He used to work at Nokia. Here's a hint: he's not gonna do a Yahoo cell phone. No, the prize is bigger than that and Yahoo knows it.
Yahoo just became a powerhouse in social software.
Steve Gillmor has this whole industry wrong. It's not Google with its Hailstorm remake that we should be worried about. It's Yahoo with its Flickr that we should be freaked out about.
Bill and Steve? Where are you? When are we going to get seriously into social software?
Luckily Yahoo hasn't quite figured out what the center of the social software world is gonna be. And I'm not gonna give them a roadmap to figure it out. Oh, damn, I just did. A map. Heheh.
Yeah, Christian was the guy behind Nokia's Series 60 phone, but he was also the guy behind Nokia's LifeBlogs service.
While the rest of you are paying attention to Google and its Hailstorming, Yahoo is really doing the interesting stuff. I predict that in two years the tide will have turned and Steve Gillmor will say that Microsoft screwed up by not buying Flickr when the price was cheap.
Steve Gillmor says a lot of things this morning. Let me compress his 911 words into a few smaller chunks:
1) Microsoft is road kill.
2) Jim Allchin killed Hailstorm.
3) Hailstorm is coming back in a "no evil" form, at Google.
4) Steve's daughter-in-law has said goodbye to Office.
5) Microsoft is road kill. Just in case you missed it the first time.
Well, Steve, first of all, let's not rewrite history, OK? The truth is Jim Allchin didn't kill Hailstorm (if you don't know what we're talking about, Hailstorm was unleashed back in 2001 -- here's a News.com article on it).
So, who killed Hailstorm? Me. And I didn't even work at Microsoft back then. Well, truth be told I can't take ALL the credit. Heh. There were a LOT of screams about Hailstorm back then. But, let's go back in time to Hailstorm days, shall we? Here's what geeks like me were saying.
We hated Hailstorm and told Microsoft that over and over again. Microsoft does eventually listen when enough people complain. Anyone remember Smarttags? Microsoft wanted to do those too, but backed off after tons of people like me bitched and moaned.
So, what did we say about Hailstorm? "It's evil that Microsoft is trying to make money off of my data." Don't remember when people were saying that? I do. How about this one? "There's no way in hell I'm putting my corporate data on Microsoft's servers." Heck, I WORK there now and I'm still wary of leaving my data on the servers. Is Bill Gates reading my email? At one time I cared.
Go back and read Slashdot. I don't remember anyone sticking up for Hailstorm. I sure didn't.
We thought Microsoft was evil and rapacious and was gonna take over everything in our lives if we let them.
So we killed Hailstorm. Ahh, but now Steve says it's coming back and Steve says we're ready to turn over the keys to Google simply because they tell us they won't do any evil. Hmmm, why is Marc Lucovsky evil when he works at Microsoft but not evil when he works at Google?
Yes, I know why: Microsoft did a series of things to lose customer trust back in the late 1990s and are still trying to regain that trust. It's going to take 15 years to do that job. A cautionary tale is there for you. If you lose customer trust it'll take you more than a decade to win it back.
Of course, I should be thanking Steve Gillmor. He has lowered expectations of Microsoft so low that our customers have even stopped making really creative guesses of what we're going to show next week at the PDC.
I've been interviewing tons of teams the past week (which is why I didn't blog yesterday) and the stuff I'm seeing is going to invalidate Steve's "Microsoft is roadkill" thesis.
Steve: you haven't even come close to guessing what we're gonna do next week. And I LOVE that!
Oh, one other thing: whoever named Hailstorm "Hailstorm" made a bad decision. He should never be allowed to name another product ever. Ever been in a Hailstorm? It hurts. It's evil. I'm glad we killed it.
But, don't take my words the wrong way. Microsoft is betting big on Web services. Let's talk next week.