THE BLOG
02/04/2016 02:55 pm ET Updated Feb 03, 2017

How Marissa Mayer Could Turn Yahoo Around

If I were Marissa Mayer, I'd say/write the following to anyone who is in any way curious about Yahoo and its future. It's what I refer to as "assertive humility."

Hello Yahoo supporters, past, present and hopefully future,

Yahoo and quite frankly I need your help. What we've learned and demonstrated in plain sight and in front of you is how technology can be myopic with regard to customer experience. Big data may help us "know" you, but falls short of our understanding you. Tracking your actions through big data will never make up for our empathizing with and truly understanding you. In that regard, like many other technologists, I plead no contest to worshiping too much at the altar of technology. Becoming a mom has especially helped me learn this.

That said, you and Yahoo and I have an opportunity to fix everything.

To do that, we have decided to invert who we are and "search" and crowdsource you and drill down into what you most want from a company with our capabilities (according to Alexa we are still ranked #5 Globally and in the US) and because of our situation, a company that is more than willing to make your wish our command.

To make this as simple as possible, we would like you to imagine it's 3 years from now (we'll try to accomplish it sooner) and those of you that use Yahoo spontaneously and excitedly say to your friends and network: "Have you checked out Yahoo lately?" What is it that Yahoo does for you that would cause you to do that? Please be as specific as possible. Another way to ask you is: "What would be impossible for us to do, but if we could do it, would cause you to sing our praises to everyone you know?"

And furthermore, to our fellow technologists and social media aficionados we would like you to imagine it's 3 years from now and the buzz about us is, "Who the heck would have thought that Yahoo of all internet companies would have gotten x right?" What is x? And again please be as specific as possible. And I'll ask you the same disruption seeking question: "What would be impossible for us to do, but if we could do it, would cause you to proclaim that to your world?"

As Mark Twain would say, "Rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated."

We looking forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes and thanks from Yahoo and my personal best to you,

Marissa