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Friday
Sep092011

A Horribly Unimpressive List of Products Yahoo Launched under Carol Bartz

[ Carol Bartz just after she became Yahoo CEO. Photo by Yahoo social media team via creative commons license. ]

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz got the boot this week, but we wanted to review the products that launched during her tenure, which started on Jan. 13, 2009.

Our take?

Bartz was great at cutting jobs and dropping F-bombs, but she sucked at creating product. This list is stunningly underwhelming. Almost every item here is a “catch up” feature to the market leader Google.

Yahoo Mail improvements to catch up GMAIL circa 2008? Yawn.  

Instant search results to copycat Google Instant? Meh.

The Lesson here?  If you put an operations person like Carol Bartz, or a sales person like Tim Armstrong, in charge of a lagging technology company, don’t be surprised if they get their ass kicked by founder and product-driven CEOs like Larry Page and Steve Jobs [ see the Jason Calacanis editorial on what he would do as Yahoo CEO ].

If Yahoo has any chance, it needs to hire someone who either creates innovative products or steals them as fast as Mark Zuckerberg does (i.e. Facebook knocked off Quora, FourSquare and Instagram within months--not years--of them coming up with killer features).

The disaster that is Bartz’s launch legacy:

*Yahoo! Connected TV launched Fantasy Football TV App. - Aug. 16, 2011

* A beta WebPlayer for YouTube and other media formats [ see our story ] - Aug. 4, 2011

* Yahoo! Mail launched a Facebook-specific reply bar to let users respond directly from their inbox. - June 3, 2011

*Yahoo! mail Beta launched a Contacts interface that lets users group contacts together in a list and easily send emails. - May 18, 2011

* Yahoo Search Direct, similar to Google Instant, predicts search results as the user types and provides the 10 most likely searches - March 23, 2011

* Yahoo! Mail Beta incorporated Facebook chat - March 14, 2011

* An iPad-specific version of the Yahoo Finance app for iPhone called MarketDash - Feb. 22, 2011

*Yahoo! Mail rolled out a beta version to double the speed, improve search capabilities and provide a simple design for easier email reading. Available on the web, iPhone, iPad and Android devices, it also leveraged the open-source Hadoop technology, which crunches large 16 terabytes every day, to reduce spam - October 26, 2010 

* Bought Associated Content, a content producer with 380K+ contributors, for a little more than $100M. Now rebranded as Yahoo Contributor Network - May 18, 2010   

* Partnered with Major League Baseball to make Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball '10 the official fantasy baseball game of MLB.com - March 8, 2010

*Yahoo! Messenger launched a new version with video calling, a built-in media player and Facebook integration - Sept. 30, 2009

* Launched Flickr galleries so members can curate together up to 18 public photos or videos in one place - Sept. 18, 2009

*Yahoo! Local launched Yahoo! Neighbors to let users find local services or post questions and tips for the community. - Sept. 11, 2009

*Yahoo! Finance, Fantasy Football and Flickr launched apps on the iPhone, iPod Touch and three BlackBerry models. - Sept. 8, 2009

* Launched a Back to School site to help students find school supplies on a budget. The site also featured a study zone with educational games. - July 24, 2009

* Launched a revamped, customizable homepage featuring hyper-local news - July 24, 2009

* Launched a CBS Radio-powered Yahoo! Music iPhone app to offer users 300+ stations - June 12, 2009

*Yahoo! Mail, My Yahoo!, Yahoo! Connected TV and Zimbra launched third-party apps and widgets to give users quicker access to services like PayPal and Mint.com - June 5, 2009


* Yahoo! Image Search added a Creative Commons license filter to help users quickly identify which images are permissible to use - May 26, 2009

*Yahoo! Movies launched a Summer Movie Guide offering previews of upcoming summer films - May 8

*Yahoo! Music launched Artist pages featuring downloads from iTunes, Amazon music, Pandora streams, tour info and more - April 7, 2009

*Yahoo! Mobile for the web came out of beta to support 300+ devices with HTML-enabled mobile browsers - April 3, 2009

*Yahoo! TV Widgets launched to let viewers browse content from Yahoo! News and other Yahoo! products without interrupting the current program - March 27, 2009

*Flickr started allowing free video uploads for all members, HD video uploads for Pro members and the Flickr Clock - March 2, 2009

*Yahoo! mobile launched in beta to offer search, email, messenger, address book, calendar, news, social networks and non-Yahoo! content in one place - Feb. 20, 2009

*Yahoo! Mail integrated chat into the Classic mail interface, allowing users to send and receive both instant messages and SMS messages to their Yahoo! contacts - Jan. 28, 2009

* Yahoo! Profiles integrated social sites to let users see when a contact posts to services like Yelp, YouTube and Twitter - Jan. 16, 2009

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