Look, I would never admit this to anyone in public, but the truth is that our deal with Google marks the end of the first great battle of the Internet era — call it Internet 1.0 — and we’ve lost. That’s what it means. We’ve capitulated. We’ve surrendered. We’re dead. We’re over. We’re roadkill. We’re AltaVista. We’re Lycos. We’ve admitted we can’t survive on our own and have turned to our biggest enemy to save us. When they write the history of the Internet, Yahoo! might be more than a footnote, but not much more.
Sure, we’ll try to spin it otherwise, but we won’t have much luck because we’re about as good at spinning as we are at running our company, which is to say, not very. Have you ever seen our PR people in action? Me either. Do we even have any PR people? I have no idea. Whatever we’re paying them, it’s 100% too much. Who else could go into a PR battle against Microsoft and come out looking like the low-IQ side of the equation? Honestly, I’ve never ever in my entire life seen an organization that handles marketing and public relations as badly as we do, except maybe Facebook, but that’s only because they don’t do anything at all. They don’t even try.
As for me and my performance as a CEO, what can I say? Just because I started a company doesn’t mean I know how to run one. Think about it. I’m an electrical engineer, for Christ’s sake. What I know about management could fill a thimble. Same for negotiating. Which is how we ended up being pwned by Google. But as I keep telling my board: At least we won’t be working for Microsoft.
Speaking of which, you know what Ballmer said to me the last time we met, in that airport hangar in San Jose? He said, Well, kid, have fun being Sergey’s bitch. And I guess Ballmer must have told this to Sergey because now Sergey never misses a chance to remind me of it in his own subtle ways. Like he’ll call up and say, Hey, are you getting on this conference call, bitch? Or in a meeting last week he said, Hey, while you’re up, could you get me a bottle of water, bitch?
Eric told him to grow up and start acting professional and Sergey just laughed and said, Why? What’s he going to do? Go make a deal with Microsoft? If he was gonna do that he wouldn’t even be here. Eric just sighed. The poor guy has developed battered spouse syndrome from working with these two morons. Then Sergey and Larry started throwing Lego pieces at me and Sergey said, Seriously, bitch, if you want us to save you from Microsoft then go get us some water, right fucking now.
Whatever. They won. We lost. So let them gloat and trash-talk and do their victory dance. Fact is they’ve always been a pair of low-rent, low-class posers. Even back at Stanford they were like that, and everyone hated them. Am I bitter? Sure. Guilty as charged. Who wouldn’t be bitter? They pulled a Zuckerberg on us. They stole our idea and then zoomed past us. I know what you’re thinking. Maybe if we’d had better PR and marketing, or maybe if we’d hired a real CEO, like Eric Schmidt, instead of that ass clown Terry Semel, we wouldn’t have lost out. Or maybe if we’d had the balls to get rid of Terry sooner. What can I say? Maybe, maybe, maybe. No point in thinking about it now. Plus, my big flaw as a leader is that I hate confrontation.
Which is also why I keep my mouth shut around Sergey. Have you seen his arms? All the guy does is lift weights, and every time he sees me he says something to provoke me and then just flexes his arms or his neck (because he’s very proud of his big neck muscles) and leers at me as if to say, Please, bitch, go ahead and say something, or better yet, take a swing at me. Just give me an excuse, I’m begging you.
Instead I go all passive aggressive and I do my kung fu thing and close my eyes and breathe in through my nose, as if to say, I am going to pretend to be all humble and peace-loving because as a total Shaolin martial arts master I’ve been trained to avoid fighting lesser beings.
Sergey knows that’s bullshit. He knows I don’t know any karate. He also knows I hate him. I know he knows because whenever he’s talking I do my patented Jerry Yang Scowl, the one that says, I’m smart and you’re dumb and I’m so bored listening to you be so dumb because I’m so smart and I’m so mature and you’re so immature and I don’t even care how much money you have, I really don’t.
Here’s the truth, and handle it if you can: Sergey is an arrogant, nouveau-riche vulgarian who got lucky because he was pals with Larry. Ever met a Russian emigre who came here with nothing and struck it rich? Multiply that by a billion and you get the picture. He’s tacky. He’s unbearable. Or nevynosimo, as they say in Russian. Case in point: Who else thinks it’s cool to buy a Boeing 767 for his executive jet? Better yet, what kind of asshole buys a Boeing 767 and then goes around talking about how much they care about green technology and global warming and saving the planet?
But I digress.
By the way, I’m really grateful to Steve for giving me this chance to bare my soul online by being a guest blogger on his site. Much love, Dear Leader, and I hope you feel better soon, even though I know that in fact you’re not feeling bad because one of my people just talked to Katie Cotton and she says Steve is in extremely good health and isn’t frail at all and this whole thing about losing weight was just made up by the filthy scumbags in the media to stir up controversy; she says it was all just caused by the way the lighting was done on the stage at WWDC because they put in special lights to try to make Phil Schiller look less huge and the side effect of that lighting was that it made everyone else look extremely thin, but in fact Steve weighs more right now than he’s ever weighed in his life and there’s nothing to worry about and no reason to short the stock and everyone at Apple is just super-excited about the 3G iPhone, that’s really what we’re here to talk about and if you are going to keep asking about personal questions then this interview is just going to have to be over because we don’t talk about hypothetical situations and we don’t talk about speculation and we don’t respond to rumors and frankly from the way you phrase the question it sounds like you’ve already made up your mind so what point would there be in us trying to talk to you.
Katie says she’s not here to talk about Steve’s health she’s here to talk about the 3G iPhone because we’re all just very super-excited about this really exciting new product which we think people are going to be very excited about and we really just want to talk about that excitement and we don’t have the bandwidth to cover everything related to Apple and we’re trying to stay focused on something that’s very exciting and if you have other questions then those questions are things you should maybe talk about at another time sometime down the road.
And no, Katie doesn’t know when that time will be, she’s not saying we’re going to talk about anything at any time, she’s not making any statements about when we’re going to make a statement because there is no statement to make at this time, and no, that doesn’t mean there will be a statement to make at some later point in time and seriously what is wrong with you people?
That’s a direct quote from Katie, according to my person. I was like, Come on, no human being actually talks like that. But my person insists that Katie does, in fact, talk exactly like that. All of the Apple PR people talk like that. I said in that case we should seriously try to hire some of them because this is exactly the kind of rhetoric we need at Yahoo. I’ll let you know how it works out.