kjh1 writes "Paul Graham writes about what he felt went wrong at Yahoo. He has first-hand experience — his company, Viaweb, was bought by Yahoo and he worked there for a while. In a nutshell, he felt that Yahoo was too conflicted about whether they were a technology company or a media company. 'If anyone at Yahoo considered the idea that they should be a technology company, the next thought would have been that Microsoft would crush them.' This in part led to hiring bad programmers, or at least not going single-mindedly after the very best ones. They also lacked the 'hacker' culture that Google and Facebook still seem to have, and that is found in many startup tech companies. 'As long as customers were writing big checks for banner ads, it was hard to take search seriously. Google didn't have that to distract them.'"