What is the future of search?

By Sridhar Ramaswamy on 07/07/2020

We were overwhelmed and humbled by the response to the announcement of Neeva. Tens of thousands of users signed up to join our waitlist and wrote in so many reasons why they were excited to use Neeva. Thank you all for the feedback!

One of the important questions that people asked us over email and social media was around the interplay between privacy and a personal search engine. At Neeva, we passionately believe that these two concepts are not in conflict. That means showing you weather for the locations you care about, news about the sports teams that you like and stocks that you own and want to see updates about. All while having these preferences seamlessly work on every device you own that you connect to Neeva. Bringing together personal and private creates a strong product that drives immense value for people!

This is no different than getting personalized movie recommendations to watch or playlists to listen to. A search engine that knows nothing about you never gets better for you!

We firmly believe that a search engine that knows you can deliver a great experience while protecting your privacy. Not only do we promise that you will never be shown ads on Neeva, we guarantee that your data will never be sold in any form whatsoever (aggregated or not) to anybody. You are firmly in charge: we delete your search history by default after 90 days. The 90 day retention period is the de-facto behavior of Neeva: based on your feedback, we have made it explicitly part of our privacy policy. We have also added more details to our privacy policy about how we handle your data, and we plan to make further improvements in clarity and readability over the coming weeks.

In addition to a short data retention policy, we understand that you may have searches that you want to be completely private with nothing stored. We offer an incognito mode for these cases. We want to give our users options for how they search the internet for content that matters to them.

While we currently use data from other providers in addition to our own results (like using Xignite to show you stock prices or weather.com for weather), we hold ourselves accountable for the quality of the product. We are passionate product people and will build whatever we need to create a great search experience for you. We respect your privacy regardless of the source of your search results. We take an extraordinary amount of care to ensure that we do not pass on personally identifiable information such as your IP address or precise location to external providers. We are responsible for the quality of the results we show you, and we will do whatever it takes to provide an amazing product for you while respecting your online privacy.

Lastly, we have heard questions about what to expect in terms of a price point for a Neeva subscription. I talked about this a bit with Kara Swisher in her recent episode of Recode Decode. Neeva serves only one constituent - the user. This is made possible with a subscription business model. We will start at a reasonable price, say the cost of two black coffees a month. We hope that over time we will be able to reduce the price as we become more efficient. Everything that we take for granted (our computers and phones, even ice cream) started out at a higher price point before scale and innovation made them available to everyone. We hope Neeva follows a similar trajectory.

We are well aware of the responsibility we have in protecting your data, which is why we plan to publish a white paper on our security and data handling practices in the next few weeks. If you have any questions or thoughts, please send us feedback!