Yahoo has tons of products, each one of which is a small or medium-sized company unto itself. With the caveat of not knowing and using all the products, if I had the power to be the CEO of Yahoo here are the top 5 product initiatives I would prioritize:
1. Faster page loads. Many Yahoo pages are too heavy. 360 is one of the worst culprits; but also search result pages and others as well. Faster page loads make users very happy. Simple, but true.
2. Don’t force ads. This is a tricky one. Yahoo’s business is showing ads. But instead of thrusting them in front of users at every opportunity, how about being more subtle and creative about it? On SERPs, text-based sponsored listings are not the end goal for search engine advertising.
3. Experiment with the UI of search results pages. I’ve written that real estate on Yahoo is too valuable to experiment with, but nonetheless it needs to happen. The trick is to experiment and not confuse the massive user-base that Yahoo has. That’s the delicate balance that needs to be walked.
4. My Yahoo upgrade. My Yahoo should be THE BEST page on the web. Period. And it’s not. It’s OK, but it’s not like I log on everyday and can’t wait to see what I’ll find there. It’s been my homepage for years, and it still is, but it needs a face lift. I’ve played around with Netvibes, and it’s pretty good, but still not quite there yet. Plus Netvibes is aimed at people who are adept online. Maybe integrating more behind the scenes Findory type functionality would work. Instead of making users manually customize everything, how about having My Yahoo blend in some learning algorithms?
5. Yahoo Groups upgrade. Groups is another product that needs a face lift. Make it drag and drop. Integrate really cool calendar functionality and ways to share images. So much potential there. It could even be a group blogging platform that publishes to the web.