20 x Yahoo Finance = ?

What would you get if you took Yahoo Finance, the most widely-used financial tool on the web, and pumped in 20 times as much data around its quotes feed? While it is fun to speculate, and I can come up with some ideas right away, this is not an idle question. Because here is a paragraph from a jobs posting in Yahoo Finance as displayed at the Yahoo Careers site:

Yahoo! Finance is planning to enhance its quotes feed to add next generation features. The next generation features include ability to handle 20x more data than today. You would participate in helping develop this technology.  You would be part of the team responsible for quotes and news headlines feed infrastructure within yahoo!.

[Update] After having had it pointed it out to me by Stewart in a comment to this post that Yahoo’s Job site does not have persistent URLs (and has truly inscrutable errors as well), I replaced the Yahoo URL in this post with a SimplyHired link to the same Yahoo posting. Crazy that I had to go outside Yahoo to get a working link for a position at Yahoo.


  1. Except our horrible, stupid job site doesn’t let you link to things – as far as I can tell, there is no way to construct a permanent URL: you have have to go to the site and search. (Even better, you just get a java error message rather than some instructions conveying what I just said …)

  2. Ouch, you’re right Stewart. Persistent URLs for jobs? Why bother … people would never tell one another about a job would, they? Nahhh!
    Anyway, I have replaced the Yahoo URL with a working SimplyHired URL … now there’s a statement about the Yahoo Jobs site.

  3. Tibco provided the first Yahoo quotes system back in around 1995. I headed the Prof Svcs group there around that time, and we in fact initially ran it as a managed service. The reason I’m writing is that 20x increase is not necessarily unheard of. One of Tibco’s first systems to handle ALL quote data was installed in 1990 at a major Wall St bank, which I project managed. Our hardware (Sparc-based) had to handle 200 updates a second from the primary Reuters broadcast feeds. The 200 updates a second volume was huge at the time but was hit around Wall St market open, dropping off somewhat the rest of the day. We had to distribute those 200 updates a second simultaneously to about 600 Sun workstations and deployed an extensive network including 150 Cisco routers (!) to do that (though not all were just for market data).
    I understand those same broadcast volumes from Reuters now are 200,000 a second at peak! That pretty much follows Moore’s Law (a doubling every 18 months). Derivatives, ECN’s, decimalisation and globalisation have all played their part in the increases. Yahoo may be just playing catch up a bit or planning for the future. But 20x may not itself lead to much/any extra functionality.

  4. Franklin Stubbs says:

    “When I see an investor checking quotes on his palm pilot, I smile and smile and smile.”
    — Nassim Taleb
    This is great news for focused / disciplined investors. As technology makes the haystack bigger, the needle just gets harder and harder to find.

  5. hey Stewart:… you can let the HotJobs folks know we’d be happy to help with any infrastructure work they need done to keep up with the rest of the Web 2.0 universe 😉
    – dave mcclure

  6. If only it was actually a technial problem…