For the past two years, I've been joking that:
the new yahoo is the old google
the new google is the old microsoft
the new microsoft is the old IBM
the new IBM is the old novell
part of the joke is about reputation and standing
in the cycle of being loved, then successful, then vilified
and/or bloated, then obsolete.
i kind of wonder if this still stands this way, two years later.
things have shifted a lot over this period.
frankly the new yahoo is just out innovating google for now..
but that could change.. and google is being very backward with
social things.. trying to just "engineer" everything as if there
was nothing subjective in the world, only objectivity (and the
attendant stats that back those objective understandings up.
i definitely hear a lot more 'evil' stuff about google than
before, remarks about the incredible bureaucracy at yahoo,
which might put them further down the chain now, and
how IBM, with their patents going out open source, is getting out
front again as an innovator.
what changes a company from one category to another?
these aren't even defined, and are totally in the realm of folklore..
as these ideas are more about cynicism and schadenfreude
and simplistic impressions than anything all that real.
and yet, every time i tell the joke (more in the past than recently)
people laugh a lot. so there must be something there.