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It's Hammer Time: Searching to Nail It

Aaron Steinfeld

Who do you use to search the Web with? Chances are you use Google, Bing or Yahoo. Perhaps you are familiar with a lesser-known search engine, such as Ask, Dogpile, Lycos, AltaVista or Excite. (Wow, remember Excite? Apparently it had an opportunity to buy Google—before it was Google—and passed up the opportunity. Whoopi-daisy.) By the way, reading about the rise and fall of each of these companies is rather fascinating, but don’t take my word for it. I certainly won’t administer a pop quiz later when you least expect it... with dire consequences if you fail. Of course not! But hey, moving on, one could easily see that the American online search market is, while dominated by the big three, quite saturated. One could also suspect it would be a literal fool’s errand to enter into this lion’s den and to expect to be a game changer. Apparently 90s-era hip-hop artist MC Hammer has other ideas.

That’s right, MC Hammer is Too Legit to Quit, and since 2009 he has been pushing forward with the launch of forthcoming search engine, A grade-schooler could whip out a real zinger from that name, so I’ll just leave it alone. (Ha, who am I kidding! Doo!) During the Web 2.0 Summit on October 19, our blast-from-the-past MC Hammer explained that he and his team have developed a search engine that will offer deeper searches than Google.  Furthermore, the search results will also be populated with information from relative topics of interest. You can even sign up to take the Beta site on a test drive, if you’re brave (or cynical like me.) But, should Google be scared? Maybe… but maybe not.

Clearly, I’m not impressed. But who am I to judge? Facebook started small. Even Google started small. In fact, most web-based giants that exist today had very humble beginnings, and every great idea comes from a great entrepreneurial spirit aspiring for success. Who knows? Maybe MC Hammer will surprise the world and Turn This Mutha Out with inspired innovations and results. Stranger things have happened, after all. And one might even say karma is on his side, as he’s had a positive role over in Silicon Valley (and clearly the whole rapping thing isn’t working out anymore). And frankly, WireDoo does have a few decent ideas. But will they translate to the larger scheme of things?

At the end of the day, however, Google is still a successful powerhouse and continues to innovate. When challenged, they simply rise to the occasion and welcome rivals with clenched fists and boundless determination (and that's why I adore them). And in my imagination, I envision the following: A lovely bunch of expensive, colorful flowers arrive on MC Hammer’s doorstep. Attached to the bouquet is an envelope sealed with a fancy wax seal in the form of the Google logo. Upon opening the envelope, the following text might be written in glorious script on heavy parchment paper: U Can’t Touch This. Signed, Google, hugs and kisses. CJP

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