It was one of those classic Jobs moments Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman will never forget. He was in a middle of a conference call with venture capitalists as Steve Jobs called in to offer a word of advice regarding a takeover bid from Google. In hindsight, Jobs wanted Yelp to stay independent as Apple had big plans with iOS 6 Maps and Siri that included Yelp…

Julian Guthrie, reporting for The San Francisco Chronicle (via 9to5Mac):

Jeremy Stoppelman was on a conference call with venture capitalists when an assistant slipped him a note: “Steve Jobs is on the line.” Stoppelman quietly left the room at Yelp headquarters in downtown San Francisco. It was January 2010, and Google wanted to buy Yelp, the online, crowd-sourced review site.

Jobs had a hunch and wanted to make sure Yelp wouldn’t accept Google’s offer.

On the phone, Jobs urged Stoppelman, who revered the Apple chief as a visionary, to “stay independent and not sell out to Google.” Jobs was not a fan of Google and had accused the search giant of stealing Apple’s smart-phone and tablet technology.

He needn’t worry, though:

“At that point, we had already turned down Google,” Stoppelman said. “But Steve liked Yelp and wanted to make sure about Google. It was a moment where I said, ‘This is crazy. What just happened?’”

The mercurial CEO’s flawless sense of timing couldn’t have been better. Had Yelp sold out to Google, Apple likely wouldn’t have been able to use the popular service to provide Yelp check-ins in iOS 6. The software also supports Yelp stars in Siri restaurant queries and lets you peruse Yelp ratings and reviews in local search.

Siri from the onset has returned Yelp-rated businesses on a number of queries. With iOS 5.1, Yelp was integrated more deeply with Siri, meaning tapping Yelp results in the digital assistant’s interface now takes users straight to the Yelp application.

In addition to Yelp, Apple relies on a number of other data and service providers for both Siri and Maps in iOS 6. It’s part of a broader effort to degooglify iOS by taking control of the lucrative local search business.

Apple will be launching iOS 6 this fall, presumable alongside the next iPhone and perhaps a new, smaller and less pricey iPad. Here’s the full list of iOS 6 features.

Go check out the full profile of Yelps’ co-founder, it’s a worthwhile read.

Makes you wonder who else Jobs called to advise against selling out to Google, no?

  • “The mercurial CEO’s flawless sense of timing couldn’t have been better.”

    I wouldn’t say that. It actually couldn’t have been worse 🙂 He was lucky Yelp had already turned down the offer.

  • MadAndronicus

    “Had Yelp sold out to Google, Apple likely wouldn’t have been able to use the popular service to provide Yelp check-ins in iOS 6”

    How so? Google services have been a big part of iOS since day one.

    • javierE186

      Have you been paying any attention? Apple is trying to distance themselves from Google, latest and biggest example, Maps App in iOS 6 is not based off of Google’s information. If Google would have bought Yelp then Apple would have used it in their new Map App and Siri. Where have you been the last few months smh

      • MadAndronicus

        Yah. They have begun to distance themselves from google with imaps, I’ll give you that. I just don’t see how they couldn’t reach an agreement to use yelp if google had bought it, that’s just an outrageous statement with no basis. And my initial point still stands, google services have been a big part of ios since day one. Since day one with youtube, since day one with google maps, since day one when the CEO of google joined Steve jobs onstage at the introduction of the original iPhone. Since. Day. One.


      • javierE186

        Smh really, Apple since 2010 has been trying to distance themselves from Google and anything that is connected to Google, think Andorid. It doesn’t matter if in 2007 Apple was close to Google and vice versa, Apple has been been at war with Google since Andorid started to gain a lot of press and fire in mid 2010. The late Jobs himself didn’t like Google at wall. How is all the legal battles, the fact that at first (before a huge user backlash) Apple wasn’t allowing Google related apps into the App store, the fact that Apple and Google (in their own respective keynotes) end up talking trash about one another, and that Apple is not using Google Maps anymore on any of its new software and platforms (unless you do not update your software) and is changing the default web browser in China which is a huge player in the world when it comes to mobile phones, actually when it comes to anything technologically related. You cannot tell me with everything Apple, the last Steve Jobs, Cook, Google, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, & Andy Rubin, have said and done have not shown that Apple and Google are falling apart. They are distancing themselves slowly but clearly that anyone can see. With all the things that have happen and that will probably will happen, it is safe to assume that Apple wouldn’t have used other things that are owned by Google, with the exception of Youtube because the truth is that there is nothing that is remotely close to Youtube, unless you live in China or any Asian country.

      • MadAndronicus


        “Apple is not using Google Maps anymore on any of its new software and platforms (unless you do not update your software)”

        Unless you are one of the 50 million people that don’t have a 4S or the new iPad.

        “the fact that Apple and Google (in their own respective keynotes) end up talking trash”

        ALL COMPANIES DO THIS, it’s not a big deal. Pc vs Mac commercials, remember those? Remember that rivalry, but did Microsoft say “we don’t like apple so we won’t give them any software blah blah blah…” no they made office apps for osx and apple allowed you to install windows on your Mac even though they both trash talked each other for years and years. 

        And again, yes, they are distancing themselves from google. Like I SAID AND AGREED with from the beginning. But google and apple will always be frenimes (regardless of the lawsuits) they both need each other. Google makes more money from iOS than from android and apple relies on google search and other apps (like previously mentioned). Yes, apple may of blocked google apps (from the AppStore) back in the day, but since then the guidelines for the AppStore have become much more lax. You can now get tons of google apps in the AppStore (google+, google search, google earth, google translate, chrome, gmail, google voice, google play books, google currents, google local, etc…). 

        tldr; apple is moving away from google services. But to suggest no agreement could have been made to use yelp (if google did purchase it) is ludicrous and there is no logic to back that up. 

  • Well_Said

    Great move by Yelp to stay independent, I like google but I don’t want one company to dominate its not good for competition.