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Yahoo Dies at 22

An obituary for nobody’s favorite tech company

Ringer illustration/Getty
Ringer illustration/Getty

Internet firm Yahoo has died at 22 in Sunnyvale, California, after a long battle with the digital content ecosystem and common sense. The official cause of death is chronic obstructive management disorder. Foul play has not been ruled out. Yahoo is survived by parents Jerry Yang and David Filo, as well as a lucrative Alibaba stake.

Born to Yang and Filo in 1994, Yahoo’s full birth name is Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web, although Yang and Filo settled upon “Yahoo!” just one year later, adding the “!” for pizzazz. As a child prodigy, Yahoo embraced change, shifting its focus from search to listings to a wide range of interests. It survived the great Dot-Com Bubble Burst of 2000.

In puberty, Yahoo was gripped by an identity crisis it found impossible to shake. This era saw some of the company’s most scorchingly embarrassing phases, like Yahoo 360°.

Former Googler Marissa Mayer was brought onboard to counsel Yahoo through its teen angst, but Mayer turned into more of a Dina Lohan figure than a paragon of sober decision-making. Envious of its popular peers, Yahoo tried to be a media company, and fell in with an unsavory crowd (the “David Pogueheads”) and made questionable choices (buying Tumblr with no good plan for it, mismanaging Flickr). It spent money poorly and didn’t learn from its mistakes. Yahoo turned down the chance to buy Google — twice. Instead of calming Yahoo, Mayer encouraged its out-of-control shopping habit, shepherding dozens of nonsense acquisitions.

However, Yahoo won’t only be remembered for its mangy adolescence. Although its failures were high-profile, it was a success on one key front: Providing the world’s most magnificently stupid Q&A forum, Yahoo Answers, which gifted the world with perfect discussions like “Why do Men go after B I T C H E S?” and “I swallowed an ice cube whole, and I haven’t pooped it out?”

At the poorly-attended funeral, Katie Couric recited a famous bereavement poem — incidentally, the same one performed by Shingy at AOL’s funeral last year, although Couric decided against accompanying the piece with a didgeridoo dirge — as Mayer glared at David Karp’s bangs.

Do not stand at my grave and weep;

I am not there; I do not sleep; I got bought by Verizon.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Marissa Mayer Zamboni Collection.