Think of search as the application platform, not just a feature

In 2000, Yahoo had pole position to win one of the biggest market opportunities of all time, as one of the early World Wide Web’s most popular and fastest-growing services. 

The internet was still relatively new (17 million websites, compared to today’s 1.6 billion) and companies like Yahoo were in a clumsily named category sometimes referred to as “starting pages” or “portals”—gateways to services like email, news, finance, and sports. Yahoo was running away with this traffic, because it had the friendliest interface and the best content at that time for this new “web” experience.

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