Healthy Competition ?

Please note this post was a few days old but I just discovered it never got published. So here it is.

Stefano asks in this post, why is Microsoft working on its own on a separate and new search engine. Is the competition really absurd? I think on the contrary that providing some serious competition to google is the best thing that can happen to this search engine. Google is seriously flawed with the new collaborative approach of the web content (yes you read right, blogging):

1.      Relevance by linking: The relevance in incoming link increase the reliability of the author on a specific subject, not on anything he says, nor on a specific content. I’m the first for marketing bullshit, if that’s not being broken I don’t know what is.

2.      What to do about blogs: well, seems google is trying stuff but didn’t come up yet with any solution. Why? Because they absolutely rule the search engine world (although Scoble tries to push feedster as a potential replacement here). Without some competition there’s absolutely no reason for them to rush something new out in the market.

Let me tell you a small story. A very very long time ago, when compuserve had more content than the internet, google didn’t exist and the search engine that ruled them all was altavista. Who still use it? It’s usage has dropped tremendously. Why? Because they had no serious competition for so long that they never really got anything new out, not because they didn’t collaborate with google.

And as a final note, the human factor here is the most important in that kind of decision. If you came up with a great algorithm, and think you can create your own search engine, rule them all and take over the whole market, generating billions on the way, would you really go and share it with someone, let them grab half of it, just for the sake of technology? Nope. Competition is natural, and is helpful. That’s what open source and the bazaar model is all about. That’s what Microsoft is all about. This is nearly the only common factor across the whole industry. And it is a good thingTM.