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Max Foster reports
"Yahoo is the world's most visited website"
 real 56k

Friday, 20 October, 2000, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Yahoo asks investors for patience

Shares in Yahoo, the world's most-visited internet portal, have had a torrid time lately - despite making a profit and being one of the internet's most famous brands. The BBC's Max Foster talks to Yahoo boss Tim Koogle about the firm's future.

Tim Koogle is concerned. In charge of one of the world's biggest internet companies, he is watching closely what he calls the "extremely unsettled markets".

The markets across all sectors, are extremely unsettled right now, to say the least and we get some solace in that because is seems to be somewhat indiscriminate.

Tim Koogle, Chairman, Yahoo
Shares of technology firms, including that of Yahoo, have been hit indiscriminately, he says, and urges investors to take the long view and give the internet time to grow.

Starting young

Yahoo adverts are youthful and energetic, just like the two college friends who came up with the idea for the website six years ago.

Jerry Yang and David Filo were on to a winner. Internet surfers, the few of them there were at the time, loved the site.

Tim Koogle, Yahoo Chief Executive
Koogle asks investors not to lose patience with Yahoo
But they realised that they needed an experienced manager to make it a commercial success. Jerry and David hired a head-hunter who approached Tim Koogle.

They met in a bar and the rest, as they say, is history.

Yahoo is now the world's most visited website.

Tim Koogle is a paper billionaire and widely regarded as one of the world's most powerful businessmen.

His influence will only spread if the internet takes off in the way he predicts:

"It is pervading everything," he says. "What we will all collectively find is that there will be many devices around us in our lives that are connected to this global infrastructure that we have."

"The devices themselves will probably fade in people's consciousness and what they are doing will come to the forefront."

Bright forecast

Like many internet companies, Yahoo is based in California, but unlike most of the others, it actually makes money.

Despite that its share price has recently plummeted, as technology stocks in general have fallen out of fashion.

Koogle believes "the markets across all sectors are extremely unsettled right now, to say the least, and we get some solace in that, because it seems to be somewhat indiscriminate."

Mr Koogle urges investors to take a long-term view.

If investors are looking for quality, a company in a leading position that operates on a good model and is well managed, then Yahoo fits that describtion, he says.

Tim Koogle acknowledges that many internet companies will fail, but insists that big players, like Yahoo, will continue to shape the future of the internet.

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Internet: Toy of the rich?
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