Blekko Slash Search – All Sizzle, No Steak

Blekko launched their much hyped about search engine this week. In classic super funded VC backed startup fashion they put tons of cash into their launch. It reminds me of the last search engine that claimed to be the next big thing in search.  Remember Cuil?  Cuil had the big splash hyping up their new service only to experience the big implosion immediately afterward.  I feel the same way with Blekko.image

The Blekko service just isn’t good at all.  In fact, the search results were horrible.  They did have a differentiation feature that played more like a gimmick than a value add for search – the notion of slashing. I was put off by a forced login to even look at the slash feature. I wasn’t impressed with the experience and probably won’t go back to the site again.

I wasn’t going to write up my thoughts on Blekko until I saw this post by the founder. It was a self congratulatory note patting himself on the back for all the press that his company received. When I see this declaring victory post by the founder, it smells like desperation.

Blekko should have just spent that PR money on socializing the value of their core differentiation rather than the big splash.  To be blunt, getting press for that story isn’t that hard. Getting loyal early adopters endorsing your product quality and value proposition is hard. Blekko missed the boat on this launch. Bummer for them.  I like the team over there, but are on the path of drinking their own "Cuil Aid".

Everyone wants to be like Google, but if your remember, Google didn’t have a fancy launch.  In fact, they stayed low key and focused on their quality of their product. They focused on the "steak" not the "sizzle".

Here is the comment that I posted on Rich Skrenta’s blog in response to his post titled: Anatomy of Blekko’s press launch:

When you shell out tons of dough you get the big splash but remember everyone loves a google competitor so don’t be lured into drinking your own kool aid.

I was not blown away at all by the product. In fact it reminds me of Cuil. The big splash was followed by the big fall. Be careful you don’t fall into that same trap.

Buzz today as fast as it is generated disappears just as fast. You can’t throw money at momentum and quality of the product.

Good luck.

John Furrier

John Furrier is founder, co-CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of SiliconANGLE, a new media company covering the intersection of computer science and social science. Furrier is also the co-founder and CEO of CrowdChat a social media platform for large-scale group conversations over hashtags. In addition to SiliconANGLE John runs Broadband Developments a private incubator and investment firm for creating new startups. Furrier lives in Palo Alto, California with his wife and four children.


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