“One can barely tell where the ads end and your search begins.” - Sridhar Ramaswamy
Ramaswamy and Vivek Raghunathan — an ex-Google SVP of Ads and an ex-YouTube VP leading monetization — want to make your search experience about you, not ads.
Neeva just launched on Product Hunt; it’s a new ad-free and private search engine. Today on our blog, Ramaswamy shared why the co-founders decided to leave the tech giants and undertake a new search engine.
This quote gives us a mental image of the common experience:
“When most of us are searching for flu symptoms, we want to know the symptoms—not see an ad for cough syrup, and certainly not an ad for cough syrup that will follow us across the Internet for weeks.”
Neeva’s approach to search is to flip the model (a model we've treated as the norm) to a subscription-based service that is “100% focused” on user experience. Raghunathan explained:
“Traditional search engines work by monetizing you, the user. You are the product being sold, and not the customer.”
For one thing, a subscription model means more personalization in a search engine, like searching shops for only small retailers or companies that ethically source materials. It also means control over your privacy. Neeva says it has no ads, no third-party tracking, and doesn’t sell your data.
Questions for the makers and comments are rolling in. So far, the community seems to “get it.”
“Interesting idea! Ultimately, you either pay for the product, or you are the product.” - Miguel Iglesias
“Nowadays, media space is really overloaded with different ads. Good luck to you and to the moon!” - Vadym Shcherbakov
Add your thoughts here.👇
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Contribute: To the AMA discussion with Andrew Gazdeck, CEO of MicroAcquire. Background: He bootstrapped his company to $10m/ARR+ before it was acquired in 2018. At MicroAcquire, he helps startups find buyers. He's answering questions about bootstrapping, marketing, startup ideas, acquisitions, and beyond.
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