News About Jay Bhatti

5 Things The Kayak Deal Tells Us About Bing

by Jay Bhatti on March 7, 2011

This article was written by Jay Bhatti and appeared on – click here to see full version.

On Friday, Microsoft announced apartnership with Kayak to provide travel results. Jay Bhatti is a former Microsoft employee who founded the people-search engine Spock. Here’s what he sees in the deal:

1. Microsoft purchased Farecast a few years ago for more than $100 million. It’s safe to assume that it was another waste of money for Microsoft. The Farecast team combined with Microsoft’s resources could not build a compelling enough product to compete with Kayak. Heck, two years ago, Kayak complained to Microsoft that Bing’s travel product looked identical to Kayak. Looks like $100 million gets you a team that at least knows how to copy and paste.

2. Microsoft is again switching strategies. Less than 2 years ago, Bing was all about internal innovation and buying companies (Farecast, Powerset, etc) that would help it accelerate product development. Now, with this deal, Microsoft is admitting that it’s better for them to outsource innovation to vertical search engines like Kayak, as opposed to trying to build them internally. Not surprising about this change in direction since Satya Nadella has now been promoted at Microsoft to run the Server and Tools Division. In my opinion, it’s a great win for the server division and a huge loss for the Bing group. Satya is one of those executives at Microsoft who “gets it.” He did a good job of trying to unify the search efforts of Microsoft around Bing and then trying to create compelling experiences around Bing. The unfortunate thing is that the culture of Microsoft is all about doing good in your current role so that you can move onto greener pastures in another group within the company. Satya did a good job at the technical side of Bing and was rewarded with the Server and Tools group. If I were Steve Ballmer, I would have kept Satya in that role for a lot longer.

3. Forget vertical. It’s more fun being horizontal. A few years ago, Microsoft thought that they could compete with Google by chipping away one vertical at a time. For example, they bought Farecast to do travel, they did the awful cash back promotion to chip away on shopping search, and then they made a lot of noise in the marketplace about how their maps and pictures were delivering better results then Google.  Now it looks like Microsoft is going to focus again on general search.

4. I use Kayak all the time and respect the product the Kayak team has built. This deal just further demonstrates their product leadership. Kayak will get more revenue, more profit, and more customers via greater distribution through Bing. In the end, this deal will help Kayak make a better showing at their eventual IPO. Given that Microsoft did this deal with Kayak, the new leadership at Bing is probably looking at other vertical search providers to power parts of their search.

5. If I am on the Bing team, this is a demoralizing deal. Management is telling the Bing Travel team that they are not rock stars from Mars, that that they cannot innovate, and that it’s better to use someone else’s technology. The only Bi-Winning happening here is for Kayak and Google. A few friends of mine at Google are quite amused at Microsoft outsourcing this part of their search. Yahoo outsourced search to Bing. Bing then outsources travel search to Kayak. Talk about passing the buck.



Jay Bhatti in Yahoo News

by Jay Bhatti on November 9, 2010

Jay Bhatti was covered in Yahoo News. See here for link to article.  PDF of article here.


FastCompany Articles By Jay Bhatti

by Jay Bhatti on September 23, 2009

Fast Company LogoJay Bhatti is a expert blogger at FastCompany. Please review his articles here


Entrepreneur Magazine Feature Article About Jay Bhatti

by Jay Bhatti on September 23, 2009

Business & Small Business Home

Start a Search Engine Company

This duo stands apart from the big guys with its people search technology.

By Amanda C. Kooser   |   Entrepreneur Magazine – October 2008 |   PDF Version

Some entrepreneurs may look at an online search market dominated by Google and Yahoo and then look elsewhere on the internet for a startup idea. But other entrepreneurs see opportunity. co-founders Jaideep Singh, 40, and Jay Bhatti, 35, are taking on search by intentionally not taking on Google. Their Redwood City, California, startup focuses solely on people search and capturing a share of what eMarketer estimates is an $11 billion market for search advertising in 2008. “The opportunity to develop a compelling experience is there if you focus on the right verticals and create a differentiated enough experience from Google,” says Bhatti.

The first hurdle a search startup needs to clear is finding the right niche. The general search market may be cornered by some big players, but there’s still room for innovative ideas. “We’re not trying to build a fad,” says Bhatti. “We’re trying to build a real technology with a business model behind it. This has the potential to change the way users look for content on the web.” He points to search engines (travel search) and (product search) as examples of other search businesses finding success in specific niches.

Despite being located near Silicon Valley and its savvy Web 2.0 techies, Bhatti never loses sight of’s target customers. “You have to make sure you build it for the right audience–and that’s the mass consumer audience–and not for the tech crowd,” he says. That effort shows in’s simple user interface and cleanly laid out search results. New search entrepreneurs will have to spend a considerable amount of time and effort on the framework of their search technology, at the same time figuring out the best way to present it to potential users. has invested a lot more of its $7 million in round A funding into engineers, search technology and user interface than it has into marketing. Currently working on round B funding, the company hopes to scale the business up and eventually crack the top five of search engines. “One of the biggest things that you have to understand as an entrepreneur is that anything is possible,” says Bhatti. “Market conditions can change very quickly, [as can] market leaders.” That need for nimbleness in the search market is a good sign for small startups in this space.

entrepreneur-magazine cover sheet.


Spock mentioned along with Facebook and Google in ZDNet

by Jay Bhatti on September 21, 2009

ZDNet UK - Where technology means business

Spock was mentioned as one of the leading compaines alongside Facebook and Google in ZDNet. Click here to see the article.

