Interesting post on the Wellington Financial blog. In short, sounds like they think the success of a new vc financed search engine hakia is unlikely to be around very long. An excerpt.
But it really isn’t clear why the rest of us will rip out the Google toolbars or Yahoo Finance pages and convert to another aggregator. Well, maybe we could stand t dump Yahoo Finance.
Youtube, flickr and the like were serving a need. There’s no obvious need for a better search engine. And if there is, Google has proven that they have a few billion to invest on improvements and the currency to acquire along the way.
imho the better question would be why not? changing a search engine is about as hard as changing your undies – either type it in or change your homepage. why even bother with a toolbar? no idea about hakia but i do remember yahoo, altavista, hotbot and a couple of other engines that were at one time or another at the top of the heap.
relatively speaking, in terms of switching costs from the user perspective a search engine isn’t close to most other things (e.g. operating system, office applications, etc.).
and sure, google has lots of coin. but at one point it didn’t. and there wasn’t exactly an absence of search engines when they popped up…
will it be a success? no idea. could it? why not? I’d certainly use it if it’s better than google.
BTW, in case someone from WF is reading this here, tried leaving a comment, couldn’t as your captcha doesn’t seem to be working and PS you might want to try hashcash instead.
Update: and its not like Google hasn’t had its fair share of troubles lately.
Google alerts found this; how apropos. Thanks for the tip. Good luck with the blog.
[…] Read a very interesting article on the weekend on how Yahoo! blew it. No, they’re not really a search engine, or rather weren’t really a search engine, but thought I’d mention it given my previous musings on search engines. The article, I think, demonstrates pretty clearly how quickly things can change in the online world, and how the balance of economic power can very quickly change so that the one puny underdog can become the king of the junkyard, so to speak. Not that Yahoo! is exactly the picture of abject failure. But, relative to Google, they certainly have some catching up to do. And if Google isn’t very, very, very careful, they may very well be in the same position a few years from now – struggling to catch up with the brash young upstart that has come up with the Next Big Thing… […]