Vacancy – Memo Writer for Senior Management at Yahoo

Yahoo Neon Sign by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

So, if you’ve missed it, Yahoo has recently revamped their Yahoo Mail interface, and while some like it, and some don’t, Yahoo’s senior management seems to think that now everybody at Yahoo should start using it. To get the point across properly, they did what most companies do, i.e. release an memo. While this story isn’t very interesting at this point, and wouldn’t have evolved from there in almost any other company, Yahoo’s managers decided that they’d make the whole thing a lot more interesting to read by using puns and, oh yes, cultural references. And not only that, but something that can only be described as a “layered pun”. Here’s a fun little example;

…a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape with the confidence of a T-Rex born to yuppie dinosaur parents who fully bought into the illusion of their son’s utter uniqueness because the big-mouthed, tiny-armed monster infant could mimic the gestures of The Itsy-Bitsy Pterodactyl.

If that’s not a layered pun, I don’t know what is. And to have come from someone in senior management (the memo is signed by Jeff Bonforte, SVP Communications Products and Randy Roumillat, CIO), in a company wide memo, is something I find utterly ridiculous. I’m not of course familiar with Yahoo’s corporate culture, and some companies might have a quite loose and casual way of handling internal communication, but this is a completely different ballpark, if not a different game entirely. And adding to the fact that they basically plead to their employees to use their own web mail instead of Outlook for corporate email out of solidarity is laughable as well. I mean, come on, either you dictate it company wide policy or let people choose what they want to use. After that it just gets sad when they start to talk about some of the missing features and the fact that no mobile device ever made supports it.

Anyhow, read the original article for more poking fun at Yahoo’s use of language, or read the memo down below, reproduced, probably verbatim, for your reading pleasure. And if this turns out to be a clever “leak” to discredit Yahoo’s management, remember that you read it here first and the rest of the article was just a test.

Hello Yahoos,
Earlier this year we asked you to move to Yahoo Mail for your corporate email account. 25% of you made the switch (thank you). But even if we used the most generous of grading curves (say, the one from organic chemistry), we have clearly failed in our goal to move our co-workers to Yahoo Mail.
It’s time for the remaining 75% to make the switch. Beyond the practical benefits of giving feedback to your colleagues on the Mail team, as a company it’s a matter of principle to use the products we make. (BTW, same for Search.)
For some reading this email, you are saying, “Jeff, shut up, you had me at hello.” *hug* Jump over to yo/dogfood, click “Corp Mail/Cal/ Messenger” and you are ready to join our brave new world at yo/corpmail or https://mail.yahoo-inc.com.
For others, you might now be running in your head to a well worn path of justified resistance, phoning up the ol’ gang, circling the hippocampian wagons of amygdalian resistance. Hold on a sec, pilgrim.
First, it doesn’t feel like we are asking you to abandon some glorious place of communications nirvana. At this point in your life, Outlook may be familiar, which we can often confuse with productive or well designed. Certainly, we can admire the application for its survival, an anachronism of the now defunct 90s PC era, a pre-web program written at a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape with the confidence of a T-Rex born to yuppie dinosaur parents who fully bought into the illusion of their son’s utter uniqueness because the big-mouthed, tiny-armed monster infant could mimic the gestures of The Itsy-Bitsy Pterodactyl. There was a similar outcry when we moved away from Outlook’s suite-mates in the Microsoft Office dreadnaught. But whether it’s familiarity, laziness or simple stubbornness dressed in a cloak of Ayn Randian Objectivism, the time has come to move on, commrade.
Using corp mail from the Y Mail web interface is remarkably feature rich. It supports booking conference rooms, folders, calendar, filters and global address book. Plus, you get built-in Messenger, smart conversation threading, powerful keyboard shortcuts, the new quick actions, attachment preview and our beautiful new rich themes. In the rare case you do need Outlook, like adding a delegate for your calendar, you can still fire up Outlook for 30 seconds.
But wait there’s more. By using corporate Mail, you’ll automatically get to dogfood our new features first. I’m especially excited about a new feature premiering in just a few more days: smart auto-suggest, powered by a platform from the still-have-that-new-acquisition-smell Xobni team. We have been testing this feature with select users in and out of the company and the response has been fantastic: “Whoa!”, “Amazing”, “Already in love with it. Woot!” and, my favorite, “So nicely integrated that it appears as if it’s always been there. I already can’t imagine it not being there again.”
Feeling that little tingle? Take a deep breath, you can do this. We want you on board, sailor!
Please note, on the mobile side, corp mail is not yet supported in our Mail app for Android or iOS, but that will change (PB&J!). And, like all dogfood offerings, there is a feedback link in the product. Use it generously so we can make the improvements to make Yahoo Mail the unquestioned inbox champion of the world. I pitty [sic] the fool who resists.
Thanks for your support. It really does matter and we appreciate it.
Jeff Bonforte, SVP Communications Products
Randy Roumillat, CIO

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