What are we betting on?
Macro trends which will lead us to success
We are betting that:
People have increasingly diverse needs from search.
Gone are the days when the web was a collection of webpages. Now people want to find many more kinds of things, from many more sources. People want to find codes, memes, beautiful photos, personal documents, conversation from chat apps and much more.
Evidence: There are tons of companies coming up to satisfy various search needs in various context:
Scio (https://www.askscio.com/) → Started by the founder of Rubrik. A search for workspace. Similar startups:
MoveWrks (https://www.moveworks.com) → Internal company chatbot gives instant help to employees
CommandE (https://getcommande.com) → Search on a lot of apps at one place.
A general web search is not enough. You need more. There will be more demand and more supply of varied search apps.
Search software is becoming a commodity.
There are more people doing OSS, the ecosystem is stronger, there is more money in OSS, and code is better. Combined with cheap cloud infra + a demand for search software. There is much faster and better search software available than it was available 5 years ago.
There are tons of open sources search software which came up in last few years
https://www.meilisearch.com/ → Open Source Algolia alternative. 1.5Million Euro funding. Really good and really fast.
https://github.com/typesense/typesense → Typesense, an open source search engine written in rust
https://jina.ai/ → Open Source Machine Learning search company. 7 Million USD funding.
https://haystack.deepset.ai/ → Haystack, another open source neural search company.
https://quickwit.io/ → Another open source web search
More and more people will write their own search software to satisfy all kinds of niche needs. Search in personal documents, your favorite movie scenes, documentation, memes and what not.
Being a search platform will give us compounding leverage over long term.
Being a platform means others, build things for your ecosystem and increase the value of the platform. There is no search platform right now, but we can look at other domains.
Amazon is an e-commerce platform. It is valuable because lots of sellers can sell on amazon, and you can find everything there. Each new seller increases the choices of things you can buy from Amazon, hence increasing its value.
iOS is a platform. A large part of its value comes from all the apps you can run on your iPhone. Most of these apps are not created by Apple, but they add to Apple's value.
In the long run a platform replaces an equivalent non platform.
Joel Spolsky on commodotizing your compliment : https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2002/06/12/strategy-letter-v/