Yahoo! Betrayal towards Koprol Team

Tue 10 April 2012 15:00, Vitto Christaldi

Yahoo! Betrayal towards Koprol Team

Every company’s leader has his own way to save the company from destruction; and that was what Yahoo!’s new CEO, Scott Thompson tried to do last week: by cutting off two thousand Yahoo! employees worldwide, in order to save hundreds of millions of dollars ($375 million annually to be exact). The employees were in shock last week; they did not see it coming at all; even the senior staffers knew almost nothing about this until the rumor was out. Southeast Asia was Yahoo!’s most valuable market all these years, but it did not save the region from the layoff impact; including Yahoo! Indonesia.

Last year, I wrote an article about Yahoo! Koprol, an Indonesian local location-based social network; a Foursquare-similar-kind-of-social-media. Koprol itself was founded in 2008 by Fajar Budiprasetyo, Satya Witoelar, and Daniel Armanto. Later on in 2010, Koprol was bought by Yahoo! for an undisclosed amount and modified its name to Yahoo! Koprol. After the acquisition, all Koprol’s founders and talented developers were brought by Yahoo to join the family. Post acquisition, everything went pretty good: users grew, new Koprol features and designs were introduced; until last week when Sunnydale announced the layoff plan. Unfortunately, the entire team of Koprol developers had to leave the company!


Koprol's Founders and Former Head of Yahoo's Developer Network for Southeast Asia (Source: E27)

Right after the bad news was announced, one of the Koprol founders, Satya Witoelar, posted on his Tumblr the list of developers who are available to be hired or doing freelance jobs. In the interview with Dailysocial, Satya responded “We are still in shock with this layoff. I thank everyone for everyone that can help them (Koprol ex-developers) finding jobs.” Former head of Yahoo!'s Developer Network for Southeast Asia, Michael Smith, who also the make-happen of Koprol acquisition with Yahoo!, responded personally on his blog about the cutoff of Koprol tem, saying “Given this – it was not a huge surprise, still a big blow, to hear that the Koprol team was let go. These are awesome people and any company would be blessed to have some of these people.”  

The founders of Koprol, however, are still kept by Yahoo for the next three months, basically to process the transition of Koprol to the new team. But what is the future of Koprol? The new Koprol, which will be called “Koprol 2.0”, will focus more on users’ discussions/conversations, than on check-in activities. But why? Based on what I read on Dailysocial, Yahoo! found out that Koprol users do not care that much about where they check-in, but to shout out and discuss about what is happening at those places. It is a good that they are adjusting their development to market behavior, but don’t we have Twitter/Facebook to tell people what is happening?

Yet, I wish a succes for all the formers of Koprol developers in finding new jobs!

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