It’s time for the next evolution of search

Margo Georgiadis on 05/10/21

When I was at Google, we obsessed about a new product or feature passing the “toothbrush” test. Was it something valuable enough that billions of people would want to use it multiple times a day, every day? Twenty-plus years in, it’s clear that online search has become integral to our daily lives. It has more than passed the toothbrush test.

But think about how our digital world has evolved over the last two decades - and the new digital platforms that have exceeded the toothbrush test. Think subscription services such as Spotify or Netflix. Whether it’s creating and sharing personalized music playlists or having a primary destination for movies, documentaries, and TV shows, these are platforms built 100% around the customer. They allow us to listen to or watch what we want at any time, at any place. These platforms put us in control. They’re personal. And they become our own.

These platforms are built on a foundation of a trusted, highly personal relationship with us, the customer. We as customers need to trust that our data will only be used to deliver a better experience. Nothing more. Not to sell targeted ads. Not to create added revenue streams for the company providing the services. It’s a simple relationship, where sharing information is only used to better serve us the songs or movies we will like. This then allows us to create and experience our own personal journey every time we use the platform.

Neeva is built around the same set of principles. It’s focused on how search can be more useful and more powerful when it allows us to find, engage, connect and explore. It’s unencumbered by distracting advertisements. And its core business is built on a model that isn’t balancing the often competing interests of advertisers, consumers, and content creators. But instead, it’s 100% focused on us, the customer.

I’ve been using Neeva for a while, and recently encouraged my family to use it as well. What really stands out to me is the following.

It’s Safe. My father is in his 80’s. When I view technology through his eyes, I realize how essential it is to be simpler and more intuitive. Using Neeva, he no longer fears clicking on a rogue ad that takes him off to an irrelevant site or tries to trick him into downloading a new browser or sharing personal information. With the pandemic, we are living our lives online. He can now search for the latest COVID updates, find out about local vaccinations, shop for essentials or look for new local hiking trails without distractions. It’s provided huge peace of mind for him and for me.

It’s Collaborative. Search can be more powerful when it allows you to collaborate and explore with others. One of our sons lives in another state and we are collaborating around various career options that he is exploring. We use a feature on Neeva called Spaces —  think of it as a turbocharged version of bookmarks in a browser — where you save files, links to webpages, and you can share and collaborate around those files and pages. We use it as a central place to share ideas as we do research on potential job opportunities, best practice interview guides, and statistics around alternative career paths. It’s a simple and powerful way to search, share and collaborate with my son.

It’s Productive. Think about how our digital lives have evolved over the last two decades. We’re spread across multiple platforms in the cloud — from email to online file storage and sharing, to calendars and booking restaurants and travel. We need new tools to make this new normal easier. Neeva saves me countless hours. When I forget where I have saved something on my laptop or drive - it makes it easy for me to find it. Neeva gets smarter over time, so when I am searching for a dinner location say of a restaurant with multiple locations, it’ll pull up the right restaurant because it knows that I had a reservation on my personal calendar a few months back. Furthermore, Neeva makes it easier to sift through the massive volume of news everyday. It allows me to set up news preferences, where I can control the sources of content that go into my feed — so I can get the information I care about, faster.

And most importantly, it’s personal. Just like Spotify or Netflix, I’ve made it my own. While Neeva is built around search, it is so much more than search. It's a completely new, personalized experience that makes search far more powerful and useful - far exceeding the toothbrush test. And I’m using it more than ever!

Neeva is a part of the next generation of digital platforms that are focused on solving the problems of today and in the future with each of us - the customer - at the center.

Neeva is the next evolution of search. It’s search reimagined.

Margo Georgiadis is a Neeva board member and former President and CEO of Ancestry and President of Google Americas