Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Modern Description of Magic

A news story on today’s New York Times business page—in which transactions in the billions were mentioned—sent me to discover how Yahoo might describe itself in the framework set down by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In other words, I looked up their 10K.

Herewith the first paragraph describing Yahoo’s business:
Yahoo! Inc., together with its consolidated subsidiaries (“Yahoo!,” the “Company,” “we,” or “us”), is a premier digital media company that delivers personalized digital content and experiences, across devices and around the globe, to vast audiences. We provide engaging and innovative canvases for advertisers to connect with their target audiences using our unique blend of Science + Art + Scale. Through our proprietary technology and insights, we deliver unique content and experiences for our audience and create powerful opportunities for our advertisers to connect with their target audiences, in context and at scale. To users, we provide online properties and services (“Yahoo! Properties”). To advertisers, we provide a range of marketing services designed to reach and connect with users of our Yahoo! Properties, as well as with Internet users beyond Yahoo! Properties, through a distribution network of third-party entities (our “Affiliates”) that have integrated our advertising offerings into their Websites or other offerings (those Websites and other offerings, “Affiliate sites”). We believe that our marketing services enable advertisers to deliver highly relevant marketing messages to their target audiences.
I find it amazing to what an extent our materialistic age has, in a manner of speaking, become etherealized. Yahoo describes its product as “content and experiences,” not once but twice. These, of course, reach audiences digitally, thus as electronic pulses, and appear on screens of various sizes. There is a kind of magic, I think, implied in an ability to “blend” science, art, and scale (no less). The “properties” delivered, when you boil them down, are actually disc space. Another deliverable, this time to advertisers, are “canvases” but these not made of any kind of natural or synthetic fiber, and “target audiences.”

Yahoo’s revenues in 2010 were $6.3 billion on which the company realized net income of $1.2 billion—not bad for a company persistently labeled as struggling. That’s 19 percent—in a bigger world where 5 percent is deemed pretty decent. Of that revenue stream advertising accounted for 84.1 percent, “other” for 15.9, the other described as a combination of interest earnings and gains on sales of securities or properties. My unruly imagination produces the image of what appears to be a Gigantic Monster with an insatiable hunger to Persuade People To Buy! It can’t find enough food to satiate it. And Yahoo then turns out to be but a small eatery where this Monster stops, along the way to others, trying to satisfy Its Elemental Need.

1 comment:

  1. The measure of things has gotten awfully strange of late... I love the sentence with which you start the first paragraph after the quotation. Sums things up rather poetically!


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