Just Read: Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo, by Nicholas Carlson

As with a previous work on the birth of Twitter (see: Now Reading: Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal), I like the story, and some of the insights on leadership and innovation.

The reason tech dictatorships work isn’t because the dictators are perfect. Steve Jobs didn’t want to put iTunes on Windows machines, and he didn’t see the point of apps on the iPhone. Mark Zuckerberg pushed several products on Facebook users that invaded their privacy and caused huge uproars. It’s that dictators make mistakes quickly, and the good ones learn from them and move on.

Carlson, Nicholas (2015-01-06). Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo! (p. 93). Grand Central Publishing. Kindle Edition.

“You know, you have it all wrong,” the counselor said to Mayer and the campers. “It’s not what Zune knows, it’s how Zune thinks.” The counselor said that what made Nguyen so amazing wasn’t the facts that he knew, but rather how he approached the world and how he thought about problems. The counselor said the most remarkable thing about Nguyen was that you could put him in an entirely new environment or present him with an entirely new problem, and within a matter of minutes he would be asking the right questions and making the right observations. From that moment on, the phrase: “It’s not what Zune knows, but how Zune thinks,” stuck with Mayer as a sort of personal guiding proverb.

Carlson, Nicholas (2015-01-06). Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo! (p. 139). Grand Central Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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Ted Eytan, MD