back to article Jerry Yang - Slugworth to Google's Willy Wonka

Ever since Wonka's Chocolate Factory in Mountain View started serving queries, it has been a living monument to the failure of Sunnyvale's Slugworth - and just about everything that has gone wrong can be blamed on Jerry Yang. From the days of Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web, Yang has been a constant pain in the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    I miss the overly aggressive, unfounded, swearing rampages we are used to from Ted. Return some videotapes or something geeez.

  2. Jim

    Based on... ?

    Fairly amusing article, but it is based on anything ? You spend the first page saying that Google employees are just much better than Yahoo! employees. What's the basis for that ?

    Also you have a theory about how Google manipulates the vanity of its engineers. Again, how do you know that ?

  3. Dan Wilkinson
    Thumb Down


    Based on this article, and this article alone, I have to say it reads thus: "Yang is an idiot, the company was already 3 sheets to the wind, he's only been CEO for 18 months, but it's all his fault, even the stuff that happened when someone else was in charge, ergo, Yang is an idiot" A refreshing lack of actual content to say why he's an idiot though, free lunch or not. I'm sure he is one, but this article makes me want to stick up for him.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Finally, a fair analysis of Yahoo

    Quote: "From its beginning, Yahoo! attracted mediocrity in engineering."

    Agree, during 2004-2006 I received a total of 20+ calls from different headhunters trying to fill the same unfilled position in their mail engineering in the UK. Every single time they offered at least 10% lower than operational industry average for the job so it was quite clear that they had no intention to get the best and the brightest. Note - that was for a position that involved development and they were not even willing to pay what it takes to operate it without having a clue on how to develop.

    Quote: "An alpha nerd applying for a job at Yahoo! will likely be turned off by the selection of PHP as a first order programming language."

    A true alpha nerd is not hung up on language will not get as far as the language. The salary and the obvious attempt at "here we do not work for money, we work because it is cool" will be enough.

    While Google also tries to instill a sense of cool in everything they also pay properly because they understand that an ALPHA NERD usually expect to be payed an ALPHA salary and has at least several nerdy habits to subsidise.

    Me coat, the last one out, turn off the lights and pull the selfdestruct switch.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    crazy girlfriend

    == "bunny boiler".

    Long live the Loompahs! (now I'm off to pay for my own breakfast, yet crank out some fun and modestly profitable mainframe C code)

  6. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward

    Been a long time, but

    Aren't there 5 possible answers per question on the SAT, not 4?

  7. Robert Ramsay

    "Chief Yahoo" that man a dictionary.

    "an uncultivated or boorish person; lout; philistine; yokel."

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A polite request

    Could we have the article translated into English please?

  9. Dave

    @AC: Been a long time, but

    I think there probably were (I dont remember... SATs were a long time ago), but (in all likelihood) too many peeps were doing badly in recent years, so dropping a question was the easiest way to make the tests easier without actually having to change the questions. After all who wants to actually get into re-phrasing questions when you can just re-cycle with one less wrong answer ;)

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Why let Filo off the hook?

    Filo is just as big a problem as Yang. He is a complete bottleneck for all technology. All hardware requests go through him. All initiatives have to have his approval. His most recent contribution? Sponsoring a series of technology manifestos that pretty much repeat common industry wisdom for the last ten years. Version control and testing. Who knew?

    The problem is that both he and Yang think that they are engineers. They wrote a fucking web page that only linked to actual content, and gained notoriety from it because it was novel at that time; nowadays, D&JGTTWWW would be relegated to a backwater Geocities page (a Yahoo property). In terms of technological skill, they both rank about the same as Leah Culver: enough to convince the naïve fourth estate; enough to annoy the Valley; enough to be dangerous.

    The amount of Google envy would make Steve Ballmer blush. Whole walls are dedicated to monitoring the competition; mailing lists are festooned with "WWGD?" postings. MapReduce is all very fine and good, but it is not the be-all and end-all of technology; betting the future on Hadoop is unwise at best. If somebody at Google were to publish a paper entitled "Rectal penetration and improvement of worker productivity," we'd all come to work the next day to find wooden dowels bolted onto our seats. They mimic without asking why, insuring number two status in perpetuity.

