Twenty-one years after its incorporation and sixteen years after its stock peak, Yahoo sold for 96% less than its value on January 3, 2000, when it had closed at an all-time high of $118.75 per share, resulting in a market capitalization of $120 billion. Wall Street valued Yahoo!, at that time in business less than six years, higher than it did Disney, News Corporation, and Comcast combined. Also on that day, the iPhone was more than seven years away from launch, Google was four years from its IPO, Amazon was hemorrhaging money, and Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school!
At the end of 2016, the top seven businesses on the list of the highest-valued companies in the world by market capitalization include Apple at #1, Alphabet (Google’s Parent Company) at #2, Amazon.com at #5, and Facebook at #7. Those companies combined are valued in excess of $2 trillion more than the price Verizon paid to acquire Yahoo!
Yahoo!’s story is one of missed strategies, failed opportunities, and poor execution. Early decisions to de-emphasize search features, undervalue Google, and overplay Yahoo’s hand in the Facebook negotiations haunted the rest of the company’s existence. In addition, factors outside of Yahoo’s control—most notably how irrational expectations of Wall Street created an environment where short-term decisions were made at the expense of the long-term good.
The story of Yahoo! is a cautionary tale not intended for the faint of heart.
Senator Jeremy Ring was an early internet pioneer, as he opened the East Coast office for Yahoo! out of his apartment in early 1996. Following five extremely successful years with the company, Ring relocated his young family to Florida. In 2002, Ring founded Students United with Parents and Educators to Resolve Bullying (SUPERB). SUPERB is an eight-week program targeting middle-school students. The strategy is to identify the bystander and empower that student with bravery and confidence to intervene when inappropriate behavior is occurring. Since its inception over 50,000 students throughout the state of Florida have participated in the program.
In 2006, Ring overwhelmingly was elected to Florida state senate. During his ten years in office, Senator Ring introduced and passed several pieces of legislation aimed at jumpstarting the innovation economy for the state.
Additionally, Senator Ring authored several bills that gained significant national attention, including sponsoring legislation to move Florida’s presidential primary to early February for the 2008 election and proposing computer programming be included as a foreign language option for high school students.
Senator Ring has had thousands of mentions in all newspapers across Florida as well as appeared often as a guest on several national cable news programs on Fox, Fox Business, CNN, and NewsMax. Time magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The New York Times, and US News and World Report have all reported or opined on legislation proposed by Senator Ring. In addition, Bloomberg Business Week named Ring as one of the top ten Yahoo! alumni in America.
Senator Ring has given talks at industry and trade events, political clubs and college campuses throughout Florida. His speeches mention the rise and fall of Yahoo! and his own personal experiences helping to usher in the digital information age.
Following the success of The Accidental Billionaires and Moneyball comes Console Wars—a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.
In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about videogames and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo.
The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan.
Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It’s the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.
In The Second Machine Age MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee—two thinkers at the forefront of their field—reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, we will realize immense bounty in the form of dazzling personal technology, advanced infrastructure, and near-boundless access to the cultural items that enrich our lives.
Amid this bounty will also be wrenching change. Professions of all kinds—from lawyers to truck drivers—will be forever upended. Companies will be forced to transform or die. Recent economic indicators reflect this shift: fewer people are working, and wages are falling even as productivity and profits soar.
Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. These include revamping education so that it prepares people for the next economy instead of the last one, designing new collaborations that pair brute processing power with human ingenuity, and embracing policies that make sense in a radically transformed landscape.
A fundamentally optimistic book, The Second Machine Age alters how we think about issues of technological, societal, and economic progress.