Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Udi Manber leaves A9

John Battelle reports that A9 CEO Udi Manber is leaving the company to join... yes, wait for it... Google.

A9 is an Amazon-owned company offering web search. When A9 launched, I was expecting them to go after personalized search, but they instead pursued a form of distributed metasearch, combining search results from many search engines on to one page.

A9 does have some clever and unusual features, including A9 Maps, which can show you pictures of the storefronts on each side of a street for some locations and some cities.

Amazon offers discounts at Amazon.com for using A9, but, despite giving away free money, traffic growth on A9.com has been weak since launch.

Update: Fourteen months later, Udi Manber is now a VP at Google "responsible for core search" while A9 suffers an 80%+ drop in traffic.

3 comments:

ben compton said...

Udi's a tool. His leaving A9 has a change to make life better for former coworkers at Amazon.

Eventually I think Google's just going to have to render all these hotshot search people down into lard with which they will lubricate their massive war machines.

Anonymous said...

Good for Udi! I have briefly worked with him at Yahoo!, and I have always been impressed!

Udi's main advice - use hashing, hashing, hashing.....

Google seems to have a large value for sp/sf - 'smartest people per square foot'!

Anonymous said...

Use hashing! Of course! Why didn't we think of that??