TAKEOVER! THE INSIDE STORY OF THE YAHOO! AD REVOLUTION
In 1994, "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web" was little more than a digital storing house for sites Jerry Yang had discovered on the internet. But then it became Yahoo! and the whole world felt the effects of its brilliance.
David Shen was the fledgling company's 17th employee, and its first designer, where he took on the overwhelming job of maintaining a good user experience while trying to figure out this new paradigm of online advertising for the company's ever-growing mass of daily visitors, many of whom saw Yahoo! as the internet's front page.
As the company grew, so did the stakes.
As David's responsibilities grew, so did the challenges. Yahoo! was raking in the dough, but a global financial crisis was looming, and the dot-boom years were about to go bust. That's when things got really interesting.
Faced with a crashing stock price and threats of a Microsoft buyout, Yahoo! had to change its ways, and fast.
In Takeover!, David Shen drives you through the nerdy, make-it-or-break-it inside story of the web's first mega-company, where every day brought a new problem, every ad pushed the boundaries further, and every story added up to what became Yahoo!, the undisputed pioneer of the online advertising revolution.
"In 1995, we brought Dave on as a designer. Little did we know he would be a leading element in industry-wide change in online advertising six years later! We had no idea that we were literally building an industry from the ground up. I've enjoyed this 'walk' down memory lane that Dave had put together. I'm sure you will too."
--Jerry Yang, Founding Partner, AME Cloud Ventures; Co-founder, Yahoo!
"Dave captures an amazing period at the onset of the 'business internet.' We had to lay the foundation for an entire industry while operating under incredible executive, shareholder, and consumer pressure. It was truly a unique moment in time; and Dave and Yahoo! were at the epicenter."
--Jeff Bernstein, SVP of Marketing, eHealth, formerly of Microsoft.
"The magic of the 'how did they do that' is explained at last. Not overly technical, Dave not only does a fine explanation but personalizes the experience. I was there and, until now, never understood it. A terrific read."
--Jerry Shereshewsky, CEO Grown Up Marketing, former Yahoo! Ambassador Plenipotentiary
"DShen, as he is lovingly known, has captured the spirit, heart, and vibe of what it was like 'on the inside' at Yahoo! during the early years of this thing we now all take for granted called 'online.' It's a fascinating read that you can't put down if you are at all interested in how the internet business came into adolescence and through young adulthood...zits, hubris, confidence, and all."
--Eric Ronning, currently enjoying all he learned as a former Yahoo! Director NYC Sales
David Shen was Yahoo!'s 17th employee and the first with the title "Gooey Yahoo!" (a play on GUI, short for Graphical User Interface). He soon became Vice President of User Experience and Design, in charge of UX for all Yahoo! websites, products and services, as well as the design of online advertising. In 2001, he joined the Product and Sales teams to re-invigorate online advertising both internally and externally in industry.
Prior to Yahoo!, David was a product designer at frogdesign, working on a Sunbeam toaster and Packard Bell personal computers, and a product designer at Apple, working on the Apple Adjustable Keyboard, the Quicktake 100 digital camera, and the 1710AV monitors. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Masters of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University. He currently works as an early-stage venture capitalist at Launch Capital, a seed-stage family fund based in New Haven, CT. He moonlights as a personal trainer, and is a self-proclaimed biohacker and quantified selfer.
He resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family.