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Most of us have heard about Marx's Communist Manifesto or John Lennon's controversial Imagine Peace but what's this Peanut Butter Manifesto?

Just to set the record straight, no it isn't to champion any foodilicious idea. Its something more serious; a telling comment on why well established businesses start hitting the stagnant road.

Brad Garlinghouse, the affable author of this Manifesto, was back in action around New Year by reliving his write-up six years ago that was leaked by the Wall Street Journal. Written as a memo addressing the top executives at Yahoo! for their lack of "focus, leadership and accountability", it came to be dubbed as the Peanut Butter Manifesto- a raging metaphor to define firms that do not put in the right amount of initiative in their enterprise.

In his words, it is spreading "too thin, too wide", just like that one scoop of peanut butter that always run out before spreading out wholesomely on the loaf of bread. So what does the person do? He either picks out another scoop as an add on or else stretch out the stuff further. Why discuss this weird food-execution plan? We'll come to that!

Following the failure of the Yahoo-Microsoft acquisition deal going plumb in 2006, he quit the firm, moved to work on to AOL with the likes of Google's ex-exec Tim Armstrong.  Currently the CEO of YouSendIt, Brad wrote on his LinkedIn post this week about his own handiwork. 

What's commendable is that his round up of Yahoo's problems then, have grown more chronic today. With the growth of Facebook, Twitter and Google's all round upgradation of its features and apps, has totally brushed Yahoo under the carpet.

Keeping aside this issue, there are a few valuable takeaways that businesses can cash on. Even after six years, Brad's pointers stand true. Now that's what we call value-added wisdom!

1. Culture Matters

To sum up the meat of his write up, Brad wanted to communicate the idea that how office culture should be quality-oriented to get a better work rate from the employees.  He says in the blog "Whether you give people the latest gadget or deck your office space with beanbags and foosball tables, the point is to make work a fun , interesting and inspirational place to be." This ushers in real time success based on rewards-for-creativity among employees.

2. Communication
 
Taking the previous point further, Brad's Manifesto created waves particularly as it was a round up signal sounded by a top exec to his fellow colleagues. Although he quit the firm, his memo was worded rationally, full of advise and pointers about administrative backlogs that needed to be worked on. 

The point here is that, no matter where one is in the chain-of-command, communication of ideas without mincing words, in a simple straightforward manner creates an all round impact. Not only does it reflect upon one's leadership ability but also shows commitment to the enterprise and its improvement. The Yahoo ex-Exec advises that "Sometimes interactions need to happen beyond the ping of an email of the (god forbid) drone of a PowerPoint presentation."  This is what builds great company cultures, where its "One for All and All for One" policy at work.

3. Challenges Undone

Brad's memo drives home a very subtle point. How businesses become great and successful, failures and defunct, depends not on "how" one starts off; completing the home run is what ultimately matters. He applauds Steve Jobs for ushering in the culture of successful start-ups. You might have a great idea, a good enough team too but phenomenal magic doesn't happen in thin air, nor do lasting products. A right amount of "focus, accountability and decisiveness" is your takeaway recipe to stay in the race. 


Whether Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer turns out as a messiah or not is really doesn't matter. Yahoo's had its problems spread out openly six years ago but it hasn't done much to innovate itself. Far from re-birthing it should aim at survival tactics at present.

Here's the original Peanut Butter Manifesto for our readers.

So Businesses "Get Back up, Catch the balls, And stop eating Peanut Butter."

Share with us your thoughts and opinions; if you found our tips or Brad Garlinghouse's words inspirational. You can also suggest us your pointers too, we'd love to add-it-on to our list. 

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