Terry Semel of Yahoo Interview Notes by Jeff Jarvis
Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine took some excellent notes of an interview primarily conducted by Ken Auletta of Yahoo’s Terry Semel. Here’s some of my favorite blurbs:
“He says he talked to Googleâ€™s founders early on about buying them. Their first offer was $1 billion â€œand we donâ€™t want to sell.â€ A few weeks later, he said, the price rose to $3 billion and they didnâ€™t sell.” I would love to hear more about this one.Update: And I did! Looks like this might’ve been heard wrong. According to Kelly Delany from Yahoo Corporate Communications: “Mr. Semel said that Google’s founders made both offers, neither offer was made by Yahoo!. Here is a link to the video of the interview Mr. Semel’s story about possibly acquiring Google is approximately six minutes into the interview.”
“What is Yahooâ€™s business, Auletta asks. â€œOur fundamental business is selling advertisingâ€¦ Our fundamental business is that we license content from around the worldâ€¦ and we sell advertising.â€ Blank Stare…not sure I would agree with this.
“â€œMachines donâ€™t answer the questions of people. People answer the questions of people.â€ What IS this – quotes from the Matrix School of Neo-isms?
“â€œWe donâ€™t have the ambition to do a lot. We have the ambition to help lead the way and help others to do the work for us,â€ he says.”This one kind of speaks for itself. Yahoo needs a better evangelist and FAST.
Whole bunch of interesting tap-dancing around the China bloggers deal as well, and of course, the inevitable content vs. relationships blurbs. Overall I thought it was a pretty good interview.