Earlier this week, a few emails went around the Yahoo Alumni Yahoo Group talking about the recent news about Jerry Yang and how Yahoo was totally floundering and going down the drain. Some of them talked about even going back and helping somehow, although they were quickly retracted in a tone of "that was a really stupid thought."
In fact, after reading some of the news earlier this week, I too had a moment of "Maybe I should go back and help Yahoo." It came and went quickly amidst similar feelings surrounding not wanting to jump back into the frying pan to not knowing what I would do once I got there.
However, instead of mocking such a thought, I'd like to put another spin on it. And that's the fact that we would even have thoughts at all like that.
What was it about Yahoo that would make a whole bunch of us feel like we could go back and actually make a difference? Why would we want to save the company? What could have possibly shaped our feelings and attachments to a place that was our home for many, many years? Why is it so hard to let go?
Yahoo was a unique place. It was like family. It was like a revolution. You bought into it, got emotionally bound to it, and worked your butt off to make it happen. People would applaud the fact that we worked at Yahoo, and we were seen as celebrities of the internet back in the day. We all hung out, we partied, we succeeded and failed and brought it all back from the brink of internet bust.
That's what makes it hard to let go.
It makes me wonder what we could learn from that experience. After all, wouldn't any CEO want to create a workforce which, even after they left (or were fired, or laid off), that would want to come back and work there again despite whatever obstacles and turmoil there could be? What could inspire loyalty in a corporation like that, in a day and age where loyalty to a company is disappearing...?