Business Strategy Monday


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(1) To bolster: To make stronger.

We bolstered our sales with the new internet marketing campaign.

(2) To acquire: To buy another company and make it part of your company.

Yahoo acquired Tumblr for $1 billion in order to expand their services and become cooler.

(3) To catch up: To get to the same position.

Yahoo has long been trying to catch up to Google in search, email, and many other areas.

(4) Payoff: Reward or good result.

The payoff from this work will be a product everyone wants to buy.



1. When was Yahoo founded?

a. The 1980s

b. The 1990s

c. The 2000s

2. Why is Yahoo acquiring many other companies?

a. To strengthen their products.

b. To expand into new areas.

c. A and B

3. How do we know Yahoo is a struggling company?

a. They’ve had lots of new CEOs.

b. Their stock price recently went down.

c. They’re acquiring many other companies.

7 ________________________




By Jeremy Schaar

Check out this quote about the tech giant Yahoo:

That’s one of the problems with many Yahoo acquisitions: They seem to be attempts by Mayer to get Yahoo caught up to other major players—a strategy that rarely comes with a big payoff.

In today’s lesson, I’ll show you who said this, why they said it, and what it means. I’ll also talk about some vocabulary you can use in your job.

Yahoo was one of the most successful companies of the 90s dot-com boom. Like many, its stock price went from very high to very low, but it survived the worst. Yahoo has done well at many things like search, news, and email. Nevertheless, Yahoo has had hard times. The company has averaged a new CEO every year for over five years.

The problem is that while Yahoo has done well at many things, they’re not the best at anything.

The quote from the beginning is from a Businessweek article by Mathew Ingram.

Ingram is talking about Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer and her current strategy for the company. In short, she’s acquiring a lot of other companies. She seems to be doing this for two reasons. The first is to bolster Yahoo’s products. For example, she thinks that one acquisition will improve Yahoo’s email service. The other reason is to enter new areas. Recently, Yahoo acquired Tumblr. Tumblr is a huge social media platform, an area where Yahoo hadn’t been competing before.

So here’s the big question: Is this a good strategy? On the one hand, Yahoo is having a hard time as a company. If they acquire companies, they might bolster their products and expand into new areas. On the other hand, maybe the acquisitions will hurt company culture. Said another way, maybe everyone will work together poorly. What do you think? Post your comments below and let’s have a discussion.

In future lessons, I’ll talk some more about how acquisitions can affect company culture.

Got questions or comments? How about practicing some new vocabulary and posting your thoughts on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter?


Answers To Today’s Questions

B, C, A


You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

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