Prof G podcast interview with Neeva founder Sridhar Ramaswamy

Neeva home page June 2021

In a recent episode of The Prof G Show, Scott Galloway interviews Sridhar Ramaswamy, the CEO and cofounder of Neeva, an all-new, subscription-based search engine that aims to be a competitor to Google for search.

Taking on Google seems like a gargantuan task, but Ramaswamy makes a compelling case for Neeva in this interview. It helps of course that Galloway is a fan of the concept and the company as he’s said many times on his show and also on Pivot. But Galloway is a good interviewer and he does a nice job in this episode of asking the tough questions.

Ramaswamy explains how Neeva will be an ad-free, private search engine, differentiating itself in the search market from Google which has become a slave to ad revenue, thus diluting the quality if the search results and user experience. Neeva will be subscription based, and thus obsessively focused on the needs of the consumer according to Ramaswamy. He should know as he spent fifteen and a half years at Google, and many members of his team at Neeva are Google alumni. By not being a slave to ads, Neeva can avoid tracking every consumer action, and instead just focus on data that improves the search results.

It has been reported that Neeva will charge between $5 and $10 per month for the service.

Take a listen to the podcast episode. Ramaswamy comes across as a formidable leader who can make this work.

  

Businesses need a cloud computing strategy

cloud computing

Businesses large and small need to take advantage of cloud computing, primarily because competitors will be gaining an advantage if your company ignores this reality.

For small businesses, cloud apps can dramatically improve your capabilities regarding all sorts of internal functions. SaaS software can provide enterprise-level tools for businesses of any size. The same applies to larger businesses, but issue such as using data become even more important with large businesses.

This article offers some excellent strategies to help businesses leverage the power of cloud computing. It explains how “the first step in developing a cloud strategy is to change how you think about cloud technology:”

The biggest barrier we see that keeps small and mid-sized businesses from taking advantage of the cloud comes from the top: business owners, presidents, or CEOs. Business leaders will often delegate any IT-related decisions to their IT team. The problem with this approach is that the decision to adopt a cloud strategy is primarily a business strategy, not an IT strategy.

Business owners need to understand that the cloud offers a competitive advantage. Also, your IT Manager does not think like you. He or she thinks about functionality and tasks. It’s your job to think about the business, and that will likely rewquire taking things out of their hands and using third-party software and apps on the cloud.

Check out the article and start thinking about what strategy works for you and your business.

  

Strange happenings at podcast company Himalaya

podcast microphone

The podcast industry reminds us of the Web 1.0 world of 20 years ago. Its like the wild west as a completely new industry gets off the ground. New companies sprout up every day. Some solve problems facing the industry, while others try to ride the hype wave and cash in.

As you might expect, there are plenty of crazy stories out there, but this latest one from The Verge is fascinating and hilarious. It’s titled “The Podcasting Hype House from Hell” and features the podcasting company Himalaya and details “how China’s biggest audio platform funded one man’s frat boy dreams.”

Basically, they had a production studio in a mansion in LA, and then things spun out of control. It’s a great read . . . check it out.

  

Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google face potential antitrust reforms

mobile phone and laptop

The big tech companies have been on the receiving end of a wave of criticism from all corners, much of it relating to their size and market power. Antitrust suits are being filed and lawmakers are holding hearings.

Now we have a bi-partisan group in the House, of all places, introducing a package of bills that would beef up antitrust laws that would impact companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google:

Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google could be forced to overhaul their business practices under an expansive set of antitrust reforms introduced by a bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Friday.

The package of five bills, draft versions of which were reported by CNBC and other outlets, would make it harder for dominant platforms to complete mergers and prohibit them from owning businesses that present clear conflicts of interest. The legislation represents the most comprehensive effort to reform century-old antitrust laws in decades.

The pressure is mounting and it will be interesting to see the details.

  

Joe Rogan podcast will move to Spotify exclusively

Spotify announced that week that Joe Rogan’s huge podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, will to Spotify-and only be available as a Spotify exclusive. This continues Spotify’s aggressive push into the podcast space, following blockbuster acquisitions of The Ringer and Gimlet.

This has helped Spotify surge into the most important player in the podcast space outside of Apple. And you have to give them credit for their choice of acquisitions. The Ringer and Gimlet have proven to be excellent podcast producers, so they’re buying talent that can develop shows and drive new content for Spotify.

With Rogan, Spotify grabs one of the top podcasts with 90 million downloads per month, and the exclusive nature of the deal will drive more downloads of the Spotify app. Spotify can sell ads on the show for users who down’t buy a subscription, but then can drive more subscribers by offering the show ad-free to subscribers. Frankly it’s a brilliant play and is money well spent.

Meanwhile, this deal is a huge blow to Libsyn, which will host the Joe Rogan podcast until September. Libsyn has been a hosting leader in the podcasting space, but now has many competitors and has lost their main source of downloads and prestige.