Competing with Google is Cuil

Cuil may never beat Google, but at least it can try.

CNET is reporting that ex-Googlers are out to beat their alma mater with a new web search engine, Cuil. A quick review of Cuil reveals that it is slow, redundant (meaning, it displays the same pages over and over rather than an array of different pages), and makes weird associations (It has an old picture for me next to pages that have never had that picture on them).

But that's not the point. The thing that I love about Cuil is that it exists in the first place. Silicon Valley may have its problems, but it thankfully retains the Oedipal urge to kill one's father.

Cuil may not be fully baked just yet, but thankfully its team - which includes the husband-and-wife team of Stanford professor Tom Costello and former Google search architect Anna Patterson - is free to improve it. California's non-compete law (Non-competes are banned) and Silicon Valley's ambition make Cuil possible. Anywhere else and Costello and Patterson would have been sued by now.

So, Cuil may well end up failing utterly to beat Google (something which it claims it already has done in terms of technology). The point is that it can try, which is more than most states will allow. Perhaps this is just one big reason that California leads in the technology market?

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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