"The Power of Creativity: Uniting Yahoo!'s History with the Zwicky Box"


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 21, 2023

3 min read


"The Power of Creativity: Uniting Yahoo!'s History with the Zwicky Box"


In the ever-evolving world of Silicon Valley, two seemingly unrelated concepts, Yahoo!'s history and the Zwicky box method, can provide valuable insights into problem-solving and creativity. Yahoo!, initially a guide to Internet sites, became a global phenomenon, while the Zwicky box, developed by astronomer Fritz Zwicky, offers a framework to generate unique ideas. By exploring the commonalities between these two concepts, we can uncover actionable advice to enhance our problem-solving abilities and cultivate creativity.

The Birth of Yahoo!:

In 1994, Yahoo! emerged as a humble project initiated by David Filo and Jerry Yang, both Ph.D. candidates at Stanford University. Their aim was to curate a list of their favorite Internet sites. What began as a personal endeavor quickly gained traction, with Yahoo! experiencing a one-million-hit day, visited by thousands of users. The success of Yahoo! can be attributed to its evolution from a simple web directory to a comprehensive web portal, offering a multitude of services.

The Zwicky Box Method:

Fritz Zwicky, a renowned Swiss astronomer, made significant contributions to the scientific community. Among his achievements were the discovery of over a hundred supernovae and the coining of the term "supernova." His most notable contribution, however, was the development of the Zwicky box method. This method involves breaking down a problem into categories, assigning values to each category, and combining these values to create unique solutions. Zwicky believed that by adopting this approach, our brains could operate at a significantly higher level of efficiency.

Uniting Yahoo! with the Zwicky Box:

While Yahoo! and the Zwicky box may seem unrelated at first glance, they both emphasize the importance of breaking free from conventional thinking patterns. Yahoo!'s success was driven by its ability to diversify and offer a range of services beyond its initial purpose. Similarly, the Zwicky box encourages individuals to think morphologically, challenging established institutions and promoting bold ideas.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace Diversification: Yahoo!'s evolution from a web directory to a web portal demonstrates the value of diversifying one's offerings. Apply this principle to problem-solving by exploring different perspectives, seeking alternative solutions, and considering various approaches.
  • 2. Break Down Problems: The Zwicky box method highlights the importance of breaking down complex problems into manageable categories. By doing so, you can systematically analyze each aspect and generate unique combinations of values to arrive at innovative solutions.
  • 3. Challenge Conventional Thinking: Both Yahoo! and the Zwicky box emphasize the need to challenge established norms and patterns of thought. Encourage yourself and your team to think boldly and explore unconventional ideas. This mindset can lead to groundbreaking innovations and creative problem-solving.


The intertwined stories of Yahoo! and the Zwicky box highlight the power of creativity and innovation. By incorporating Yahoo!'s journey from a simple website guide to a global web portal with the Zwicky box's unique approach to problem-solving, we can enhance our own creative abilities. Embracing diversification, breaking down problems, and challenging conventional thinking are actionable steps we can take to unlock our potential and shape the future. As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of Silicon Valley, let us remember the lessons learned from Yahoo! and the Zwicky box to inspire us to think beyond boundaries and unleash our creativity.

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