Mark Norman Francis (or Norm but never Norm Francis), one of (now many) former “Yahoos,” wrote an excoriating sequence of Twits about the company that we used to say is Nº 1 at being Nº 2. Since Twitter’s view of archiving is analogous to Yahoo’s view of Geocities, I am preserving them for posterity here. (Copy-edited; mildly reordered.)

  • Yahoo should be ashamed of itself. Instead the press releases will talk of this as a positive and strengthening move.

  • Yahoo closing Geocities was the first symptom of illness. Yahoo closing Delicious means it is time for radical therapy before the body dies.

  • Yahoo is a company that thinks having pictures up is bad for the decor. Unless they are branded, motivational posters.

  • Yahoo is a company that refused to supply a replacement laptop to a developer after one was stolen. After all, code just writes itself.

  • Yahoo is a big company. The thing about big companies is that you don’t work for the company, but really only a tiny fiefdom within it.

  • Yahoo is a company where the design guidelines are introduced to you with “gleaming purple pride.” And no sense of irony.

  • Yahoo is a company that promises a retention bonus in two years. And then makes you redundant after one.

  • Yahoo is a company where vending machine coffee being upgraded to vending machine coffee was a reason to remove an actual espresso machine.

  • Yahoo is a company where an employee was later bullied by senior management for asking a question in an All Hands. During the Q&A section.

  • Yahoo is a company where accessibility bugs on a product were closed WONTFIX because that’s not what they used Bugzilla for.

  • Yahoo is a company where the idea of maintaing a product was so onerous that it was better to cancel it. But had to finish it first.

  • Yahoo was a company where making a fourth bookmarking service was a good idea. Yahoo is now a company where even one seems like too many.

  • Yahoo is a company where knowledge is powerless.

  • Yahoo is a company where covering Cannes and the Oscars is a “roadmap” for a Movies website. But the meeting to decide that takes all day.

  • Yahoo Europe is a company that won’t hold another Barcamp because it involves letting strangers into the building.

  • Yahoo is a company where adding a video player (with no actual video to play) to a page is more important than adding content to the page.

  • Yahoo is a company where you get called into a meeting to explain why you are not at your desk working.

  • Yahoo is a company that prioritised the Facilities team’s concerns about wall cleanliness over the needs of the people who made Web sites.

  • Yahoo is a company where a JPEG in a presentation deck implements “new features” so well that you don’t have to actually bother building it.

  • Yahoo has so much potential for greatness wrapped up in its greatest asset – the employees. And is stripping that away in search of profit.

  • Being a developer for Yahoo was the best job I ever had. Being a developer for Yahoo was the worst job I ever had.

  • Yahoo had the most incredible team of developers in London I have ever known. And has pissed almost all of that talent away.

  • Yahoo was a great place to work. In my first two years I shipped about twelve things. In my next two years I shipped one. Then I quit.

  • Yahoo Europe believed it was better to wait four years for one new website from the US than to build fifteen in 18 months. Still waiting.

  • Yahoo is a company that makes awesome software, open sources it and then forbids you from using it internally. Because “no one uses it.”

  • Google holds developer conferences in places like the Moscone Center. Yahoo makes people go to an office next to a sewage treatment plant.

  • Yahoo is a company that thinks globally and acts locally. I say locally, I mean Sunnyvaley.

  • Yahoo is a company that shuts down projects like Brickhouse so it can focus on innovation. Where innovation means making another homepage.

  • Yahoo is a company that would rather waste time building another internal portal “blog” than make search work on the internal wiki.

  • Yahoo is a company that treats profitable sites as a burden just because they are not as profitable as the homepage.

  • Yahoo is a company that hands out plastic awards for innovating, then buries it and stops the originator from doing anything with it.

  • Yahoo is a company that thinks shielding management from alternative ideas is a route to success.

  • Yahoo is a company that believes SEO comes first and content comes about seventh. Well, in Europe anyway. I hear the U.S. has content.

  • Yahoo is a company that believes that a developer building a site worth $5 million should get less that the salesperson who fills it with ads.

  • Yahoo has more than 10,000 people with opinions on what is good and right, and ignores them all in favour of listening to Wall St.

  • Yahoo is a company that believes copying what is already overwhelmingly popular is how to get first place. “Fast” following.

  • Yahoo is a company that believes in taking six years to write from scratch software inferior to what it already uses. And calls it progress.

  • Yahoo is a company that believes Americans with no experience of building Web sites in and for Europe are better at it than Europeans.

  • Yahoo is a company that believes cutting people that live and breathe the Internet is how you get better at building Web sites.

  • Yahoo is a company that spent more on marketing an “innovation” scheme in Europe than it did on developing any of the ideas generated.

  • Yahoo is the company that could and should be the biggest force for good and transformation on the Internet. Instead they target soccer moms.

  • Yahoo is the company I most think of as “home.” Which is why I hate to see it going so very, very wrong.

  • Yahoo is a company I feel privileged to have worked for. I doubt that it feels the same about me. Or even knows who I am any more.

  • Yahoo is a company capable of awesome. There are just too many layers of interference between the web makers and the decision makers.

  • Yahoo is the company I left two years and two days ago (15/12/2008). I still miss it terribly. It still makes me angry when they fuck up.

  • But most of all, Yahoo used to be the company where the talent went to. Now it’s where they get pushed away from. And that makes me sad.

  • Yahoo… will never hire me back after this evening. :)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2010.12.17 13:12. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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