Last week at Web 2.0, Yahoo hosted a dinner at LuLu’s and invited about 50 people (yahoos and people from around the industry). I enjoy these things, they are always a good way to meet new people, hear different persectives on the industry and get the word out about what we are up to here. And this night was no exception.
My favorite (and most eye-opening) part of the night happened very early on. A fellow Yahoo and I were chatting with Noah Kagan and my colleague said something to the affect of “you know Yahoo is a big company, so…” and talked about how you have to navigate the org to get things done. My colleague was right, it’s an art working the company to get things moving the right way.
But, ever the astute one, Noah asked “Why do you people always say that? You never hear people at Google say how big Google has gotten–even though it has–but people from Yahoo always say that.” His point: if you keep saying you are a big company, then you will be one. He’s right and he’s right to have called us out on that. I say it often too, and I’m particularly good at navigating the company, but still I shouldn’t have to and I shouldn’t just let it be. And, when I think of it, there are lots of positive things to focus on about Yahoo, why don’t I say those first: “you know Yahoo has a great platform so its easy to scale” or “we’ve got tons of traffic, we just need to decide where to send them”, etc.
I’ve never been a huge fan of the “postive mental attitude” cult or those “The Secret” guys, but in this case, Noah’s right. So starting today, I’m gonna stop saying “You know Yahoo is a big company”. If you hear me say those words, please call me on it. You know from my other posts that I’m committed to positive change, now I just have to speak like it.