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Once there was a search engine

by Alex Yumashev · Apr 3 2012
This is a sad story of an Internet giant. Started by two guys in a garage it eventually grew to control over 80% of the Internet search market and practically owned the whole Internet.

It was innovative and agile. The stock market loved it - at times the company stock doubled in price within just a month. It was one of the very few surviving companies after the dot-com bubble burst.

The company was adding more and more awesome free services: from newsgroups to image-hosting. It practically reinvented email by launching a great free web-based email app. It introduced a blogging platform and even tried entering the social networking space. It launched a free website-hosting service, introduced its own instant-messenger/voice application, social bookmarking service and many others. It published lots of open-source frameworks, tools and APIs for developers.

The apps it didn't create in-house - it acquired from the competitors, continuing to expand its range of services.

The company acquired several marketing agencies and started offering "paid inclusion" - adding ADs to the search results. Some people even claim that the term "PPC" was invented inside this very company.

But the company kept adding more confusing menus, bells and whistles to its homepage.

The search results were getting more and more cluttered by more and more ADs.

New players came to the field. And many users - first the early adopters then the rest of the crowd - chose the newcomers over the giant.

Eventually, the giant collapsed.

The giant's name was "Yahoo".

"History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme" - Mark Twain.