What Happened to Yahoo? The Rise of Yahoo
They say that necessity is the mother of invention and there are no two people that typify this saying than David Filo and Jerry Yang, the two founders of Yahoo. The story of how Yahoo came to be is an all too familiar one; that of looking for a tool to help with a certain task and creating your own when you find out that no such tool exists. This is what David and Jerry did, as the two PhD candidates in Electrical engineering at Stanford University were looking for a single place where they could find useful websites, which of course didn’t exist back then. Back then, when the World Wide Web was in its infancy, you had to pay for an account with a company such as Microsoft Network or AOL to be able to navigate the web and find the sites you want to visit as is explained in detail over at guttulus.com. The two Stanford students, Filo and Yang, would change the game as far as browsing the web is concerned. So how did a company which began as hobby, manage to grow into a fortune 500 company? This is what this article will look to highlight as we plot the rise of Yahoo with the help of the gurus over at runrex.com.
We are going to start at the very beginning where as it has already been mentioned above, Yahoo actually began as a student hobby with Yang sharing a list of favorite websites with his fellow student Filo, and it wasn’t long before the two were compiling an expansive list of their favorite websites, which they included in their own website. They initially called this website of theirs Jerry’s guide to the World Wide Web, and later amended the name to David and Jerry’s guide to the World Wide Web as per the gurus over at runrex.com and here you would find links to various sites which they found interesting. To help navigate the site, they divided the sites into various categories. Initially, it had a list of hundreds of sites and was getting visitors in their thousands per week but within 6 months, it had grown and had a list of over 20,000 links and was getting about 50,000 visitors each day as covered over at guttulus.com. As the number of links increased, it became necessary to sort them into subcategories to allow for easier navigation of their website. They also changed the name of their site to Yahoo as they found the definition of the word, “to be rude and uncouth”, appealing. Later on, the term Yahoo was popularized as an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”.
Stanford actually helped them out initially as demand for their website grew as they provided them with a trailer and a set of computers for their operations. By June of 1995, Yahoo had grown to over 10,000 links and a million views per day, which became too much for the Stanford servers to handle, and therefore, as per the gurus over at runrex.com, Yang and Filo were told to find their own servers. They therefore incorporated the company and begun to look for financing for their company, which they eventually got from Sequoia Capital, which put in $1 million for 25% of Yahoo. To help with the running of the company, Filo and Yang put together a management team which included Tim Koogle as CEO and Jeff Mallett as COO. Another big milestone as far as the company is concerned came in 1996 when the company went public, where they managed to raise $33 million during its IPO, selling 2.6 million shares at $13 per share as per the discussions on the same over at guttulus.com.
After they went public, the company continued to soar, expanding and building their brand even more. They developed products and services that were aimed to help their users based on what they were clicking on such as chat rooms, shopping, games, sports, movies and so forth and by the end of 199, they had grown to a big company with over 4,000 employees and over 250 million users. They continued to build and expand their portfolio and by 2000, the company was offering its users over 400 different products and services as per the gurus over at guttulus.com, from internet communication services like Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo Mail to social networking services such as Yahoo personals, Flickr and many other products and services. 2000 is also the year the company had its highest valuation of $125 billion, which just goes to show how far the company had come in little over a decade. The rise of Yahoo continued, as although it did take a hit when the dot-com bubble burst, in 2005 it looked to rebound as it acquired a 40% stake in Chinese ecommerce platform Alibaba for $1bn which, as per the subject matter experts over at runrex.com, proved to be a very good move as the money brought in through this investment has helped Yahoo continue being valuable despite some tough times. The company also acquired the social network Tumblr in 2013 for $1.1bn which was done to enable the company reach a millennial audience.
Even though it has not always been smooth sailing for the company in recent times, its rise is definitely worth documenting, and it still remains relevant today especially with its acquisition by Verizon, with more on this to be found over at the excellent runrex.com and guttulus.com