Search vs. discovery

They're not the same, in fact, they couldn't be much more different.

Search is what we call the action of knowing what you want and questing until you ultimately find it. Duckduckgo is a search engine that is mostly invisible–tell it what you want, here it is.

Discovery, on the other hand, is what happens when the universe (or an organization, or a friend) helps you encounter something you didn't even know you were looking for. (I had originally typed find but then replaced it with encounter. Search is such a dominant paradigm that we use search-related words even when we don't intend to.)

Amazon and Google have done an incredible job of providing the answer to search. It's not obvious, though, that we've made nearly as much progress in helping people discover ideas, hidden gems, friends, opportunities, places, important issues or the truth (about anything).

Are you working to help your clients, patrons, customers and colleagues find what they already know what they want? Or teaching and encouraging them to find something they didn't know they needed?

Seems like a huge opportunity.