Sunday, November 22, 2015

Note to Yahoo: Keep your eye on the ball

I use Yahoo every day for two things: Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Finance. So it disturbs me when those services are glitchy.
I worry that Yahoo has become distracted with finding new growth areas and is letting its crown jewels wither. This year, Yahoo has been promoting costly ventures like live-streaming an NFL football game and producing a new season of the comedy series “Community.” Neither were successful.
The headlines lately have been worrisome for Yahoo and its management. (“Yahoo ‘Bleeding Purple,’ Little Relief Seen: Analyst” and “The Last Days Of Marissa Mayer?”)
Yahoo needs to preserve core services that people rely on daily like Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Finance and MyYahoo or users will seek alternatives.
Also, with its desperate focus on serving mobile devices, Yahoo should not ignore its strength among desktop users.
Companies that chase the latest shiny thing often take for granted their legacy operations. I hope that doesn’t happen to Yahoo. But some annoying glitches with Yahoo Finance (stock pages can take forever to load) and Yahoo Mail (occasionally inaccessible), I think it’s lost focus.

Photos: Recent screenshots of Yahoo fails, including a Yahoo Finance error message (top) from Nov. 11. Below are Yahoo Mail errors from September and April.