Potentially Disappointing News for Yahoo!

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I should be clear: Nobody really has any idea exactly how Marissa Mayer intends to proceed at Yahoo! (YHOO).

That said, it's been obvious for a while that video would be the cornerstone of her content strategy. And now it's (reportedly) evident that original programming will be the cornerstone of the cornerstone. Sadly, that's not very original.

It's the trend these days: do what everybody else is doing.

Smartphones. Tablets. And more to the point -- Internet radio platforms, streaming media players, wearable technology. Few companies, particularly in tech, come up with fresh ideas where the ground has yet to break at considerable scale.

This tells me that, for whatever reason, companies are afraid to take risks. They're more comfortable entering hot markets (smartphones, tablets, Internet radio, set-top boxes) even if they don't make meaningful dents in them and/or chasing flavors of the month (smart watches) that might never take hold. While the latter appears to be risk-taking, it's not. There's nothing like the company of peers to ease the brunt and embarrassment of failing.

It's a heck of a lot more scary -- and risky -- to go it, relatively speaking, alone. That's why I'm concerned and even disappointed in Yahoo! if original programming -- as we know it -- ends up the holy grail of Marissa Mayer's content strategy. Mayer's setting out on a long shot with this one. Her new child has a better chance of becoming a Major League Baseball player than Yahoo does at morphing into an original programming powerhouse.

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