Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Core vs Edge
Yahoo Mail incorporates an RSS reader. While I think the product itself is certainly cool, I'm not so sure about the strategy.
I think Yahoo has been struggling with the issue of what to do with an RSS reader for quite a while. And I think this is not the best way to leverage such a valuable resource.
Here's why: Yahoo should be building edge competencies. Not focusing on features and products. That is, they should be focusing on learning how to leverage cheap coordination to create economic value through, for example, plasticity, liquidity, or newer sources.
I'm not sure that simply bundling products is the way to do this - in fact, if anything, it's a core product focused move, to drive mass market adoption, and generate switching costs via scope economies = very 1999. IMHO, it would be smarter to focus on thinking about the RSS reader in the context of an edge platform.
How do we know that Yahoo's fumbling edge competencies? Stories like this are pretty compelling evidence:
"...One of the things that troubles me the most about this situation is that I found this retailer through Yahoo! shopping and they were perceived to have positive feedback. Is the feedback mechanism for Yahoo! Shopping broken? How could this horrible retailer have a four star rating with 858 ratings?
I'm convinced that there is a possibility that many of the "reviews" for this company could be fake. I should though have sorted through the reviews to the worst to see that many others had fallen prey to similar fraud by this company."
Which are what ultimately translate into an order of magnitude difference in market cap compared to Goog.