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July 24, 2006

Is Consistency Better Than Innovation?

New York Times has an interesting article titled "In the Race With Google, It's Consistency vs. Wow" that talks about how different Google and Yahoo have evolved. Yahoo creates new products that integrate with the existing ones, doesn't innovate too much to keep its conservative userbase and it's more down-to-earth. Google launches many exciting products, likes to come up with disruptive ideas and it adjusts gradually to people's needs. Remember that Gmail needed almost two years for a delete button.

"Our philosophy is that being part of the Yahoo network is a huge advantage and a huge competitive differentiator," said Ash Patel, Yahoo's chief product officer. "When we build a product that takes advantage of the Yahoo network, it doesn't feel like an orphan."

"There is a tradeoff between integration and speed," Google's Alan Eustace said. "We are living and dying by being an innovative, fast-moving company."

Toni Schneider, a former product development executive at Yahoo:
"Yahoo has lost its appetite for experimentation. They used to be a lot more like Google, where someone would come up with a cool idea and run with it. While Yahoo's processes have become too bureaucratic, it is still attracting an audience. Google's products may be more innovative, but at the end of the day, Yahoo is pretty good at nailing what the user really wants."

Google vs Yahoo (June 2006, US)


  1. so a company released all sorts of GREAT and FREE tools and you complain. ahhh.. what this world is coming too. bunch of spoiled little brats! we're all damn lucky to be here! look around you. the world is a mess! we have bigger issues than google.

  2. oh and this is why we'll NEVER have world peace. cause some ahole always has to complain about someone else. how about this...everybody minds their own business and is JUST happy!

  3. New here? I didn't complain about Google. It's just that many people try to find an explanation for Google's poor market share outside search.

    Striving for better products will never be detrimental to world peace. Just our self-inflated ego (read hybris).

  4. People use what they know... take how long Yahoo's services has been around for and how long Google had had it's own services. Once you have all your contacts on one service, it's difficult to change over to another and the same goes for when you're used to using it. Many people dislike Windows, for instance, but keep using it because they are familiar with the product.

    A good service does not mean people will jump for the chance to use it, they'd most likely rather stick to what they know best.

  5. In terms of becoming someone's day-to-day mainstay, Google needs to turn its innovative eye towards 'contacts'.

    That'll be the last hurdle to get people to fully commit, me thinks.

  6. Derek Hitchins writes in his book "Putting Systems to Work": "Resist the temptation to integrate all the technological support features—that's the path to software overruns, project delays and inflexible technological 'solutions'"

  7. I have a problem with a guy that is writing a lot of stupidities about me. How, where I can complayn about that? It is really fustrating when his blog is on the first page on Google when someone is searching about my name.
    That's not correct and I will report that...


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