One thing we have seen in the industry is that people who have been leading the business for a particular company are unlikely to launch their own startup after years in the same segment. This is clearly because they have understood the ins and outs of the business in a way that would discourage them in repeating the same mistake.
The reason why we are currently talking about leading business and launching their own startup is due to the announcement of Neeva. Neeva is a search engine that competes with Google and other search engines but it is fundamentally different in a major way.
Neeva, the search engine that has been announced by an ex-Google employee who was responsible for running the company’s ad business, says that his platform will be ad-free. Now, you would be already wondering why a person who knows so much about advertisement is not using his expertise on Neeva.
Well, the reason as explained by Sridhar Ramaswamy is that “user experience is dominated by highly-placed advertising and promotional content, rather than the desired, original informational content”.
This is what he does not want on his platform and adds that Neeva is a platform where you “search for hiking boots and be shown sites that empower you to make a better decision about which hiking boots to buy — rather than a list of product ads”.
Now, this is all great and focused on users since there will be no advertisements which most of us hate to see. But what about Neeva and what is its business model because at the end of the day, it is a business and they also need to make money over time. Neeva’s business model is a subscription-based platform where users will have to pay a certain amount of money every month to keep using it.
While no official details have been revealed yet and the platform is invite-only, Neeva’s founder S. Ramaswamy said that he wants to keep the platform free for everyone right now. Later on, Neeva will not be “more than $10 per month” to use where you get an ad-free experience for that money.
The most interesting part to see about Neeva would be how it actually implements the most important part of a search platform which is the search engine itself. If Neeva wants to compete with likes of Google even though being ad-free, it needs to provide a great user experience and a similar search experience to make users pay for searching that they can do for free on Google.
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