Of all the executives jumping off the good ship Yahoo, del.icio.us founder Joshua Schachter’s departure should be among the least surprising.
When Yahoo acquired del.icio.us in 2005, del.icio.us was red-hot. It was the bookmarking service on the Web – popular, valuable, useful and cool. Then, Yahoo came along – a move that Schachter believed would bring “new features and more servers in the future”.
Sadly, del.icio.us went from the belle of the ball to the girl who stands in the corner waiting for something to ask her to dance.
Rather than encourage/allow del.icio.us to innovate, Yahoo ignored it or discouraged it from moving forward. The silver lining is by doing nothing with del.icio.us, Yahoo didn’t destroy it.
In the 2+ years that Yahoo has owned del.icio.us, the amount of innovation and new features introduced as been, at best, minimal. Sure, there have been some rumblings about a super-duper beta being developed but after months of waiting, nothing has happened.
Like many of Yahoo’s acquisitions, del.icio.us has wilted on the vine. Sure, it’s still popular but it could have been and should be so much more. It’s my belief, for example, that del.icio.us could easily become a vibrant search engine given there’s so much data that has been selected and tagged.
In a comment left on TechCrunch, Schachter leaves no doubt he was disappointed by Yahoo’s treatment of del.icio.us:
“I was largely sidelined by the decisions of my management. So that was mostly the result rather than the cause, if that makes sense. It was an incredibly frustrating experience and I wish I was a lot more like Stewart [Butterfield] in terms of pushing my point of view.”