Eric Risberg/Associated Press/File
Marissa Mayer’s move to sell off Yahoo to Verizon this week for $4.8 billion has led some local tech executives to look back.
Paul English, the cofounder of the travel app Lola, reminisced in a post he wrote on LinkedIn Wednesday about the time he met Mayer. A decade ago, he was two years into the launch of Kayak.com, which he cofounded, and Mayer was heading up search and user experience at Google.
The duo met at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where Mayer offered her suggestions for Kayak’s expansion into hotels. (Until then, the travel search engine had focused only on flights.) Her idea: Go upscale and target the high-end traveler. English disagreed. “I thought her requests were only for ultra-elite travelers, and not mass-market,” he wrote. His customers weren’t deep-pocketed jetsetters like her.
An argument ensued, which Mayer nipped in the bud by announcing, “Never mind, we (Google) will build it ourselves,” English recalled. But they didn’t. In 2010, the company that is now Alphabet bought another the locally based flight search entity, ITA Travel, for $700 million. “They never did anything for hotels,” English said in an interview.
Meanwhile, Kayak’s hotel search, as designed by English, became the largest revenue driver for the company.
But Mayer was likely onto something, English admits. Lola, which has had 20,000 downloads since its launch in May, is now targeting that elite traveler.
“I’m actually a big fan of hers,” he added. “I should send her a note.”
The case has divided Asian Americans. Some of us want to keep affirmative action to ensure diverse campuses. Others say race-blind policies ensure Asian American applicants don’t experience bias.Continue reading »
Programs that encourage guests to skip housekeeping, and save energy, are wreaking havoc on workers’ schedules, a union says.Continue reading »
Comcast’s Lauren Bonsignore is bringing change to a profession that’s still dominated by men.Continue reading »
Zinbryta was approved for sale in 2016 and is used by about 3,000 people worldwide.Continue reading »
No one is a winner in the disarray at UMass Boston, and how to move forward isn’t evident.Continue reading »
A Boston-based self-driving car firm is headed to the South Shore, where it expects to cart passengers around a former Naval air base.Continue reading »
Humana, valued at about $37 billion, would be Walmart’s largest deal on record.Continue reading »
The European Union hit Google with a $5 billion fine because of its Android market dominance. So what does that mean for consumers?Continue reading »
Thomas Kochan discusses two very different approaches to profitability, the relevance of unions and of college degrees, and more.Continue reading »