Vogue Marissa Mayer article explains Yahoo's future as a mobile daily habit.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Yahoo!
Jacob Weisberg interviews Marissa. This resonated with me:
For his part, Karp says he was won over not just by Mayer’s commitment to keep running Tumblr as an independent company but by what a happy and optimistic person she is. “That’s something I’ve always valued, and I think it’s kind of a unique sensibility in the tech industry,” he says. Karp points out that in a rapidly changing tech landscape, many of the biggest players are now playing defense, looking for acquisitions that help protect their empires. “Meanwhile, Yahoo, out of left field, is in attack mode. There was nothing defensive about Yahoo buying Tumblr.”
Tumblr, of course, is far from profitable, and with a user base deeply resistant to commercial messages, there’s no clear path to take it there. While Mayer and Karp figure out how to turn it into a business, it will be a burden on Yahoo’s bottom line. The company can afford it—Yahoo is currently cash-rich—but growth has so far been slow: a mere 2 percent in 2012. As advertising revenues continue to show declines, Mayer has tried to set expectations appropriately, telling investors that exceeding industry growth levels is going to be the work of years.
In reviving Yahoo, Mayer faces the challenge of a diffuse set of products and a business model based on advertising. Audiences are moving quickly from desktops to small-screen mobile devices, where marketers struggle to capture attention, and revenue per user is much less. Mayer’s bet is that Yahoo will thrive amid this transition by going back to its roots as the “daily habits” company, providing the best tools for what people do digitally every day.
“Close your eyes and listen to this list,” she says. I close my eyes and hear her recite: “E-mail, maps, weather, news, stock quotes, share photos, group communication, sports scores, games.
“You’re listening to what people do on their mobile phones,” she says. “And it sounds like a list of what Yahoo does.”
Yes it does. I'm a believer. Yahoo's best days are coming up.