I can recall when Alta Vista won the search engine wars (or was it some other company). The out of no where Google became the 800 pound gorilla. Would you believe that U.S. based venture capital firms have invested in 47 search outfits over the past twelve months? According to Dow Jones VentureOne VC firms poured $263MM into these companies. 75% of these companies will be acquired or go out of business accoding to the survey. That means 25% might actually make it.
According to Business Week, Ron Conway (one of the very early Google bankrollers) believes that, "Search is in its infancy today. It’s at 10% of its potential, maybe." Conway has personally invested in 24 of the 47 search companies funded this year.