Andy Beal asks why Yahoo leaks when Google doesn’t.
Google views its secrecy as a competitive advantage, much like Apple does. They have a strong corporate culture internally that makes it “evil” to leak. How did they do that? Easy. Google’s culture is one of a “David” vs. “Goliaths” of Microsoft and Yahoo. I don’t work at Google and I’ve heard some of the stories they tell each other about why they want to keep Google mysterious to the outside world — they want to increase the time that other companies clone their stuff and secrecy is a huge part of that.
Yahoo, on the other hand (and Microsoft too) needs to gesture to the market that it is changing so that its partners can get on board and help it out.
Companies leak when there’s an advantage to doing so. The fact that we’re talking about Yahoo’s leaks demonstrates that we’re playing right into the leaker’s hands. When Google sees an advantage in leaking something, it will too. Just watch. Just like Steve Jobs is learning he can get us all to talk by posting a letter on Apple’s Web site instead of doing the usual old thing by calling the press into a keynote event.
Remember when I posted Steve Ballmer’s email to all employees? I actually had permission to do so from the PR team. Sometimes “leaks” aren’t leaks at all. They are press events designed to get the company’s point of view out to the world.