Stack Ranking

Many company’s, particularly US owned, staff evaluation schemes are based on ranking their staff, and additionally rewarding the top 20% and firing the bottom 10%. (This idea comes from the US, probably from GE; firing people because they are not as good as someone else is illegal in the UK and much of Europe.) Basically it is not about continuous improvement, it’s based on a world view that thinks people are lazy and need fear to make them work hard. Fear of not getting a bonus, or fear of dismissal. This cynicism and hate will never build a successful firm. …

Mobile Future, can Yahoo! really show the way?

Business Insider reports that Yahoo CEO Marisa Meyer is considering giving iphones to all Yahoo! Employees. It seems she agrees with those in the company who feel that their IT department’s commitment to Blackberry is holding them back and that their engineers would benefit from using devices that they aim to deliver services to; not Blackberrys. This was known at Sun Microsystems as “Eating our own dog food” The article finished with what I assume to be a Business Insider editorial comment,

“Yahoo should be innovating for the future, and BlackBerrys are not part of the future. They are part of the quickly fading past.”

The article also states that Meyer is not so wedded to Apple, and might consider Android. The unspoken question is whether Yahoo! is part of the quickly fading past.

On another note, I use all three devices, although the Apple device is an ipod touch and since like everyone I am unhappy with what I have, and am already looking forward to replacing both the phones. …

Why did Facebook eclipse Yahoo?

Yahoo had a web site, e-mail and photo sharing. It didn’t have micro-blogging, nor was it able to leverage the market- and mind-share of Facebook’s initial applications publishers.

It was self-obssessed and under takeover threat, but it had great brand value, and most people would accept that it is run be people that will take customer privacy more seriously; their business model treats their users as customers, not commodity (eyeballs).

Yahoo is not a secret garden either, which should make it more attractive, you can use it to share with non-yahooers. Is it just that the deal, “Your privacy in exchange for e-mail and micro-blogging”, is worth it? Admittedly, it’s initial growth was driven by teenager adoption, but why take up with Facebook and not Yahoo?

Yahoo was almost there. Interesting how close you can be and miss! …

Building a Yahoo MapApp

This article is a pointer to my original one on the sun/oracle blog. I wrote up how to build a Yahoo maps application. The idea was to build a map showing the approximate location of members of a group for the purposes of planning meetings. The date should be noted and that using Yahoo didn’t seem that odd at the time; it’s been replaced in market and mind share as the programmatic map application by google and privacy implications are much higher. This item is as much a technology diary as anything else.


Originally posted on my sun/oracle blog, republished here in April 2016, the screenshots are missing from both, if I wish to restore them, I’ll need to put them on the wiki. …

The RSS Revolution

One of the reasons I started blogging was to participate in the RSS revolution. At least one of my feed providers has pointed at Yahoo as a server based RSS delivery/agregation solution, and I had to return to My Yahoo last week and discovered that they’ve upgraded the services available via this Yahoo feature. The picture immediately below, shows my new My Yahoo! news page. …