Is Jimmy Wales dead

It was actually stillborn. "A search engine that doesn't find anything" was the headline of the newspaper a year and a quarter ago. Wikia Search was a few days old. Jimmy Wales, founder of the online reference work Wikipedia and father of Wikia Search, said: "This project is supposed to build a search engine first - so please don't expect a Google killer".

But that's exactly what the world was betting on: An alternative provider who breaks the strong market position of Google, where everyone can find an answer to all questions - except for those who can earn more on the Internet than Google itself. Wikia Search at least not. On Wednesday, Wales announced the project had died. Other self-proclaimed Google killers are also giving up or nearing the end.

It is the dream of every internet founder - and every financier. On September 7, 1998, Google.com went online as a test version. The idea for this came from two students, Larry Page and Sergei Brin. At that time, other companies dominated the market for search queries on the Internet, Altavista for example or Lycos. Names that are now a thing of the past.

Google has fundamentally changed the market and created new forms of advertising. The search engine earns more than four billion dollars a year, primarily with small text ads alongside search results on the Internet. The two founders made their company the richest men in the world with more than 20,000 employees today.

Advertising in the crisis

No wonder that such success attracts imitators - especially in times when the economy was still booming. In the past five years, venture capital firms in the United States have funded more than 100 internet search firms. Now, however, the world is in a widespread economic crisis.