Good programmers want to work with other good programmers. So once the quality of programmers at your company starts to drop, you enter a death spiral from which there is no recovery. At Yahoo this death spiral started early. If there was ever a time when Yahoo was a Google-style talent magnet, it was over by the time I got there in 1998.The company felt prematurely old. Most technology companies eventually get taken over by suits and middle managers. At Yahoo it felt as if they’d deliberately accelerated this process. They didn’t want to be a bunch of hackers. They wanted to be suits. A media company should be run by suits.