Sam Pullara vs the “Google Killer”

Yahoo!’s Sam Pullara cracked me up yesterday. In about a day he replicated the user interface and functionality of the overhyped $33M “Google killer” startup Cuil.

Cuil released their service on Monday to much fanfare though not without some major glitches. Sam single-handedly brought the well-funded and overconfident company back down to earth with a few strokes of the keys.

He calls his creation Yuil. It uses Yahoo!’s recently launched BOSS search platform and looks and feels identical to Cuil. And the output of Sam’s creation appears to be at least on par with what they built.

“I thought I would have a little fun with it and put together a quick parody of it by mashing up their UI and Yahoo!’s search results. As usual, the biggest problems I had were related to my pathetic Python skills.”

A few lessons here:

  • A good feature does not necessarily make a good startup even if it costs $33M.
  • The market supports ambitious startups. Very good.
  • Ambitious startups can crap all over the market. Very bad.
  • Being a former Google employee does not in itself make you important.
  • Don’t mess with Sam Pullara.

UPDATE: Ironically, YUIL is now dead. I suspect he’s either rebuilding it somewhere to deal with the traffic load, or someone asked him to take it down.