Cuil's Bad Week
Poor, poor Cuil. The start-up with designs on out-Googling Google launched this week but if the earnest engineers and execs were expecting a Google-like love-fest, well...
Almost immediately, Scott Anthony, innovation guru and disciple of Clayton Christiansen, voiced skepticism. "Odds are that Cuil (pronounced 'cool') ends up like the seemingly unbeatable team of NBA players that finished sixth in the 2002 FIBA world championships." Ouch.
Then the site went down, but then again that can be a (eh-hem) cool problem to have on the Web, like turning people away from a nightclub.
Then, a Yahoo! engineer cleverly launched "Yuil" -- which effectively mimicked Cuil's interface but with Yahoo results. The message: you can make it pretty but you'd better have good search results if you want to compete. (Yuil was quickly taken down--likely for copyright reasons).
Anthony's original assessment was a quick one. So I was pleased to see that he's followed up with a deeper analysis. It's one of the smarter assessments I've read of Cuil's prospects. Unfortunately for Cuil, Anthony's outlook still "doesn't provide much hope for Cuil as a standalone entity -- unless it completely re-frames its approach."
Today, guest blogger Scott Kirsner dips back into Hollywood and focuses on what he thinks can save that lumbering industry: the entertainment innovations of Joss Whedon, he of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. Kirsner writes about Whedon's online show and its innovative delivery and business model. You can also listen to an audio interview with Kirsner, who compares Whedon's innovations with one of Hollywood's original innovators: Walt Disney.
Have a good weekend.
August 1, 2008; 1:20 PM ET
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