“What shirt should I wear to work today?” was my thought while standing in the closet, excited about our team’s new hire and some exciting news on the products our team works on.
My “Upcoming.org” shirt, I thought. I want to be reminded of the potential. Not many people remember Upcoming, but it was a Yahoo! acquisition many years ago. Along with Del.icio.us and Flickr it really defined Web2.0, moving from a web of documents to apps, UGC and crowd-sourcing.
Upcoming had a kickstarter (that’s where I got the shirt), trying to recapture the magic. The ghost of del.icio.us lives on- acquired by Yahoo!, spun-off, and re-acquired by a startup that was originally inspired by del.icio.us.
I get compliments all the time about the quality of work and the quality of people at Yahoo! (with exclamation point #grump). It’s easy to forget that for years at Yahoo! we solved problems w/o thinking that eventually became startups!
When Hadoop was spun off and open-sourced, it started a wave of companies, big and small, that came together around “Big Data” which led to “Machine Learning” and quickly commoditizing into “Data Science”.
What will happen with Vespa? How will its ghost live on, what impact to the global economy will it have?
In a pensive mood, as I know that a few friends will have their last day today at Yahoo!/Oath/Verizon, and I wonder whether they’ll join the Yahoo! Alumni Group, or they’ll start their own… Oath-breakers, anyone?
What does it even mean to be loyal to a company that doesn’t exist anymore and you’re not a part of?
I think it was the people, and the energy required to meet the challenges of blazing the trail that other companies could learn from.
There was a great quote said during Michael Jackson’s funeral (paraphrasing): “Michael Jackson wasn’t crazy, he was just doing the best he could in the crazy world he lived in, facing challenges that you and I cannot even imagine.”
Yahoo! wasn’t always the best, but they did blaze the trail, doing the heavy lift FIRST because we had to, and everyone else on the sidelines with popcorn and rotten tomatoes to throw when we stumbled. But they learned from our mistakes, and poached the brightest people, and then went on to invent and build even better pieces of technology, and use that technology in better service of their customers.
With AOL and Yahoo having been acquired by Verizon and with AIM shutting down, I think I can confidently declare that Web2.0 is over. Now comes Web3.0. Open-Source and Walled Gardens.
But it’s being built by a lot of people who worked at Yahoo! I’m looking at you, interns that had a great first internship at Yahoo and then used that to trade up to Google, Facebook, and Uber. I’m looking at you, database experts that joined smaller companies to have a larger impact, and the best damn ops people I’ve ever worked with who are now keeping Twilio and WhatsApp up and running 24x7x365… AWS and S3… the new definition of “carrier-grade” free market “as many 9’s as profitable” class of reliability.
In a way, I think a lot of us still #BleedPurple, but I’d love to hear what does #BleedPurple mean to you?