Let's talk about Se..arch baby

the last frontier

Hi friends! It's Calin here, taking over the next couple of editions. Last week was a busy one for us, with a very successful Product Hunt launch. We owe much of this success to all the support we've received from you. Thank you! We're very grateful.

Today, we'll go where no one else has gone before (any Star Trek fans here?) and cover search, the final frontier that has yet to be conquered. We'll also revisit future perspectives for coding and take a peek at ChatGPT's early monetization efforts.

Search… the final frontier

For years, search has been the most difficult business to disrupt. No one could touch Google. The verb "to google" made it to the dictionary in 2006. No one was "binging", and there were more people on safaris with lions than browsing the web on Safari.


All of this is changing. Back in November, Google was confident to come out and say they're leaving chatbots to the new guys, as they have a substantially bigger reputation risk compared to a "startup" like OpenAI. With Microsoft announcing they're integrating ChatGPT into Bing, I'd be surprised if Google engineers aren't working overtime now.

There was a moment when everyone thought the way to challenge Google was through the privacy angle. However, privacy-first search with players like DuckDuckGo and Neeva didn't gain traction, with Neeva recently joining the AI race.

One thing to note is that consumer behavior is also changing in this space, with 40% of Gen Zers running their searches on TikTok and Instagram.

I’m not convinced we’ll be “binging” away anytime soon, but the movements in the space are real.

By the way, have you seen our semantic search engine on top of Lenny's Podcast? I couldn't help myself with the plug :)

Wait… are you saying we now need to pay for chatGPT?

Unsurprisingly, OpenAI is starting to explore how it can monetize ChatGPT. Earlier this week, they launched a waitlist for ChatGPT Professional, a paid version that includes benefits such as no "blackout" windows, no throttling, and an unlimited number of messages with ChatGPT — "at least 2x the regular daily limit.”

Given how expensive it is for OpenAI to run the service, this doesn't come as a surprise. Sam Altman previously said the costs are "eye-watering".

This will be an important test for consumers and platform developers. Is there enough value behind it for consumers to pay for the service directly?

Is coding really dead?

Another conversation creating a split view is whether tools like ChatGPT and Github Copilot will mean the end of "software engineering" as we know it.

Some argue programming as we know it will become obsolete, with humans moving into a new role that focuses on “how to educate the machine” to write the code. AI in the middle, right? Others argue the exact opposite, claiming new tools lead to increased productivity, which reduces pricing and increases demand. We didn't stop producing cars straight after inventing the wheel, did we?

I recently tested how helpful ChatGPT is for coding. As a very rusty coder who hasn't written code in 10 years, my verdict is that it was helpful for simple tasks, but not for more complex ones. ChatGPT can't (yet) reason like an engineer, so there's an art to prompting it the right way, but even that has its limits.

If you're a beginner, take a course. It will be much more useful for you to understand the fundamentals. However, if you're familiar with coding (at least the basics), ChatGPT can help you hack something quickly.

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Before you go

Sharpen your prompt writing skills with the below thread.

That’s a wrap! “Live long and prosper!” as Spock would say.

— Calin Drimbau (@calindrimbau)