Salim Ismail has one of the liveliest minds and most eclectic resumes in the Valley. The founding Executive Director of Singularity University and the founder of a number of interesting start-ups including Angstro and PubSub Concepts, he was also a VP at Yahoo! where he launched and ran Brickhouse, their internal incubator.
So, borrowing a familiar work from ex-Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, I asked Ismail if Yahoo! was now fucked. Yes, he confirmed, it was. And so, he added, was AOL and most other companies struggling to reinvent themselves in today’s increasingly brutal competitive landscape.
Vulgarity aside, Ismail’s message is incredibly important for every technology company struggling to maintain their innovation. Today’s Facebook or Twitter, he told me, is tomorrow’s Yahoo! So how, exactly, can a company build innovation into its DNA? What Salim Ismail says may seem, in some ways, obvious – but it’s actually the difference between Yahoo! and Google – the multi billion dollar difference between glittering success and abject failure in today’s creatively destructive economy.
For more on Salim Ismail’s interview, watch the video in this post from yesterday on the future of university education.