overcame Russia. Ukraine's right. As usual, Russia is in the wrong.
A so-called thought leader recently complained on Russian TV that the West no longer fears Russia, which is why Ukraine is kicking Russia's ass.
Let's simplify for this Russian intellectual. Except for nuclear missiles, the West has nothing to fear from Russia. Russia is a weak, morally-empty country whose DNA has degraded to the point that evolution is already working to flush it out.
The West doesn't fear Russia since he heads a prominent Russian institution. Russian universities are intellectually barren. I taught at St. Petersburg University till June (since February I was virtually teaching) and was astounded by the lack of expertise.
Russians excel in science, math, engineering, IT, and anything that doesn't demand critical thinking or personal ideas.
Reflecting on many of the high-ranking individuals from around the West, Satanovsky said: “They are not interested in us. We only think we’re ‘big politics’ for them but for those guys we’re small politics. “We’re small politics, even though we think of ourselves as the descendants of the Russian Empire, of the USSR. We are not the Soviet Union, we don’t have enough weirdos and lunatics, we practically don’t have any (U.S. Has Stopped Fearing Us).”
Professor Dmitry Evstafiev, president of the Institute of the Middle East, praised Nikita Khrushchev's fiery nature because he made the world fear him, which made the Soviet Union great. If the world believes Putin is crazy, then Russia will be great, says this man. This is crazy.
Evstafiev covered his cowardice by saluting Putin. He praised his culture and Ukraine patience. This weakling professor ingratiates himself to Putin instead of calling him a cowardly, demonic shithead.
This is why we don't fear Russia, professor. Because you're all sycophantic weaklings who sold your souls to a Leningrad narcissist. Putin's nothing. He lacks intelligence. You've tied your country's fate and youth's future to this terrible monster. Disgraceful!
How can you loathe your country's youth so much to doom them to decades or centuries of ignominy? My son is half Russian and must now live with this portion of him.
We don't fear Russia because you don't realize that it should be appreciated, not frightened. That would need lobotomizing tens of millions of people like you.
Sadman. You let a Leningrad weakling castrate you and display your testicles. He shakes the container, saying, "Your balls are mine."
Why is Russia not feared?
Your self-inflicted national catastrophe is hilarious. Sadly, it's laugh-through-tears.