Shortly after the acquisition of Flickr by Yahoo! the latter company introduced a multi-feature invite-only blog/photo/whatever-sharing platform called “Yahoo 360“. The invitation-only concept worked well for Gmail – elitism marketing.
Dave Winer has a spot on analysis of Yahoo 360:
Everything about Yahoo 360 is for members only, and in the first few hours of its life in the blogosphere, most people couldn’t get in. Now, after it’s launched, there’s no way to see anything other than a ghost town. Maybe that’s all there is, maybe not. But for a service like this, the appearance of being a ghost town is just as bad as actually being one. […]
Moral of the story, big companies don’t have mojo, they can’t, and it’s not fair to make that the issue. They can, however, make the trains run on time, and at that Yahoo does quite well. But they should leave the innovation to small, nimble, motivated devteams with nothing to lose and no corporate hierarchy to please.