First off in Big Think’s Farsight 2011 Conference is Clarium Capital founder and original Facebook investor Peter Thiel. “It is difficult to produce a new search company,” says Thiel. “Bing has 24% market share, but as far as I can tell it’s still not breaking even.” The trouble with search, as Thiel learned while starting Powerset, is the enormous fixed costs associated with starting such a company. Until you fix the so-called “‘fixed cost problem,’ you have to be garnering about 35% of the search market to break even.”
Next up, Part 2: Who Will Win the Spam Wars? A Roundtable Featuring Google, Microsoft and Blekko.