The real story of Yahoo! Go

Last week at CES all the internet big guys had something to launch. MSFT & MTV are going after the music market, Google learned how to bundle software apps together and Yahoo announced Go.

While a lot of blogger attention was paid to those Mountain View guys, I think people missed the real gem about Yahoo! Go (for the record I don’t love the name, but I love the concept).

Now if you saw my keynote at Syndicate (preso online here) you know that I was hinting at what was to come: give the consumer what they want, when they want, where and how they want – whether that’s on their couch, on the beach, in the car, wherever. And that’s the strategy that Terry, Dan and Marco laid out at CES. And that’s cool. BUT…that’s not the real exciting news announced on Friday.

The real exciting news is the Yahoo! Go app itself. This is one of those products that only comes along once in a while and words cannot do it justice. It’s one of those products that you see and say “oh, that’s how it always should have been” or “wow, now it gets interesting”. So why am I so excited? It seamlessly syncs your mobile phone with the web. Your device is just a live input to the web.

  • Take a picture with your camera – it shows up on Y! Photos. That’s it. No sending to an email address, no waiting to upload. Just point, shoot, and its shared (I can’t wait til they add Flickr support)
  • Meet someone, type their phone number into your phone, it shows up in your Y! Address book. No syncing, no cables, no button to press.
  • Works in both directions – this is the killer one for me. I manage a lot of my addresses/phone numbers on the web and I always forget to sync. Also the idea of me being able to get all my favorite family photos on my phone without having to upload them to my phone rocks. It’s a slideshow in my pocket without having to every plug my phone in.
  • IM & Mail too – you can do Voice IM on your phone. Your email box is totally in sync (kinda like IMAP for your phone)

I realize in writing this how excited I am about it, but how hard it is to explain why. If you have a Nokia Series 60 phone, drop everything and go get it. If you don’t, find someone who has one and get them to try it out and show you.

It’s amazing and I hope this bodes well for the future of mobile and living room devices. As an industry we have to make these things incredibly seamless. My better half’s eyes glaze over when I say “OK, to get the pictures off of your phone, you need to plug this cable into the computer, then open the software program, then click Import and pick a place to save, then find them in Explorer and double click the image, then….” No one does that. But soon I can say: “Just take a picture and go to My Yahoo and you’ll see your pictures.”

Now that’s worth getting excited about.

3 thoughts on “The real story of Yahoo! Go”

  1. Hey Scott, longtime no nod. I was excited about the Y! Go announcement too, seems like something we all started talking about at Y! back in 99 or so, so great to see it coming to fruition.

    Someone from Y! AUNZ demoed it for me the other day, and it does truly look and work beautifully – very shiny interface and also functional.

    But surely limiting it to a small number of latest-gen Nokia handsets is a major barrier to success? It’s disappointing to see Y! choose window dressing over wide client support on this one. Y! Go is cool, but it’s not what consumers are crying out for, and it’s not a benefit simple enough that a phone store sales rep can use it to influence a sale. In other words, I don’t think anybody’s going to buy an N series just to get Y! Go unless they also have a Y! or Nokia employee ID badge.

    I can already automagically share my calendar, contacts and notes with my handset, laptop and online storage via Apple’s iSync. Granted, I do need to have the phone and the laptop within bluetooth range for it to happen, but it’s automagical, smooth and troublefree. And it works on about 250 handsets out there. True, you do need to use a Mac, not a PC…

    Cheers,

    – alan

  2. Scott, I mentioned this to David R on the commute in today, that I was really craving product info and not seeing enough of it in the blogosphere to whet my appetite. Thanks!

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