The Next Google? It's Not Cuil

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For the record, usually I hate Mondays. Today, 28 July 2008 is an exception. Today "the next Google", Cuil (pronounced cool) launched. I'm not referring to Cuil as the next Google as in Wall Street Wonder. Oh no. Cuil had to do better than that by being the next Wall Street Wonder, by taking the search engine giant, Google on, in their own back yard (Silicon Valley) and in their core business, search. That would be cool, if Cuil worked.

And Cuil has, on the surface, a ton of (cool) features. And I'm not referring to what an end user might look for. On the surface:

Cuil is well funded. Cuil founders are heavyweights from Google and IBM. And the cost of doing business on a day-to-day basis is supposed to be light compared to the big G.

But wait! There's more. They came out with a Great PR launch saying they have more pages indexed than the current leader, Google. Cuil? Sounds Cuil. However...

On the first day, by all accounts, they bombed. There were a few bright spots, sure. And if you are following this because you want to know if you found the next Google, I'll answer that now. No.

Now before someone from or a cheerleader from Cuil wants to come bust my chops about who the hell am I to be making judgments about Cuil, I'll tell you. I love data for the sake of data. That would be why I'm a co-founder of TRCB.COM. And I have been using Google for almost to the day, 9 years.

I went to them because they cared about search, when others looked at it like a ‘loss leader'. I used to do Yahoo. I was thrilled when their web site would not allow me in because it had "300, YES! 300 simultaneous users!" Seeing such growth, I almost cried in my joy.

So since I began this digital journey 44 years ago, I have seen the glass ceiling where innovative companies don't make it past their founders. I'm ready to see if someone can knock Google off its #1 position. Today, it isn't Cuil. I'll bet money on that.

My partner across the pond, Gudrun Funk, stayed up to test Cuil with me at launch, 9 AM PDT. We both first tried "the ego test". To test a search engine, you enter your own name. We both gave Cuil full marks for nailing Tcat Houser. Lookin' good. Then we try Gudrun Funk. Uh Oh.

Gudrun has been my trabajo partner for 5 years. Gudrun's name is rather prominent on our first hard back book together, A+ 4 Real. We are professionally ‘joined at the hip' with Amazon for more than a couple years. And Cuil cannot find her? Not Cool, Cuil.

And it gets, well, worse. Gudrun queries Cuil with her own ideas. Results? Well, it "looks nice". I have to agree. It looks nice. And as a person who lives for the data, I really don't place high value on looks. (Just look at my picture.)

I'll give Cuil a great "valiant effort". When I get back to the Pacific North West in October, I'll ask to see if the #3 in search has thought about buying Cuil. Combined, they may become #2, behind Google.

Tcat Houser is such a skeptic, he doesn't bet on death and taxes. And it's rare he doesn't have a thought on information. If you think he's full of it, drop him a line to Tcat AT TRCB.com

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