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Hold up Yahoo!

It seems like Yahoo! is churning out innovations much faster than many of the other online portals (e.g. MSN, AOL, Google) can keep up with. For example, the list below displays a wide array of beta services or products that Yahoo has come out with this year:

Yahoo! Audio Search Bar
Yahoo! Job Search Engine
My Web 2.0 Beta
Yahoo! Search Subscriptions Beta
Yahoo! Mindset Beta
Yahoo! Music Engine Beta
Yahoo! Messenger Beta
Yahoo! Shopping – Gift Finder Beta
Yahoo! Movies Recommendations Beta
Yahoo! Search Developer Network
Y!Q Beta
My Yahoo! Ticker Beta
Yahoo! Desktop Search Beta
My Web 1.0 Beta
Yahoo! Travel FareChase Beta
Yahoo! Travel FareChase Beta

Source: Yahoo! Next

In Jeremy Zawodny’s blog about Secrets of Product Development and What Journalists Write he says, �So I’m going to let you in on a little secret about how products are developed at large companies – even large Internet companies that some people think are fast on their feet.
Larger companies rarely can respond that quickly to each other. It almost never happens. Sure, they may talk a good game, but it’s just talk. Building things on the scale that Microsoft, Google, AOL, or Yahoo do is a complex process. It takes time.

Journalists like to paint this as a rapidly moving chess game in which we’re all waiting for the next move so that we can quickly respond. But the truth is that most product development goes on in parallel. Usually there are people at several companies who all have the same idea, or at least very similar ones. The real race is to see who can build it faster and better than the others.�

While comforting to know that the other portals might be offering similar product releases I take greater comfort in knowing that as a consumer I will have the ultimate benefit of selecting the better service. So while Yahoo! is churning out those releases, you can definitely bet that they’re only setting a benchmark that the others will strive to surpass.