Dilbert Takes On Google

By Nathan Weinberg

Today’s Dilbert comic features the world’s most famous dead-end-job engineer trying to create a search engine and take on Google. So, lets recap the last few weeks and see how we got here. If you for some reason are worried about Dilbert spoilers (so sad, so sad), don’t read this.

Three weeks ago, Dogbert came up with the idea of building a country on floating barges, and make a killing due to the ocean views. After meeting a typical VC, he made billions off idiots. Sick of Dilbert’s whining about his job and terrible bosses, Dogbert bought Dilbert’s company and, rather than fix the problem, fired Dilbert.

Over the last few days, Dilbert has been building an online company. Inspired by a crappy date, he’s developing a search engine that matches singles with similar search history patterns, and today, he wonders that, if he takes on Google, will he be able to count on “Don’t be evil” to protect him.

So, besides that Larry, Sergey and Eric are probably thrilled to be depicted in Dilbert (the first time, I’m assuming?), but would the dating service work? I wouldn’t be surprised, and it could be a great hook. A decent number of people used the iWon search engine only on the off chance they might get something, and there are plenty of desperate enough singles for this hypothetical search engine to get lots of users. If the search engine uses Google (or even better, if it is Google just using their own search history), it could really take off.

Of course, that all depends on how successful this approach actually is. Yes, it is not a bad idea to match up people searching for similar niche interests, like birdwatching or skydiving, or similar sexual interests, but there a lot of cases where a guy and a gal searching for the same thing might be completely wrong for each other. If I, a chauvanistic pig, search for macho stuff, and so does a hardcore feminist, well, setting us up might be the worst idea possible.

Plus, who wants to say, “I met my wife on Google?” Oh, wait, that’s not half bad.

May 16, 2006 by Nathan Weinberg in:

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