With impending layoffs of some unknown number (from hundreds to thousands) this month and a refocusing of the company's strategy, the blogosphere is full of speculation and advice. At GigaOm Sramana Mitra wrote that Yahoo needs to monetize its half a billion users better and should go on an acquisition binge to strengthen is positions in key verticals, such as news, sports, finance, jobs and photo sharing.
He recommends that Yahoo merge with Monster in the jobs area, acquire Shutterfly to add photo printing services, grab one of the major travel sites (Priceline, Expedia, and Orbitz) and ZipRealty for real estate classifieds.
It's the Barry Diller or Larry Ellison version of Yahoo, but doesn't sound like a strategy that chief Yahoo Jerry Yang would naturally embrace. He wants Yahoo to be "the most essential starting point for your life,” and “take the complexity of the Web and simplify your life through very powerful technologies.” That description doesn't sound like an aggressive foray into M&A as a way to revitalize the company and own key Web verticals. With Yahoo's depressed stock price, major acquisitions becomes a less attractive proposition for the company, but Sramana makes a good point about what the 13-year-old Yahoo should be when it grows up.