Yahoo! Stopped Short

Today Yahoo! unveiled their upgraded email service response to Google’s upcoming 1GB GMail service. What did they offer to combat this bold offering by Google? Did they match the 1GB? Did they offer more than 1GB? No, they upgraded free email accounts to 100MB.

I use Yahoo! email and have been generally happy with it. I also realize that Google’s 1GB offering is probably unnecessarily large. But, if you are going to try and compete with a company that went to the edge* can you really get away with offering 10% of what they offer and expect to get people very excited? Yes, Yahoo! email does have other nice features and yes, you can upgrade to Yahoo! Mail Plus and get a whopping 2GB for $20 per year, but what makes the news and generates buzz is that GMail will offer 1GB for free, but Yahoo! only offers 100MB. Google gets it – Yahoo! doesn’t.

*Going to the edge or “edgecraft” is a concept by Seth Godin that he wrote about in his book Free Prize Inside. It means that small changes are risky because they are not bold enough to have much impact, but big changes (going to the edges) are actually safer and more prone to succeed.