Yahoo’s Ass Kicking Statue Controversy

This was one of those, "should I skip it" decisions, but I did find it
interesting. Phillip at Google Blogoscoped in
Yahoo in
Battle Mode
summarizes how Yahoo’s mail team was given a statue (yep,
there’s even a picture) for "kicking an enemy’s ass." That would be Google’s
bottom being whacked, specifically.

Phillip then points to Google’s Kevin Fox having long
commentary on the statue. Kevin
used to be at Yahoo, and he does a compare and contrast feeling that Google’s
about making better products while Yahoo’s focused on "how to beat Google" and
finds the competition goes too far with the statue’s comparison to Britain
fighting Nazi Germany.

The comments after Kevin’s post go all over the place and are fun to read —
pro-Yahoo, anti-Yahoo, pro-Google, anti-Google. Phillip also points to two Yahoo
employees who comment on the statue as well (Ryan Kennedy

a toned-down description for the statue;
this employee
prefers the "be humble" approach).

Yahoo’s new email interface is way, way cool (double verified by checking
with my wife, who is a regular user) — but honestly, the old system was already
kicking Google’s butt for the simple fact that anyone could sign-up for it
without getting someone to send you an invite or having to get text messaged a
secret code. When Gmail’s freely open to anyone, then let the weigh-up really
take place.

Speaking of statues, how about Yahoo putting a little message on the Bob’s
Big Boy statue that Chris and I came across in one of the Yahoo buildings when
visiting this summer. I’ll see about getting the photo off Chris’s phone — I
made him stand there and take it. But it looks just like
except the hamburger was replaced with the Inktomi logo.

Bob’s an old friend I remember well, from my days of visiting Inktomi. He was
in the lobby, and I’d sit next to him waiting for someone to come meet me.

If memory serves, Inktomi founder Eric Brewer bought him to represent the
serving/caching service that Inktomi used to provide. When Yahoo bought Inktomi,
Bob came over — and apparently was nearly tossed out until someone gave him a

He deserves a better home and maybe his own message devoted to the Yahoo web
search team — those from Inktomi, plus the AltaVista and FAST/AllTheWeb vets.
They assembled a great product that directly rivals Google’s core search
results. Heck, put Bob out in the main entrance of Yahoo! Just make the message
praising the efforts without dissing the competition, and I suppose everyone
will be happy.

Related reading

A screenshot of visual search on Pinterest. On the left is a picture of a copper angle-poise lamp, with the words 'Visually similar results' above it. Down the right-hand side are a number of pins showing similar lamps.
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