Creator: Brad Garlinghouse, a Yahoo senior vice president, created this manifesto as an internal document. (2006)
Purpose: Yahoo wasn’t doing as well as Brad liked so he offered his thoughts as to how to fix the problems. Simply put he suggested ‘Yahoo is spreading its resources too thinly, like peanut butter on a slice of bread.’
The Peanut Butter Manifesto (excerpt)
Three and half years ago, I enthusiastically joined Yahoo! The magnitude of the opportunity was only matched by the magnitude of the assets. And an amazing team has been responsible for rebuilding Yahoo!
It has been a profound experience. I am fortunate to have been a part of dramatic change for the Company. And our successes speak for themselves. More users than ever, more engaging than ever and more profitable than ever!
I proudly bleed purple and yellow everyday! And like so many people here, I love this company
But all is not well. Last Thursday’s NY Times article was a blessing in the disguise of a painful public flogging. While it lacked accurate details, its conclusions rang true, and thus was a much needed wake up call. But also a call to action. A clear statement with which I, and far too many Yahoo’s, agreed. And thankfully a reminder. A reminder that the measure of any person is not in how many times he or she falls down – but rather the spirit and resolve used to get back up. The same is now true of our Company.
It’s time for us to get back up.
I believe we must embrace our problems and challenges and that we must take decisive action. We have the opportunity – in fact the invitation – to send a strong, clear and powerful message to our shareholders and Wall Street, to our advertisers and our partners, to our employees (both current and future), and to our users. They are all begging for a signal that we recognize and understand our problems, and that we are charting a course for fundamental change. Our current course and speed simply will not get us there. Short-term band-aids will not get us there.
It’s time for us to get back up and seize this invitation.
…Our inclination and proclivity to repeatedly hire leaders from outside the company results in disparate visions of what winning looks like — rather than a leadership team rallying around a single cohesive strategy.
I’ve heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular.
I hate peanut butter. We all should…
Wall Street Journal Article displaying the full manifesto (published November 18, 2006)