The first week

One week at Yahoo and what a week it’s been! Monday was employee orientation – got myself badged up and they handed me my laptop. They have this new employee thing down to a science. We had over 80 people in the room and the HR person said they bring in about 50 new people every Monday!

I was very impressed with how quickly they ran us through the paperwork and getting us familiar with how things work at the company. Highlights included a rousing speech by Heidi Burgett on the history and exciting future of Yahoo ("when in doubt, focus on what the user wants and the rest will fall in place") and a totally hilarous presentation on campus security delivered in a dry, deadpan voice by the head of security who has arms as big as my neck.

I really like the fact that "fun" is one of the core values. It’s the little things that make you laugh like the fact that Security staff are called "Paranoids" and that even the sprinkler heads are corporate purple. Did you know that Yahoo stands for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle"

As an internet company, all the information you’d ever need is on the web and help tickets manage everything from ordering a power strip to requesting someone shell into your PC to install some software. Unlike most large corporations, Yahoo is cool with you customizing your PC with your own mix of software, the IT staff are sharp and on top of it. In our orientation, there were three different operating systems represented and the instructor walked us through VPN and Mailbox setup on all three without even looking at a screen. I could go on about the free Espresso and massage chair I discovered in the snack lounge on my floor but I fear I’m drifting off topic.

I’m working with a group that is working with all the various Yahoo properties to track their plans to connect up and out their services in a way that is useful in this new "web as a platform" world. This past week I spent time getting to know all the different Yahoo properties – there are over 120 of them. Yahoo Lottery?  The mind just boggles.

Hoping to make it to a few sessions at Web 2.0 next week and will also be going to BlogOn in NYC in mid-October. If you’re going to be at either, drop me a line!

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