Life at Cuil: strawberries, muffins and porn

From PCPro:

It is early days, admittedly, but as soon as you officially launch you open yourself up to analysis and ridicule. The complaints are valid, too; these results certainly don’t seem to be on a par with Google, and for an underdog to succeed it needs to not only match, but surpass the market leader.

Some of the complaints are extremely serious – with pornographic images popping up on search results, out of context, and even with the safe search feature turned on. If you can’t trust the site for use at work, or by your kids, how much will it actually get used?

There are also worrying problems with Cuil as a business. It obviously doesn’t have the same sort of cash behind it that Google does, but how long it will actually hang on to its meagre $25 million investment?

Sarah Carey, The Sunday Times columnist, also works for Cuil, and recently posted on her personal blog about how quickly the company is burning through this VC cash. The post has since been removed, but thanks to Google’s caching feature (not available on Cuil), the post can still be read here.

“I have a secret life. You may know me as a domesticated, rural housewife and while this is true, for the past year I have also tasted the life of an international software executive,” says Carey, before going on to describe day-to-day life at Cuil.

“Lunch is ordered in every single day. Huge fridges burst with snacks and drinks. Bowls of strawberries and muffins lie around the rest area. The company pays for a personal trainer and gym membership for everyone. A doctor calls round each Friday, after the weekly barbeque, to see if everyone’s in good health. Employees drift in an out at times that suit themselves,” she continued, before temporarily expressing worry about the spending.

Never mind all that. A search for “Cynical C” doesn’t lead here nor does a search for “Cynical C Blog”. That’s not a cuil we can believe in.

6 Comments

  1. Sounds like someone’s nostalgic for the days before the dot-com bubble burst. I’d never actually heard of Cuil before this, but it doesn’t sound like they’re doing very well so far.

  2. Interesting… I heard an NPR report on this. They are trying to base their results on relevance instead of popularity.

    That said, a search for “cynical-c” brought me to the right place, but a search for “cynical c” brought me to a “Page not found”!

    Search Engine Fail.

  3. Yes, I tried to give Cuil a fair chance (because I love seeing little companies take on the Goliaths), but was disappointed.

    I tested a few simple searches (just like I tested Google the first time I tried it) and many were fails. ntac is correct, they desperately need a typo-finder so that missing “-” or mistyped company names don’t lead into nothingness.

  4. Pathetic.. and sad, to think about the wasted $25 million.

    I really need to try more search engines… I remember about 7 years back when there were TV ads for Ask Jeeves, Yahoo and Lycos, but I still never bothered using them. Google seems to always do the job.

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