The Trillion Dollar Opportunity: Subjective Search and the Future of Google


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 02, 2023

5 min read


The Trillion Dollar Opportunity: Subjective Search and the Future of Google

In today's digital age, search engines have become an integral part of our lives. Whether we're looking for information, recommendations, or advice, we turn to Google to find the answers we need. But what if I told you that there is a whole world of subjective search that Google has yet to tap into? A trillion dollar opportunity awaits those who can harness the power of subjective search and provide users with the content they truly want.

Subjective searches are those that don't have a clear-cut answer. They are queries for ideas, opinions, recommendations, and advice. These searches delve into the realm of conversations and personal experiences, where people seek the perspectives of others to deepen their understanding of the world. The best subjective search content can be found on forums, long-tail blogs, social media, and review sites. It's where people interact and freely share their thoughts and experiences.

Interestingly, my subjective search activity has been shifting away from traditional search engines like Google and towards platforms like Reddit, Twitter, HackerNews, TikTok, and Pinterest. These platforms provide a space for users to engage in fun and interactive conversations, entertainment, and even games. This shift represents a trillion dollar opportunity that Google may struggle to capitalize on.

Google's business model is built on displaying search results based on keyword auctions and pay-per-click ads. While this model works well for objective searches that require factual information, it falls short when it comes to subjective searches. Subjective search is not about accuracy; it's about providing users with a variety of perspectives and opinions.

Imagine a search engine that allows users to customize their search experience. A platform where users have control over the algorithm, results, and user interface. For example, users could personalize their search to never show results from certain sources or to surface more content from specific platforms like Reddit. They could also have the ability to upvote or downvote search results based on their relevance or usefulness. Furthermore, users could see what their friends or people they follow are searching and interested in, creating a social aspect to the search experience.

This is where Glasp comes in. Glasp is a revolutionary search engine that aims to provide users with a personalized and interactive search experience. It allows users to curate cool information, sites, or content they find and share it publicly, creating an ongoing taste board. Glasp taps into the power of subjective search and brings it to the forefront, giving users access to the content they truly want.

Now, let's shift our focus to another tech giant: Netflix. Netflix has disrupted the entertainment industry with its differentiated user experience and unique content. But as the streaming market becomes saturated, Netflix is facing the challenge of maintaining its growth and profitability. One potential solution that has been debated is whether Netflix should sell ads.

At first glance, selling ads may seem counterintuitive for a platform that has built its success on providing a premium, ad-free experience. However, in today's attention economy, where attention is more valuable than content itself, selling attention could be a game-changer for Netflix.

Netflix has already been exploring ways to offset the revenue impact of a subscriber slowdown, such as cracking down on password sharing. However, the bigger problem lies in the saturation of the market. With 75 million subscribers in the US and Canada alone, Netflix has reached a significant portion of households in these regions. To continue growing, Netflix needs to explore alternative revenue streams.

One potential avenue is to sell attention to advertisers and introduce a free plan with advertisements, alongside its existing subscription plans. By doing so, Netflix can tap into the advertising market and expand its user base. This move would also provide an alternative for marginal customers who might otherwise churn and create a new benefit for those willing to pay.

Netflix's unique content is its biggest asset. By selling attention, Netflix can generate more revenue to invest in creating even more attractive and unique content. This not only strengthens Netflix's competitive position but also allows the company to charge higher prices to its user base.

Of course, this shift in business model would be a significant change for Netflix. It would require careful consideration and implementation to ensure a smooth transition. However, in an era where attention is scarce and content is abundant, selling attention may be the key to Netflix's continued success.

In conclusion, the trillion dollar opportunity lies in subjective search and the future of platforms like Glasp. By tapping into the power of subjective search and providing users with a personalized and interactive search experience, we can revolutionize the way we find information, recommendations, and advice. Similarly, Netflix has the potential to unlock new revenue streams by selling attention to advertisers and introducing a free plan with advertisements. These actionable insights can pave the way for a future where subjective search and attention-based business models thrive.

Actionable advice:

  • 1. Embrace the power of subjective search: Explore platforms like Glasp that prioritize user customization and provide access to a variety of perspectives and opinions.
  • 2. Consider alternative revenue streams: If you're in a saturated market like Netflix, explore opportunities to sell attention and introduce new pricing plans that cater to different customer segments.
  • 3. Invest in unique content: Differentiation is key in today's competitive landscape. Focus on creating attractive and unique content that sets you apart from the crowd.

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