Keynote Speaker, Marketing Technologist, Columnist, Futurist, Smart Ass

My Experience Working With Yahoo! And Why Marissa Mayer is Right about Not Letting Employees Work from Home.

ydunce1Everyone has been busting Marissa Mayer’s proverbial balls over the past week over her decision to make Yahoo employees work at a corporate office and stop working from home. My work commute is approximately 66 steps from bed to work chair. It works for me. I work for a silicon valley company from my basement office in my Kansas City home. Living and working in Silicon Valley is too damn expensive so living there isn’t really an option. Having said that, I understand why Yahoo! totally needs to do it.

In the past summer, the company that I consult with was working on a partnership with a well known movie producer on a joint venture with Yahoo and my company. Meaning, we had to work together closely to make it happen. They had a distribution partnership with Yahoo! Screen and we had to work with it.

Working With Yahoo!

FingernailsChalkboard1My personal experience of working with Yahoo! was akin to listening to fingernails being drug across the chalkboard 24 hours a day for about 5 months. Yahoo! just doesn’t seem to get it. In fact, internally, we started calling them: “NO-Hoo!” and “Boo-Hoo!”.

Every single social media option that we brought them to help improve the visibility and to amplify the project was shut down by Yahoo!

Every. Fucking. One.

On the project, one of my jobs was to identify influencers who we might want to reach out to. So, I developed a process in which I was able to export every “TV crime drama” follower from every major Twitter account. Every follower of CSI, CSI Miami, CSI New York, CSI Springfield MO, CSI Tuscaloosa, CSI Mayberry, Criminal Minds, Special Victims Unit, Law and Order and many other similar type shows.

kloutscoreI exported each follower and began doing extensive analysis on them. After I obtained all of the followers, I was able to process the data and begin to sort the data to find pockets of efficiencies. With my process, I was able to identify the most influential followers who love TV Crime Drama shows. In fact, I could use this same process and tools to find any influencer for any new TV show, movie project, sports team, etc.  It’s a very effective process.

Then I took the list over to Klout and had them process the list against their database to see which of the 270k plus were also on Klout.  We discovered approximately 21,000 of the most influential crime drama television viewers.

In fact, the process that I developed, Klout now uses whenever they develop influencer lists for a Perk. It worked very well.  LOL.  According to employee 007 at Klout, they use 3 processes that I’ve developed now at Klout.  Excuse me while I pat myself on the back.  It’s my only consolation, since it’s put zero dollars in my pocket from Klout. 😛 But, I digress from the real point.

Back to how much Yahoo! sucks!

In our proposal to Yahoo, we would then offer the first episode of this online crime drama to these 21,000 influencers via a “Klout Perk”. Those highly influential people would all get to see the first 9 minute episode before anyone else and then be able to share that experience with their friends. This activation was going to cost only around $15,000. It would be a slam dunk.

But Yahoo repeatedly said “No!, we don’t want the episode to ‘leak'”.  Leak? Leak!? Are you kidding me, No-Hoo!?? Leak?  You want stuff like this to get lots of pre-buzz… and you want these 21,000 top influencers to watch this first episode… and get excited… and then share the video far and wide as possible. Viral, even! “Sharing” is not a fucking leak!

OMG, this still pisses me off to this day, can you tell?  And it was over 6 months ago.  I was so pissed that I closed down my 15 year old @yahoo email address.

Marissa Mayer is Right about Not Letting Yahoo! Employees Work from Home.

We came to No-Hoo! time and time again with various different ideas to make this movie successful. And overall, we ended up with nearly a billion impressions worldwide and we got over 21 million people to watch the movie online, and if you figure $10 per ticket, this would have been a $200m box office hit. We had this thing launch in 25 countries SIMULTANEOUSLY.  It was an amazing feat.

But it could have been HUGE. We could have had 50 million watch it. I know it.  But NOOOooOOOOooo. Boo-Hoo! had to be a roadblock that we had to hurdle at every junction.

Have I mentioned how much Yahoo! sucks?

Keep in mind, I don’t know how many Yahoo employees that we worked with actually worked from home. That’s not necessarily the point. The point is, Yahoo! doesn’t get social and is hard to collaborate with. So, I’m glad that Marissa Mayer put her foot down and is making these employees work from an office. They need better internal collaboration if they are going to get out of this black hole of NO!  Personally, I don’t mind working from an office around brilliant minds. But, it’s more convenient and better for the environment to work from home. But, when you are as dysfunctional as No-Hoo, you don’t deserve that luxury.

To share with you just how much that Yahoo! doesn’t get social media… I drove by the headquarters in Santa Clara, CA in August and I did a drive-by check-in on Foursquare… It told me that if I checked in 2 more times, that I would be the mayor of Yahoo! LOL.

Marissa Mayer knows that she has her work cut out for her over there. She is well aware of the dysfunction. She is trying to change things, and I believe that she can. But it is an uphill battle. And she needed to make this decision to stop the slackers from working from home. I wish them the best of luck, but I won’t be using any of their services, any longer, as it might leak!

This blog post is the personal opinion of Travis Wright and does not reflect anyone else’s opinion, who has worked with No-Hoo!, Boo-Hoo! or Yahoo!


Travis Wright is a Venture Catalyst, Public Speaker, Digital Disrupter, Marketing Provocateur, Stand Up Comedian, Tech Blogger & Brand Awesomeizer.

This Travis Wright guy shares marketing resources, industry analysis, interwebs strategery & random hilarity along w/ occasional sport or political rants. If you can stand his jokes and want his opinion on something, feel free to connect with him.

email: tw [at] traviswright [dot] com

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