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DWIM ... Search Results Like Magic



Corporate Overview


Have you ever sat down in front of a major search engine and walked away frustrated? Of course you have -- because all search engines, no matter how powerful their indexing system or how often they crawl the Web, rely on the same basic technology: Matching key search words to page data.

Until now.

DWIM is based on the concept that you should be able to productively research a topic without advance knowledge of all of the keywords you'd need. Imagine searching for -- and finding! -- concepts like "the singer and lyrics of that one song I liked on the radio this morning." Technology alone can only take us so far toward that goal, so DWIM is about taking the leading edge of magical research and hardware, and applying that edge to the World Wide Web.

As innovations such as DWIM give us fresh ways to organize and retrieve the Internet's millions of gigabytes of data, we move closer to the day when all human knowledge is available at a thought.


DWIM's growing and fanatical userbase is testament to the power of our revolutionary system. In an Apsos-Reading poll of our 80,000 active subscribers, an astounding 77 percent said they had not used any other search engine in the past 3 months [1], and over half expressed interest in a lifetime access plan to the service [2]. The corresponding numbers for other major search engines, such as MSN-AltaVista, AOLSearch, and Yahoo!, are a fraction of that [3].

Our strong and consistent growth [4] comes despite barriers to entry that have frustrated many other magitech firms: Continued public distrust of magic; high development costs and relatively lengthy development cycles; and U.S. governmental isolation of magitech-assisted browsing into the .mag domain. We are the only .mag-based site to turn a profit in all four quarters of FY 2004 and 2005. DWIM is, simply, an idea whose time has come.


According to independently audited projections released earlier this summer [5], word-of-mouth alone will sustain DWIM's momentum for the indefinite future. But we are not satisfied with simply growing. Our goal is to be the future of the Web, and to bring that future to the public.

While our current revenue model is supported by paid subscribers to the DWIM service, our vision is to leverage investor support to roll out our search service to the public for free by early 2008. Paid subscribers will continue to receive premium features and enjoy early access to new DWIM services.

To reach the large market with limited or no access to .mag domains, we are in the late stages of development of a supplementary DWIM search service that complies with all .com-level regulations and requires no user-level magitech. The service, while legally barred from the user input necessary to run our trademark searches, has still outperformed other major search engines in independent tests [6] due to our advanced magitech-indexed Web directory servers and predictive keyword algorithms.

Several other .com-level offerings, such as DWIM Tidbits, launched earlier this year to favorable reviews (see Press Coverage) and show early signs of success. DWIM Tidbits uses an innovative Web-based interface to legally simulate magitech input, collecting personal data from a series of five mouse clicks on blank images so that predictive algorithms can send the user to a random Web page on a topic highly likely to interest them. Repeat visits are high and approximately 85 percent of unique visitors report satisfaction with their results[7].

For more detailed information about revenue models and future projects, contact our Business Office.


Early criticism of the privacy implications of our search service was unfounded, as spelled out in detail in our Privacy FAQ. By design, DWIM stores no personally identifiable information from user searches; this prevents multiple users at the same magitech input device from corrupting each others' search results. And our service reveals no information about search targets that is not already a matter of public record, since our search database is limited to the scope of knowledge already available on the World Wide Web.

Unfortunately, misconceptions continue to proliferate about our service. DWIM will address these head-on with a media campaign starting in Q4 2006, timed to coincide with the launch of We have secured the partnership of several major Internet privacy groups, and will always make freely available our Privacy Policy and the results of independent audits of our privacy safeguards [8] [9].

Company History

DWIM was officially launched in December 1999, in defiance of a bug on many computer systems related to the last two digits of the date rolling over from 99 to 00. That first technical hurdle was solved quickly, and while DWIM has had its ups and downs, that initial momentum has continued and snowballed.

Company founders Sergei Page and Larry Bern, who met shortly before the Changes in a Stanford graduate program in computer science, spent their formative years building some of the algorithms that now underlie's service. The tech downturn of 1997 stymied their efforts to create a better search site, but the pair's dream wouldn't die. Finally, in August 1999, they found a way to combine their love of programming with the world's new possibilities when they met mage Cory Silver at a Stanford alumni reunion. Two months of lofty ideas and frantic programming later, the idea that would become DWIM was ready to show to investors.

Page, Bern, and Silver (who they hired as DWIM's first employee) initially started the company out of a friend's Palo Alto garage, subleasing the space with some of their $1.5 million in venture capital. While the search service was an instant small-scale success, mass production of the necessary components for the magitech user interface turned into a years-long battle.

Page and Bern's dreams suffered a further blow in 2003 when the Internet Domains and Extensions Act (IDEA2003) forced them to shut down their increasingly popular service, but they relaunched later that year and reclaimed most of their user base in the new .mag top-level domain. Since then, userbase expansion and government restriction have fought a running battle, with expansion consistently coming out on top. With recent advancements in magitech mass-production and legislative clarification of the IDEA2003 rules, DWIM is again poised to turn the world of Web searches on its head.


The term DWIM is an acronym long used by frustrated programmers. A computer's tendency to take your requests literally has long been known, and it is not unheard of for even experienced users to scream at the screen, "Do what I mean, not what I say!" Finally, with DWIM search, your computer can do just that.

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