How David Filo and Jerry Yang Created Yahoo

How David Filo and Jerry Yang Created Yahoo: The Story of the Internet’s First Giant

Yahoo is one of the oldest and most influential websites on the internet. It started as a simple directory of web pages in 1994, and grew to become a global media and technology company with billions of users. But how did Yahoo come to be? And who are the people behind its success? In this post, we will explore the history of Yahoo, and the roles of its founders, David Filo and Jerry Yang.

The Beginnings of Yahoo

David Filo and Jerry Yang were graduate students at Stanford University in 1994, when they started to create a website called “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web”. The website was a collection of links to other websites, organized by categories. Filo and Yang wanted to make it easier for themselves and others to find information on the internet, which was still relatively new and chaotic at the time.

The website soon became popular among other internet users, who appreciated its simplicity and usefulness. Filo and Yang decided to rename their website to “Yahoo”, which stood for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”. They also added a search engine function, which allowed users to type in keywords and find relevant websites.

The Growth of Yahoo

Yahoo quickly attracted the attention of investors and media outlets, who saw its potential as a gateway to the internet. In 1995, Filo and Yang incorporated Yahoo as a company, and received funding from Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm. They also hired their first employees, and moved their headquarters to Sunnyvale, California.

Yahoo expanded its services and features over the years, adding email, news, sports, finance, shopping, chat, games, and more. It also acquired other websites and companies, such as GeoCities, Flickr, Tumblr, and Alibaba. Yahoo became one of the most visited and valuable websites on the internet, reaching over 500 million users by 2005.

The Challenges of Yahoo

However, Yahoo also faced many challenges and competition in the internet industry. It struggled to keep up with the rise of Google, which surpassed Yahoo as the most popular search engine in 2000. It also failed to capitalize on the opportunities of social media, mobile devices, and cloud computing, which gave rise to new rivals such as Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.

Yahoo also suffered from internal problems, such as frequent changes in leadership, strategic missteps, layoffs, scandals, and security breaches. Its market value declined from over $100 billion in 2000 to less than $5 billion in 2016.

The Legacy of Yahoo

In 2017, Yahoo was acquired by Verizon Communications for $4.48 billion. Verizon merged Yahoo with AOL, another former internet giant, to form a new subsidiary called Oath. Oath was later rebranded as Verizon Media in 2019.

Despite its decline, Yahoo still remains one of the most recognizable brands on the internet. It still has millions of loyal users who use its products and services every day. It also has a lasting impact on the internet culture and history.

As for Filo and Yang, they both left Yahoo in 2012. Filo remains a director of the company’s board. Yang is an entrepreneur and investor who founded AME Cloud Ventures, a venture capital firm that focuses on technology startups.

Filo and Yang are widely regarded as pioneers and visionaries of the internet. They created one of the first and most successful websites that shaped the way people access information online. They also inspired generations of entrepreneurs and innovators who followed their footsteps.

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