The overall effect -- and the threat to a Web giant such as Google -- is remarkable. Using DuckDuckGo almost reinvents the investor Web search experience. Try it. Look up a company -- say, Google. You will find a remarkable breakdown of results presented in one long page: the Wikipedia entry, a well-curated list of criticisms of Google, links to online photowikis of company images, all in a clean, clutter-free environment.
The big think on DuckDuckGo therefore goes like this: If a well-organized sole proprietor such as Weinberg can hammer Google on its home search turf, somebody else will surely be able do the same for Google Docs word processing, Blogger, Translate -- really any of Google's products. And, strictly speaking, any service offered by any large vertically integrated Web property -- Amazon, Facebook, all of 'em -- is equally at risk. That in turn questions the basic business strategy of the digital age -- that being big and offering lots of products keeps out competitors. "I have essentially an endless runway," Weinberg said. And if Weinberg can do it, others can do it. DuckDuckGo is proving to all of us with skin in the digital game that being a big fat bird on the wire is no longer beautiful.