PDF of  ZDNET Article


Spock mentioned in redOrbit Magazine

by Jay Bhatti on July 21, 2009

Click here to see that article about Spock and how it is changing the web.


Jay Bhatti was recently in ABC News talking about the recent sale of to Intelius – Check out the video here


Microsoft ‘Kumo’ Hot On Paid, Multimedia, Semantic Search

by Laurie Sullivan, Thursday, May 21, 2009, 5:58 PM     –     PDF | Link

As Microsoft readies the release of Kumo, some industry insiders wonder if new features in the Redmond, Wash. company’s long-anticipated search engine will come a little too late. Yahoo Thursday unveiled the Smart Ads platform to extend customized display ads on mobile phones. Google last week held Searchology, releasing a slew of services that pay closer attention to the way users view information. And then there’s newcomer WolframAlpha, the computational knowledge engine that attracted buzz by bringing up the search engine via live video online.

Microsoft’s drive to release a revamped engine based on enhancements in video and images to provide a more universal approach and semantic technology demonstrates that consumers are ready for something new, according to sources who asked for anonymity. The search engine also will likely integrate technology from the natural-language search company Powerset, which Microsoft acquired last year.

“If it’s as good as it looks in the demo, this will be the most impressive search experience Microsoft has offered,” says David Berkowitz, Director of Emerging Media & Client Strategy at 360i. “The focus is on the right areas such as organic results, layout and advertising.”

Berkowitz, one of the chosen few outside of analysts and Microsoft employees to get a briefing, took extreme precautions to select every word in describing his experience. He couldn’t speak to the difference in the way that Microsoft will serve up relevant ads in paid search campaigns, but did reveal that it has been a focus for the team with the launch of the new engine. “Historically, one problem for Microsoft has been serving up relevant ads,” he says. “They haven’t been as relevant as they could be. But I’ve see firsthand they are trying to fix that.”

Jay Bhatti, co-founder of the people search engine Spock, which Intelius bought in April, managed to catch a glimpse during a test run in Live Search. He says the ads seem to blend more with the content, which would make them less noticeable to consumers to generate more clicks.

The site appears to have an emphasis on filtering data and ecommerce that would give consumers product-related information such as inventory in stock and prices at specific retail stores, Bhatti said. A search for “iPhone” would also return links to download apps, for example. “On the left side of the search query you’ll find a navigation column that shows related searches, search history and filtering options,” he says. “It would keep the top of the page and right side clear for advertisements.”

Microsoft has been testing its search engine internally since March, but has not revealed when it would launch. Sources say it could be next week at D: All Things Digital, while others believe the teaser will announce another venue not too far off. The launch will also coincide with a major ad campaign.

Microsoft views search as an important piece to the company’s business, but Nielsen Online reported that the Redmond, Wash., company held a mere 9.9% of the U.S. search market, compared with 16.3% for Yahoo and 64% for Google.


Interview with Co-Founder of, JayBhatti

by Jay Bhatti on April 29, 2009

Jay Bhatti is co-founder of and wait… I’ll let Spock tell you about him as that is what it does best.

I asked Jay some questions about Spock, where the online advertising industry is going and the technology sector sentiment and success factors for the “where now and how”.

See my interview below and afterwards go check out the new answer to to “googling yourself” – Spock.

Click Here to read more

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Jay Bhatti was quoted by the E-Commerce Times about his thoughts on the Yahoo quarterly earnings call.

Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) announced Wednesday that first-quarter earnings fell by nearly 80 percent and that it will cut 675 jobs as CEO Carol Bartz struggles to revive the ailing Internet company.

The news was not generally jeered by investors, however. Between opening time Tuesday, when they stood at US$13.94, and mid-day Wednesday, when they stood at $14.88, Yahoo shares put on 94 cents, or 6.7 percent.

PDF of the Article


In Search of…People You Know – Jay Bhatti Discusses Spock with Mike Moran

by Jay Bhatti January 6, 2009 News About Jay Bhatti

Years ago, Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Spock on the classic Star Trek series, hosted a TV show called In Search of…, where he explored a different subject each week. Today, we’ll be looking at a different Spock, but one still in search of things—, the people search engine. I had to chance to […]

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Spock Exec: Using the Internet to Your Advantage

by Jay Bhatti November 19, 2008 News About Jay Bhatti

Vanessa Dennis of Cheezhead Recruiting News and Opinion interviewed Jay Bhatti to discuss tips on how job seekers can use the Web to their advantage. Click Here to read more

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Job Search Tips for a Difficult Job Market

by Jay Bhatti November 17, 2008 News About Jay Bhatti

Alison Doyle of questions Jay Bhatti on advice on finding a job in this difficult environment. What can you do to expedite your job search in a difficult job market? Do you need help or do you have to tips to share? Here’s advice on how to ensure your job search is effective in […]

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BNET Interviews Jay Bhatti

by Jay Bhatti October 23, 2008 News About Jay Bhatti

Q&A with’s Jay Bhatti PDF of Article By Erik Sherman | Oct 28, 2008 Share Print Recommend0 is a relatively new search engine focusing on information about people. Co-founder Jay Bhatti was formerly a Microsoftproduct managers in Windows server marketing and then in consumer services. He left in 2006 to help start Spock. We spoke with him […]

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Bad Economy? Strike Out on Your Own

by Jay Bhatti October 2, 2008 News About Jay Bhatti

Lan Nguyen of takes a look at some alternative strategies for the struggling economy. Starting a business is always stressful, ego-denting and financially risky. But during these tough economic times, any misstep can spell failure quicker than ever. Before you launch your baby, here are 12 ways to avoid being a statistic: Click Here […]

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