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2/04/2008
  What Microsoft Should Do Right Now with Yahoo!

I just woke up from a dream where I met with Steve Ballmer. I told him how to make PPC search advertising much more profitable once the Yahoo deal closes.

In my dream I kept my sentences short and to the point. I pounded the table a few times. I speak Ballmer-ese, at least in my dream.

Here's what I said:

Me: Steve. You can make your $53B acquisition of Yahoo work!
SB: It's $44.6B, actually.
Me: It'll end up at 53 when all is said and done.
SB: OK.
Me: Here's what you do.
Me: 1. Focus on search monetization. That's where the profit is. That's where you can attack Google.
SB. I'm listening.
Me: 2. Throw away the Yahoo search marketing interface
SB: Good.
Me: 3. Build a fat client interface for advertisers.
SB: I like that... on top of .Net!
Me: No! - it can't be on top of .Net!
SB: Why not?
Me: It has to run on Macs, too.
SB: Crap.
Me: OK - focus, here's the important part.
Me: It must look and feel like Google's AdWords editor.
SB: OK, we know how to copy look and feel.
Me: Right. And it must export data into Yahoo Panama and AdCenter.
SB: Why?
Me: That way people can instantly buy on both from one interface.
SB: What about the web UI?
Me: Well, once you have the fat client it won't matter much, but you should just copy (and I mean exactly copy) Google's.
SB: I kinda like this.

It went on from there. I told Steve that Google is pissing off advertisers left and right with all of their quality score BS. I told him that Microsoft could write the AdWords Editor equivalent right now, and people would love it.

I also gave Steve the names of projects he should cancel at Yahoo - he really liked that. Integrating display and search is a waste of time. Just sell, sell, sell. He ate that up.

But then I went too far - I told him that he's ruining MSFT with his army of non-technical bureaucrat VPs, and he just got up and left (taking his chair with him). I don't think he's gonna follow any of my advice now.

Oh well. I, for one, welcome our new Google masters.

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