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  Jerry Yang


"Jerry Yang, the Interview"
By AsianConnections Web Team

Yahoo! Co-Founders: Jerry Yang and David Filo

 For more "About Jerry " click here

     Jerry, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be our inaugural profile for our networking and mentoring website, Our enthusiastic web team, ages 15 to 50+ voted you as our #1 choice to be our first profile. Thank you! Suzanne Joe Kai, co-founder,

     The following is the interview of Jerry, and his actual response via e mail:

1. We heard your speech at the Committee of 100 conference in Silicon Valley in which you thank your mother who raised you and your brother as a single parent. You commented that your mother told you as a child that "if you are served food on the table, better eat it, you may not know when your next meal will be again!" The audience reacted with laughter and applause which made us understand that this person, Jerry Yang is great, he's refreshing, he's real - could you tell us more about your background growing up and how your mother made a difference in your life?

sure - my mother always reminded us that happiness is not about money and good jobs - it's about having a great family and great friends. so everything i do is centered around building respect for people around me, and building a great family. by focusing on friends and family, no matter what i do and how much money i make, it'll be a good life...also, the key thing my mother emphasized is the education - we didn't grow up wealthy and therefore studying and getting the best education possible was the primary goal. education is something that you keep for the rest of your life, and no one can take that away from you.

2. underlying mission is to foster mentoring and networking for personal and professional development. Perhaps you could describe your mentors, or an event or situation where having the right network of personal and professional connections had an impact on your life?

there are a number of folks that has helped me with yahoo in a mentoring role. our venture capitalist mike moritz from sequoia, softbank's masayoshi son, yahoo's ceo tim koogle, all have contributed to making me a better business person and a better thinker. i believe that having had a good idea (along with david filo) to start yahoo is just one thing - but the overall success of yahoo was because of people like tim koogle who devoted their energy and professionalism, and along the way educated and gave me a lot of insight on how to grow a good, responsible business.

3. One of the issues facing Asian Americans is how to break above the glass ceiling of corporate America. You seemed to have chosen a different, less traditional path and landed right at the top. What factors or values do you attribute to your success?

you can never "plan" to take the path i did - as i said in question 1, my goal was to get the best education i can, and prepare for any opportunities that make sense. if i didn't become a founder of a company, i would have joined a startup and tried to make a difference there. i'm not so concerned with title and position, but i am concerned with making a difference. i believe as long as people can make an impact, then the glass ceiling will eventually break because the marketplace of ideas will force the smartest, brightest, and impactful people to rise to the top.

4. Could you describe your typical schedule including what you might do for fun? We heard that you often work from 7 am to 10 pm Monday through Friday and come in on Saturdays, too and that you've sometimes slept on the floor of your office?

 i don't really sleep in my office anymore - but i do keep a fairly hectic schedule during the week. it is primarily consisting of meetings that i have with either external partners or internal colleagues. I spend time w/my wife, family and friends when i have free time.

5. Some people say the internet will bring the world closer together while other people say that the internet is impersonal and are concerned for example, about the amount of time children are spending interacting with computers rather than being outdoors playing with real people. Please give us your thoughts on this or on the future value of the internet?

i absolutely believe that this medium helps to bring people closer together, because i fundamentally believe people are "social" animals. i believe that the internet, the web, and computers will help make communicating among people more efficient, and thereby bringing people closer together virtually, as well as saving them the time to allow them to do things physically!

Jerry, thank you very much for your interview! Thanks very much, jerry web team. (Team members who helped develop the interview questions are from San Francisco (Tom Chin, Jeanie Joe, Katie Joe), Los Angeles (Greg Karns), Orange County (Mike Kai, Steven Joe), New York (Michael and David Rakower), Hong Kong (Ray Zhang, Clara Chan), Taiwan (Dave Chia), and Arizona (Cherie Campbell)!) Thank you! SK
Also, check out Jerry's own webpage!

For more "About Jerry " click here


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