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An Open Letter to the Author of The Peanut Butter Manifesto

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[This weekend the Wall Street Journal published an internal document by a Yahoo senior vice-president, Brad Garlinghouse. The letter itself is a plea to Yahoo to regain its focus, and is now famous for complaining that the company was spreading itself like a thin-layer of peanut butter over too many areas.]
Look, Brad. We're like everyone else. We really want to like you. Everyone who is not now inside of Yahoo knows there is something seriously wrong with the company. So it's good to know that someone inside knows that too. So we're not going to mock you relentlessly. Instead, we're going to give you a couple of tips.
1.You talk about baseball, bleeding and peanut butter. And we get it. You're trying to make your memorandum memorable with these images. But it's a bit much. Stick to one image. The peanut butter thing worked. Run with it. (And, to get a bit meta, your inability to stick with one image is kind of like what's wrong with Yahoo. Focus, lad. Focus.)
2.It's kind of obvious that you knew this memo would get out to the world. It sounds too much like it was written for public consumption for you to get away with saying you never expected it to get out. But, you know what Brad, that's a feature, not a bug. These days executives should be writing memos with the idea that they might leak. Because, you know, they probably will. So own the publicity the memo got.
3.Google. Say it, Brad. It's amazing that your memo doesn't once mention the big Gee-double-oh-gee-el-ee even once. It's it verboten at Yahoo? That which may not name? If so, that's part of the problem. You need to get people talking in the language of the real world rather than taboo-addled corporate speak.
4.Okay. One last thing. You know the part where you write, " I love Yahoo! I'm proud to admit that I bleed purple and yellow. I'm proud to admit that I shaved a Y in the back of my head"? Well, that's just creepy. Keep your hair removal habits private next time. We totally don't need to go there.
Your friends at,


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