This is a fantastic article (actually more like a short book so settle in). It is an unauthorized biography of Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo.
One of the more interesting parts of the story is from Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and venture capitalist:
Andreessen talked about the difference between technology companies and “normal” companies. He said the output of normal companies is their product: cars, shoes, life insurance. In his view, the output of technologies companies is innovation. Whatever they are selling today, they will be selling something different in five years. If they stop innovating, they die.
Local television news outlets need to move faster to include more “innovation” in addition to “product”. We’ve talked before about The Innovator’s Dilemma, and I’m in the middle of Master Switch (review coming soon). Time to lead, not follow.
One of the other things learned in the piece is that traffic to the Yahoo Weather app is up 150% since the redesign released this spring (it should be noted that Yahoo Weather, with some help from The Weather Channel, powers the native weather app on the iPhone, and, take note that the design language of the app released this spring is exactly that of iOS 7 to be release next month, when does Apple give clues like that?). There are a couple of other weather nuggets in the story.
Why is the Yahoo app free? Why doesn’t it have ads? Other articles about Mayer explain the importance of habits. If you enable a habit, you make a pretty important contribution to a users life. If the habit is a good one, and you associate your brand, you build trust. When you build trust, you have an easier time sharing other things. The weather we offer is 50% “It is going to rain.”, 50% promotion.
I was in a meeting recently where the Yahoo Weather app was discussed. At one point one of the meeting participants, who uses the app, looked at her phone, smiled, touched the UI and said one of the most important things I’ve ever heard, “It makes me happy.”
Hope you can join us for the next Weather Insiders, Wednesday, August 28, 11:00am eastern. We’ll be talking agents!