it’s as if someone decided to re-invent more and more of Yahoo’s popular services in random order, giving them a fresh user interface, less historical baggage, and usually one feature that really stands out (such as Gmail’s storage limit or Google Talk’s use of Jabber).
Dave Winer responded quite astutely:
Very clever, and there’s a lot of truth to it, but watch out, that’s not a very good place to be. That’s how Microsoft came to dominate the PC software industry…. It’s better to produce your own 2.0s…
I really look at the whole thing another way. Google is replaying Yahoo’s playbook circa 1996. Back then, we simply looked at what people were searching for and then built services that they wanted. Filo called the query logs “our to-do list”.
I tend to think that we’ve got a head start in understanding users and how they react to the way we roll out new features. We got to be the #1 way that people read RSS by knowing how the masses wanted to subscribe to new info, we broke convention in the way RSS was consumed (it doesn’t have to only be in a mail metaphor) and it paid off for us.
If Google really is trying to do what we did 10 years ago, of course they are gonna try to be “Yahoo done better” and that’s something to really watch out for. Yahoo! Maps was a leading product and Google launched Yahoo Maps 2.o – and you all loved it. That sucked for Yahoo. Now we launched a better maps, but we should have launched the new Yahoo Maps before they did.
So Dave – you are right. If Yahoo’s gonna win, we need to take our 10 years of experience and launch our own Yahoo 2.0 well before MSFT and GOOG know what’s happening.