Actually, the beginning is today.. April 7, 2008. My virgin post…. is all about Yahoo! I’ve been following the headlines intently since I am a former Yahoo! and I still hold shares in the company. It’s so sad to see such an institution relegated to the mercy of its long time rival. Dave and Jerry’s Yahoo! emulated the small start-up with the drive and gumption to succeed, never failing in the ability to think outside of the box and continue to innovate. I remember as a new recruit feeling proud to be part of this cool place. The orientation sessions made everyone feel like they were part of this really fun place that was always trying new things and allowing their employees to be part of that innovation. Whether you came from the online world or you were a newbie, you became a part of Yahoo! and soon this FUN and this PASSION became ingrained in you. The free lattes always helped!! The 24/7 mentality was mainstay and every Yahoo! knows that it was common to be online with other Yahoo!s late into the early morning as we conversed across multiple time zones. That was the culture and it was OK because we were part of something neat. And now the rumblings of layoffs, offices closing, consolidation and maintenance do not befit the very place that claimed to be fun and exciting. Hopefully, Yahoo!’s next life doesn’t change the very essence from which it evolved. That would be a shame.