Lovely Jubii-ly

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The story of Lycos is one of the more interesting tales of the web 1.0. It was home to one of the original search engines and then became the Yahoo! of its day with presence in some 40 countries. The company had a successful IPO and it was sold on the cusp of the burst to Terra Networks, then a subsiduary of Telefonica for 20-times its IPO price. Terra Networks sold on Lycos to Korean company Daum for cents on the dollar of their initial investment.

Lycos Europe was a joint venture between Lycos and Bertelsmann and had a separate corporate structure. This meant that the Lycos brand became fractured and could not build a truly global presence.

Lycos Europe, despite its heritage has introduced a number of products that deserve a great deal of attention: Lycos IQ is the Apple Mac to Yahoo! Answers PC-DOS. The product encompasses quality answers and leverages in an elegant way most of the buzzword-compliant web 2.0 technology like bookmarking, tags and social search. This was a hint of what was to come. IQ wasn’t developed by some Silicon Valley tiger-team, but developers in Germany and Armenia.

Under a new brand Jubii (its actually a Danish brand that Lycos owns), Lycos Europe has entered the US marketplace with a cool GMail and GDrive killer. 10 GB of storage and email in a simple account, allowing you to share music, images, video or documents easily.

The downsides to the product:

  • An honest legal user agreement that makes it clear you are a click-monkey
  • Limited compatablitiy with anything other than Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox (but thankfully OS agnostic)
  • A look and feel that is more XP than OS X or Vista

Get on board and grab yourself a decent user name before someone else catches on.