Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.


Seth Fiegerman, reporting for Mashable on how Tumblr is doing after three years at Yahoo:

Tumblr’s stumbles under Yahoo may go down as a cautionary tale, both for the perils of a large corporation buying a hot startup and for Silicon Valley’s belief that any social network reaching hundreds of millions of people will inevitably generate boatloads of cash one day. Tumblr was slow to monetize before it was acquired, struggled to grow revenue enough to meet its new parent company’s expectations in the first year and struggled even more to keep up with ambitious goals when Yahoo began to meddle.

The massive Tumblr acquisition may also come to highlight Mayer’s broader management missteps in making flashy bets, trusting deputies with limited knowledge of a product to oversee it and some mix of arrogance or denial in failing to quickly right those wrongs when necessary.

Yahoo was floundering long before Marissa Mayer came on board, but it still feels like it’s in a dive. The acquisitions made on her watch have largely failed to pan out, and I question whether the company can ever come out of its slump.

You know that weird vibe you get when someone tells you that their email address is something-something “at Yahoo dot com”? That’s what she and they are fighting — that sense of malaise about anything Yahoo touches.