User acquisition is the most difficult task for a consumer startup. User attrition is an easier problem to solve than user acquisition. Yahoo doesn’t need to build a product that’s 10 times better than the competition, they just need to simplify and improve what they already have. Yahoo also has massive usage among the mass market with millions of people having Yahoo as their home page. These are not the same people that sign up for every startup featured on TechCrunch. Yahoo has challenges but worrying about user acquisition is not one of them. Yahoo will need to develop a vision and relentlessly pursue it. The culture will need to change and vested interests will need to be broken.
It’s easy to criticize Yahoo for ignoring Google and Facebook but impossible to say what Yahoo should be doing now. I look forward to seeing what happens to Yahoo with Marissa Mayer at the helm.