Next Year We Won’t Just Google Search, We’ll Jelly Search – Here’s Why

If you haven’t heard of Biz Stone, you probably should, he is the co-founder of this little messaging platform you may have heard of called Twitter. Biz’s next company is called Jelly and it has lived on as they’ve prepared the app for primetime. While the development has been going on behind-the-scenes the blog has done a great job of highlighting the amazing team they are putting together. Just like McDonald’s is in the real estate business (not the burger business), you will quickly find that both Ev and Biz are in the “finding amazing people” business more than anything. Yes they are innovators, but they know it takes an amazing team to build something truly remarkable.


The idea behind Jelly is simple but powerful, and yes, not surprisingly it does play very nicely with Twitter. You can think of Jelly as a new way to search for things that uses pictures and your social network to provide better answers. Have you ever done a Google search and found some spammy page at the top? Would any of your friends recommend this page? Probably not.

Jelly is a different kind of search engine that doesn’t just look through a huge index of pages but instead asks people you know and trust.

Jelly Social

We are getting to a point in society where enough of our friends are online that we can really tap a trusted network in ways never before possible. Companies like Quietly are leveraging your friends to organize and discover recommendations and now Biz Stone is doing the same for search with Jelly. According to the Jelly blog:

“Jelly changes how we find answers because it uses pictures and people in our social networks. It turns out that getting answers from people is very different from retrieving information with algorithms. Also, it has the added benefit of being fun.” (

Sounds like a big goal? It is, but in case you missed the memo Biz doesn’t really do small, not including the whole 140 character thing… Big ideas need great teams and I wanted to highlight a few of the amazing people behind Jelly:

Ben Finkel (Co-founder) – worked at MIT Lincoln Labs, founded a company called Fluther that was acquired by Twitter, was on the Growth Team at Twitter

Austin Sarner (Employee #1) – built Pop Pop Press which won an Apple Design award for multi-touch UI and was sold to Facebook

Kevin Thau – ran Mobile at Twitter

The list of Angel’s and Advisors supporting Jelly is pretty darn impressive too:

Jack Dorsey, Co-founder and CEO of Square
Bono, Musician and Activist
Reid Hoffman with the Greylock Discovery Fund
Steven Johnson, Author and Entrepreneur
Evan Williams and Jason Goldman via Obvious
Al Gore, Politician, Philanthropist, Nobel Laureate
Greg Yaitanes, Emmy Winning Director
Roya Mahboob, Afghan Entrepreneur and Businesswoman


Oh and in case you didn’t notice, they’re building Jelly on a .CO. Since belongs to a foodmaker any traffic that is lost will immediately understand they’re in the wrong place. Plus it’s an app so everyone will just go to the app store, search for Jelly, and instantly find the app, download it, and the rest is history.

Huge congrats to Biz, Ben and team. It’s a very big idea, incredibly hard to do and I think there’s only a few people on the planet that could do it right. That being said I think we all can agree that they are the few. One thing is certain for me in 2014, I won’t be searching for everything on Google any more…

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • michael January 7, 2014, 5:08 pm

    It’s too late Google already invented that :p

  • kerry January 7, 2014, 5:11 pm

    Thanks for the post. Somebody needs to provide an alternative to Google which is the sole reason that i use yahoo for my search. Mainly because I’m tired of Google and they come off as having too big an ego.

  • Morgan January 7, 2014, 5:24 pm

    @Michael – I think you might be missing what they are doing. Jelly isn’t an image search engine. Instead it’s a search engine that allows you to leverage your friends across social networks and answer questions in a visual way.

    Google Image search just goes through a huge database of images based on what you are looking for. Jelly actually gives you answers to questions that you might otherwise search for on Google…and from the looks of it, you’ll get better, more trusted results.

  • Joe January 7, 2014, 5:35 pm

    As always new innovations are really good if they have clear ideas, but Google have too many for me to understand his algorithm have real holes to make other new ways of being first without the system of this search engine not to find. Yahoo losing long alliance with Microsoft for Bing. I use very little.

    My ideas of seeking to be in Google, try others like you propose Morgan is always interesting to know more and more of others who can give an output that Google does not have, but as writing @ Michael ahead, but it’s the same? This is the question we must all find out.

    News coming from good ideas are welcome if the strategy used is for the user to grow more and more consumers do not always go to the same, change is sometimes best.

  • Aaron Strong January 7, 2014, 5:45 pm

    That sounds very familiar to Facebook’s “Graph Search”…The only difference is the term “algorithm”. Facebook uses an algorithm while Jelly says it does not. Here is a quote from Wikipedia.. ” In a presentation headed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, it was announced that the Graph Search algorithm finds information from within a user’s network of friends.”

  • Scott Alliy January 7, 2014, 6:01 pm

    I appreciate your unbridled enthusiasm however the truth does not change which simply stated is 95% of startups fail. Not much works and as an entrepreneur you more than anyone should know this. How is SIRI working out?

  • michael January 7, 2014, 6:27 pm

    @Morgan I think I see what they are trying to do, they’re going to start out by saving all your friends answers and then one day using some kind of photo recognition program to be able to know what every picture is. The main idea has to be to get the people’s answers to what that picture is first. Then they can probably make some amazing picture search engine.

    It’s always exciting reading about new ideas, thanks for writing these blogs!

  • Morgan January 7, 2014, 9:07 pm

    @Scott – at the end of the day it comes down to founders and team. Biz and the rest of his team have a VERY solid track record. If it was just a bunch of random people that had this idea I’d say they’d fall in that 95%. These guys are in that 5% that make it 🙂

  • MG January 9, 2014, 7:42 pm

    How about You can use images there too.

    • Morgan January 9, 2014, 8:51 pm

      @MG – the difference would be that Quora posts your question on a public forum. Jelly sends your questions directly to your friends.


Leave a Comment