The Peanut Butter Manifesto: Spread Too Thin At Yahoo

A brutal internal memo from Yahoo Senior Vice President Brad Garlinghouse has likened the struggling company to "peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world," with a "thin layer" that barely covers the company's broad scope, resulting in "focus on nothing in particular." The WSJ obtained the memo and dubbed it "The Peanut Butter Manifesto" for its motivational tone ("It's time to get back up"), criticism of the status quo ("We lack a focused, cohesive vision for our company. We want to do everything and be everything -- to everyone... We are scared to be left out") and directives for change (greater focus, accountability and — the scary kicker for current managers, no doubt — "a radical reorganization"). Appropriately, the memo was also marked by the unfair smearing of peanut butter ("I hate peanut butter. We all should"). Yes, we went there.

Yahoo has suffered major setbacks since the rise of Google fumbling of late, hemorrhaging advertising revenues and market share and scrambling for competitive position. They have taken a step toward correcting that with the recently-announced partnership with a consortium of 176 newspapers across the country which will serve to plump up Yahoo's content cache, and provide local news for its portals and, concomitantly, advertisers, and see the newspapers funnel employment classifieds through Yahoo's HotJobs. Meanwhile, for newspapers challenged by current dire circumstances, the move gets their content into circulation online (see above re: ads) and sees the papers embracing the internet instead of fighting it. Papers included in the consortium include the San Francisco Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Denver Post, and have a combined daily circulation of 12 million. This move comes on the heels of Google's announcement that it will sell print ads in fifty national newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. Time will tell if this chunk of Yahoo's peanut butter, er, sticks. Yes, we went there again. Peanut butter is delicious.

176 Newspapers to Form a Partnership With Yahoo [NYT]
The Peanut Butter Manifesto [WSJ]

As Google Goes From Strength To Strength, Yahoo's Profit Falls And Falls [ETP]