I met a very bright man who had developed a bit of software that does some really interesting things. The software he developed is a full-text search engine that does multilingual searching and entity recognition. His company is keen to market the product but I'm not really sure they're ready for that.
Search engines are all over the place. If you knew what you were doing you could develop an application on various open source search software available. I am not saying they're a dime a dozen but there certainly are a lot of options. There are many to choose from including Lucene, Sphinx, Minion, Indri/Lemur, and Terrier as well as many others. You can find a good list of these search engines at Jeff's Search Engine Caffè.
The problem was that he could show me a lot of things his software could do but he couldn't demonstrate where he was solving an issue for a particular market or customer. Great functions - I got excited about that and I thought the technology worked well. However, his company needs to find a market with a particular issue where his search engine can be applied. People just can’t visualize what a search engine really does but they can touch and feel applications that use search engines.
Lots of products use search engines – but would you know what search engine powers what product? Is it off the shelf? Is it Open Source? Is it home Grown? You have, however, heard of
Finding, categorizing, extracting, and searching data is a real exciting growth industry. The Natural Language Processing (NLP) market alone is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 21% through 2013-2018. Natural Language Processing (NLP) Market - Worldwide Market Forecast & Analysis (2013–2018) Furthermore, Gartner analysts predict that data will grow 800% over the next five years and that 80% of that new data will be unstructured. There is a market for search engines and there will be unique and interesting problems to be solved. NLP will be part of that. The issue will be applying the right technology to solve the right problems at the right time.
But hasn't that always been that way? What is your unique value proposition?
I am an artist, an analyst, a researcher, and an online development specialist serving the online information industry.