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Marissa Mayer's 'New York Yankees' Strategy Will Fail at Yahoo!

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ever since Yahoo! (YHOO) hired Marissa Mayer as CEO, I have been on board.

In fact, at the outset, when quite a few people second-guessed the move, I lauded and applauded. That was 68% ago. Now the Mayer bandwagon can hardly fit more people on it. That's often how these stories go.

Even if you miss a bit of what will be misguided upside, it's time to bail on YHOO. Hurts me to say this because ever since Al Gore invented the Internet, Yahoo! has been my No. 1 site. Between the home page, weather, sports and finance (the latter two are, by far, among the best in their respective businesses), I have spent more time using Yahoo! properties than any others.

I thought Mayer was the person who would harness what drives these channels, make them even better and cut all that traffic Yahoo! still gets loose on the world.

I think I was wrong.

The small acquihires I can live with, but Mayer's move to take out Tumblr I just can't. TheStreet's Dana Blankenhorn told us Tumblr completes Mayer's vision at Yahoo! Like most people -- set aside a few Tumblr purists -- he likes the deal. But, if you believe Peter Kafka at All Things D -- and I generally do -- Mayer isn't done. She's putting up even more of the company's cash hoard to make a play for Hulu.

Yahoo!'s New York Yankees' Strategy

Everybody has an analogy; we should compare analogies to ***holes, not opinions. And they're quite frequently farther away from the mark.

Supporters of the deal parallel the Tumblr acquisition to Google's (GOOG) successful purchase of YouTube. A few have even justified it by pointing to Microsoft's (MSFT) buyout of Skype. Sounds great, but, ultimately, these are both flawed analogies.


YouTube and Skype both fit, more than logically, into successful existing platforms. Google did an excellent job integrating YouTube into its ecosystem and previewing the vision. It took Microsoft longer -- and they're still not there -- but they're moving in a more valid direction each day. You would think that one day, the world would associate Skype not only with Windows and Xbox, but with video calling broadly. (To an extent it already does: "Hey, let me Skype you!). Whether Steve Ballmer can execute or not is neither here nor there, but the fundamental vision makes sense.

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