Yahoo! as we know it died when Verizon acquired it for US$4.5B, ending an era and the internet pioneer’s existence as an independent company. The irony is that Yahoo! made the World Wide Web more mainstream, but in the end the company was the product of a bygone desktop era, and the online world outgrew it. Yet the strength of the Yahoo! culture is shown by the strong bond that unites many ex-Yahoos.
The culture will still live on, nurtured by ex-Yahoos who became part of the diaspora, and outlasting, perhaps, the company itself.
For many of us, working at Yahoo! was more than just a job. It wasn’t a perfect company, and we all had to put up with a lot of shit along the way, but it was also a fun, exciting, and even life-changing experience. We were passionate about our work, and many of us genuinely believed we had a mission and could help change the world. Wherever we may go, we will always bring that same passion with us, and will always bleed purple.
Here’s an excerpt from an ex-Yahoo’s excellent Medium post.
“Bleed Purple. That’s what people who’ve worked at Yahoo! say after they’ve worked there. It’s visceral because that’s how passionate we were about the company. If you didn’t use the exclamation point after ‘Yahoo’, then you weren’t honoring the company and the culture. The bang, as the exclamation point was referred to, said it all. People were excited to be a part of the Yahoo! family. How many company names make people yodel? Jerry Yang and David Filo created a culture that wouldn’t allow anyone to take themselves too seriously as evidenced by their official titles as Chief Yahoos. There was an org chart and titles, but the culture was such that everyone was a peer regardless of hierarchy. They hired people without egos that cared more about the product and the users than their titles. When I visited the Yahoo! offices in Sydney and Taipei, we connected immediately because we shared the same purple blood.”