Facebook vs. Yahoo. One is cool; the other was or will be, maybe. One thing is for sure: both Silicon Valley behemoths have charismatic Chief Executive Officers. On the one side there is young, brazen, world-historically famous Mark Elliot Zuckerberg. In the other corner is the former ambassador to Google, perennial Silicon Valley darling, and newly-minted CEO of Yahoo -- Marissa Ann Mayer.
Who cares about social search? Let’s play the car insurance game.
Age: Mark Zuckerberg officially became the youngest self-made billionaire in world-historical times after Facebook’s initial public offering on May 17, 2012 -- three days after his 28th birthday. Mayer is 37, which isn’t exactly geriatric. In fact, car insurance carriers think she’s in the prime of her safe-driving career. On average, a driver’s car insurance rate bottoms out between the ages of 35 and 55, before spiking again as he or she heads toward retirement age. Advantage: Mayer.
Education: Even my mom knows Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to move The Facebook to Palo Alto. Mayer earned a bachelors in symbolic systems and a masters in computer science from Stanford. And while the school names don’t mean anything to insurers (Yeshiva = Youngstown State = Yale), they are very interested in the number of academic degrees earned -- as those with “more education” have shown to be less risky to insure. Advantage: Mayer.
Gender: Zuckerberg hangs out with President Obama and the cast of Saturday Night Live. Marissa Meyer, though slightly further under the national radar, was the first female developer at Google, and only the second female Chief Executive at Yahoo. And though her Wikipedia entry may be 5 times shorter than MZ’s, the carriers would return her call first. The data shows that women are a good bet because, on average, females make smaller and less frequent claims than do men. Advantage: Mayer.
Marital Status: Mayer married VC Zachary Pogue, in 2009. To great fanfare, Zuckerberg married his longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan in his parents’ backyard just days after Facebook’s IPO. Carriers really like married folks for two reasons. 1) Nuptials seem to do something to people -- slow them down a bit, make them drive more circumspectly. 2) It’s a group policy and carriers will lower their rates a bit to attract another customer. In fact, CoverHound data shows that [getting hitched means an average savings of 29.2%](http://coverhound.com/blog/post/married-save-car-insurance) on monthly car insurance payments, compared to the cost of two solo policies. Additionally, Mayer and Pogue are expecting their first child in a few months. Car insurance companies love that baby in the backseat, which makes us all drive more safely. Advantage: Mayer.
Occupation and Credit Score: Chief Executive Officers are usually well-compensated, which means they tend to pay their bills (or have someone do it for them). Yes, they work long hours -- a concern since more accidents per capita happen late at night. Nevertheless, no one is really sure what Yahoo does. Advantage: Zuckerberg.
Vehicle: The Acura TSX is Mark Zuckerberg’s main vessel of transport. I can't spend any more time trying to hunt down what kind of car Marissa Mayer drives. But we like anyone worth $15 billion who drives an Acura. Advantage: Zuckerberg.
Driving History: Mark Zuckerberg may have looted the idea for The Facebook from those big, clumsy Winklevii -- but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad driver. Google doesn’t seem to have anything negative to say about Mayer’s driving habits, though she may have had the power to censor that information from the search results (kidding, a little). Advantage: Tie.
In our world, Marissa Mayer’s impressive rise to power includes the unthinkable: a thorough drubbing of Mark Zuckerberg. All hail the new chief of Silicon Valley. May your successes continue to be large, and your car insurance payments small.