Gizmodo has a fascinating article about what went wrong at Flickr and Yahoo’s failure in general to enhance all of those cool startups they bought in the late 2000’s.
This is the story of Flickr. And how Yahoo bought it and murdered it and screwed itself out of relevance along the way.
The lesson is clear – if you want your acquisition to continue to grow, concentrate on continued innovation first and corporate integration second. I see parallels with Oracle and all of the industry-leading companies (Siebel, Peoplesoft, etc) they bought. For corporate integration in Yahoo’s case read Fusion in Oracle’s.
The site that once had the best social tools, the most vibrant userbase, and toppest-notch storage is rapidly passing into the irrelevance of abandonment. Its once bustling community now feels like an exurban neighborhood rocked by a housing crisis. Yards gone to seed. Rusting bikes in the front yard. Tattered flags. At address, after address, after address, no one is home.
It is a case study of what can go wrong when a nimble, innovative startup gets gobbled up by a behemoth that doesn’t share its values. What happened to Flickr? The same thing that happened to so many other nimble, innovative startups who sold out for dollars and bandwidth: Yahoo.
Here’s how it all went bad.