Consistency (Yahoo) vs. ‘Wow’ (Google) Matt 24 Jul 2006

1 comment Latest by DSV

In the Race With Google, It’s Consistency vs. ‘Wow’” asks the following question: “Do Internet users prefer services that are consistent and predictable, like those offered by Yahoo, or are they more interested in Google’s wow factor?”

Kind of a dubious premise. Are Google’s services that inconsistent/unpredictable? And it seems odd that the article paints Yahoo as overly conservative yet also points out the company’s using “trendy” ideas like tagging which may be “too obscure for its mainstream audience.” Nonetheless, there are a few interesting bits:

Integration vs. speed
Alan Eustace, a senior vice president for engineering and research at Google: “There is a tradeoff between integration and speed. We are living and dying by being an innovative, fast-moving company.” (Btw, Is Don Norman right about Google? talked about the same thing a few months back.)

Pioneering vs. prosaic
Google Maps lacks an address book. Why? According to Marissa Mayer, it is “much easier to get the company’s engineers to spend time developing pioneering new technology than a much more prosaic address storage system.” Seems like a weird justification. If it’s not important, don’t do it. If it is important, dullness shouldn’t be an excuse.

Scrum method
And then there’s this on Yahoo’s scrum method…

Yahoo says it is now trying to emulate Google’s faster method of creating products. Like most big companies, it used to develop software by first creating a comprehensive design that defined how features would be written and tested. Instead, it is now trying what is known as a scrum method, where it will plan, build and test parts of a product every 30 days.

“We may not know how everything fits together,” [Ash Patel, Yahoo’s chief product officer] said. But by creating partly completed products that can be shown to customers, “We can get insights from users and react to that over a three- or four-month period to put it all together,” he said.

Related: Microsoft Lauds ‘Scrum’ Method for Software Projects

1 comment so far

DSV 24 Jul 06

In the past the consensus, at least for me, has always felt like Yahoo was the more “corporate” monster and Google was the new young and cool company. Of course, that was before I actually had a real relationship with them on a business level. In my mind, Google is definitely the devourer of worlds. Yahoo seems to be on the edge, hiring the out-of-college brainsters and the new hipster innovators around the web. While their acquisitions are sometimes questioned, they usually leave them to their own devices for the most part � offering some needed (in most cases) corporate support but letting the art run free.