What's It Like to Get Acquired By Yahoo?

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Since 2005, Yahoo has acquired more than thirty different Internet properties. How many of them have you heard of? How many have been folded under the Yahoo umbrella and completely disappeared, wasted money for the company? MyBlogLog, WRETCH, Kenet Works, TeRespondo, FoxyTunes. Those are just some of the names.

Signal vs. Noise, a blog about web culture and design, took a closer look at four of the companies that have been picked up by Yahoo over the past few years to see how they're faring now. Not well, they argue. In short: "They get bogged down trying to overcome integration obstacles, endless meetings, and stifling bureaucracy. The products slow down or stop moving forward entirely. Once they hit the two-year mark and are free to leave, the founders take off. The sites are left to flounder or ride into the sunset."

Here's Signal vs. Noise on the acquisition of Delicious:

Delicious' Joshua Schachter announced the deal saying, "Together we'll continue to improve how people discover, remember and share on the Internet, with a big emphasis on the power of community. We're excited to be working with the Yahoo! Search team - they definitely get social systems and their potential to change the web." Meanwhile, Yahoo promised "to give Delicious the resources, support, and room it needs to continue growing the service and community."

But then the app seemed to go stagnant. Traffic dropped. Schachter claims he was stripped of responsibilities and employees within a year after acquisition. "My boss didn't agree with my technical design or product direction," said Schacter. "It was phrased more like 'you should be the idea guy, we'll find other people to run engineering for you;' the guy he decided would be good was ultimately him. However, he mostly spent all his time on Answers and none on Delicious, so it was more like absentee landlordism."

Schacter left Yahoo when his contract was up, in June of 2008. "I was largely sidelined by the decisions of my management," he said after leaving. "It was an incredibly frustrating experience."

Recently, a leaked slide revealed Yahoo might be planning to "sunset" the app. Schachter vented, "[Yahoo!] killed a lot of good startups, wasted a lot of engineers' time, etc. Perhaps I spent too much time inside that particular sausage factory. I wish I had not sold it to them. The cash and freedom do not even come close; I would rather work on a big, popular product."

Read the full story at Signal vs. Noise.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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