On last night’s earnings call, Marissa Mayer showed off what her controversial $30 million acquisition of Summly could do.
Summly is the startup from 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio. Summly reduces longer stories into bite sized formats making it easier for people to quickly consume news.
The technology in Summly comes from a company called SRI International, which also built Siri, which Apple acquired. Inside Yahoo, Summly is called Yahoo’s Siri.
Mayer took her 2,000 word earnings script and ran it through Summly to get a 140 word distillation.
It’s a pretty neat trick, but most analysts seemed worried about weak display ad revenue and weakening engagement.
Anyway, here’s what the summarized script looks like, via Seeking Alpha:
I’m pleased with the continued execution I see every day. Our teams have been working very hard especially in Q1. As a result of these initiatives and many others, the talent is undeniable. Today, more applicants want to work at Yahoo! and more employees are staying. These teams bring an incredible mix of engineering and technical talent, which will help us accelerate our efforts and mobile development and content personalisation. The teams are already moving quickly to amplify the entrepreneurial spirit that’s so prevalent at Yahoo! right now. Designed to be more intuitive and personal, the new Yahoo! experience is all about users’ interest and preferences.
Yahoo! is a consumer Internet company and the consumer Internet is a growth industry. We are on course to do what we said we would do; stabilise and grow with the market. You can see easily the power of the technology we are acquiring and developing, and it’s coming soon to a product near you. Thanks for your time this afternoon. We’ll talk to you next quarter. Have a great week. Thanks.
And here’s the full thing:
I’m excited to update you on our progress since we spoke in January. We’re off to a solid start in 2013. Overall, we saw a continued stability in our revenue ex-TAC, which is essentially flat year-over-year.
I’m pleased with the continued execution I see everyday. Our teams have been working very hard especially in Q1. I discussed on past calls, for getting the company growing at the rate we would like will take several years. Our long-term success will be defined by a series of sprints. We’re reaching the end of the first sprint. The first phase was all about getting people to believe in Yahoo!, making Yahoo! a really terrific place to work and contribute and getting the organisation fit.
Now, our focus will shift to the next sprint which is all about building beautiful products and executing well against our business strategy. This will lead to greater user engagement, increased revenue and ultimately growth. The first sprint, focus on talent has positioned us to step up our cadence in product development and develop more beautiful and engaging user experiences in 2013 and beyond.
The commitment we’ve made to make Yahoo! the absolute best place to work is already leading to better employee collaboration, innovation, and execution. As of today, we’ve implemented more than 567 employee–focused initiatives across the company including a new program that encourages all employees to test and improve our latest products which is yielding exciting new thinking…
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