    Somebody is going to have to sit down and figure out exactly WHAT Yahoo does. It is not a search company (even though it bought AltaVista AND Inktomi); it is not a media company (despite everything Semel said); it is not a social network company (buh-bye, Kickstart). It is... what? Fuck if I know.

    I could go on and on: "bleeding purple," "Yah we can" -- both Jerry and David are cheerleaders for a dysfunctional culture that inexplicably worships them back. Neither can leave without shattering the fragile culture; neither can stay without flushing the company down the drain.

    December 10th could not come any faster for me.

  11. Pierre


    ... isn't even cute.

  12. Ramesh Dharan

    Yahoo! does run a shuttle service

    I don't work there, so I have no idea how extensive it is, but Yahoo! does run a shuttle service, at least from San Francisco to Sunnyvale.

  13. E


    Them's fightin' words, mister.

    PHP could not stoop to cuteness, it is too gorgeous.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ted back on form, methinks

    A one-two fuck/shit combo in a single paragraph? Top work.

    As for Yang's competence: presumably he didn't read any of the hundreds of posts in various forums that I read in the days after Microsoft's initial expression of interest which expressed reactions ranging from outright astonishment to benign amusement at being introduced to the idea that Yahoo! was even still in business. Not a problem we're likely to have again.

  15. Simon Woodworth
    Jobs Horns

    Don't stand under the tree

    If I remember my Gulliver's Travels correctly, Yahoos were obnoxious creatures who climbed trees and crapped on anyone below. So Yang's title of Chief Yahoo! seems apt.

  16. Lol Whibley
    Thumb Up

    Joyously Rabid

    it can be hit and miss with these rants, almost as if they were designed to troll the world, at length and with something akin to zeropunctuation's zeal.

    This one's a hit.


  17. Adam
    Thumb Down


    ...seems to be working well for YouTube, Facebook and Wikipedia.

  18. Dave


    Adam; you are missing the point: sure there are lots of PHP installations that work, but Google are not satisfied with stuff that works okay.

    Think of it like personal transport: PHP is a Dacia Sandero Estate. C++ is more like a 1960's Thunderbird. Guess which one is more economical, which one gets you round a test-track fastest, and which one I would pick if given a free choice?

  19. Ed Blackshaw

    @Why let Filo off the hook?

    The only thing I can think of is webmail. Webmail with appalling spam filters but at least it's not been borged into hotmail.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Worthless hate

    I don't know about the inners of Yahoo but the article sucks a lot. I loved Ted's cloud-os-are-you-dense rant though.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Don't think I've ever used a Yahoo! service. Doubt I ever will, particularly if it tanks in the next 12 months. Come to think of it I'm not even sure what they do, apart from being a search engine a while back before Google stole the show from all the rest....?

  22. Francis Fish

    Yahoo - partnered with BT??

    Seem to remember that your BT email addresses were yahoo ones once.

    Marriage made in heaven obviously.

    And all the annoying toolbars that used to be installed in IE (by sAdobe amongst others)?

    I think google should have some competition, but Ted's right about the incompetence of Yahoo, it's like competition from McDonalds when you are in the motor trade.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    @Dave: re "PHP is a Dacia Sandero Estate. C++ is more like a 1960's Thunderbird. "

    From the perspective of someone who is *not* a bit-monkey by trade and...

    {veering wildly off-topic}

    The car analogy is a very odd choice; the Sandero, subject of the running joke on TG tv, whilst dull as a tarnished spoon and not in any way desirable (at least to myself), is nonetheless a modern motor car with modern underpinnings like disc-brakes, running gear (fuel-injected engine, etc.) and the accoutrements we've come to expect as standard in our personal conveyances, e.g. air-con, CD player, etc.

    The '60s variants of the Thunderbird were lardy sacks of shite by comparison capable only of (by modern standards) average performance in straight lines and perpelexed by corners. Furthermore, all the "toys", air-con, AM-radio and what-not were usually optional extras.

    In a lap of TG's test track, I'd anticipate that in a straight fight between the two, the T-bird may struggle to do more than a lap without the brakes fading to the point of being useless and that the fugly "baby" SUV would actually give it a run for its money.

    So, from a non-programming (and non-IT) perspective, is the comparison still valid? Are you saying that PHP is ugly but functional and that C++ is bloaty and inflexible?



  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good news!

    The Dacia Sandero is being mentioned on El Reg!

    Anyway, *logs off*

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