Hakia, the search engine start up with big plans, added a new feature today: The Hakia Highlighter. I’ve been playing with Hakia for a bit and I like the new approaches to interface I’m seeing there. This new feature is pretty small, but it shows that upstarts can play around with new stuff easier than the incumbents – there’s less to lose.
Update: Hakia announced the ScoopBar as well, another tool for searchers….
2 thoughts on “Updated: Hakia Bows Highlighter & ScoopBar”
This new feature is pretty small, but it shows that upstarts can play around with new stuff easier than the incumbents – there’s less to lose.
How can there be less to lose? I hear folks from Google (as an example of an incumbent) talking all the time about how they are constantly innovating on the interface side, making tweaks, evaluating tweaks, testing out dozens and dozens of different changes. And I’ve heard statements from folks like Marissa Mayer about how lots of these changes have paid off.. for example when they added the spelling correction “Did you mean?” link to the bottom of the page, usage of that feature went up n-fold.
In fact, if you think about it, Google follows the 70/20/10 rule, right? Where 70% of their effort is focused on search. So that means, out of their 10,000 employees, there must be 7,000 working on search. Again, let’s follow the 70/20/10 rule, and say that, within the subdomain of people working on search (7,000 people), 70% of those are working on the algorithmic backend, 20% are working on standard interface issues, and 10% are working on the wacky, “out there” interfaces, the “Hakia killers”. That means that there are at least 700 employees working on interfaces that are as good as, if not better than, Hakia’s, right?
So with 700 people, and all the innovation that they are creating and evaluating on the interface side, I can only reasonably conclude that we have not seen any significant changes to the interface in 9 years, not because they have “more to lose”, but because, after all their experiments, there is no better interface, modulo minor tweaks, than the current one. Right? Or am I missing something here?
No doubt upstarts can. They can also copy features from other upstarts with the hope no one will notice.