Saddam Jeeves
Originally uploaded by rustedrobot.

It was probably a year-and-a-half ago when I arrived at our New York City office on a business trip. It was the same day of the now-famous toppling of the Hussein statue in Baghdad and upon arriving in the office, I found that someone had taken an old Ask Jeeves bobblehead doll and “re-created” the scene. It was simply too funny not to take a picture, so I snapped one (click it for a larger view).

This picture became even more relevant this week when it was announced at an investor conference that the butler is, uh, leaving the building. Pushing up daisies. Making infinite telephone calls from the horizontal phone booth. Taking a long walk off a short pier. Getting himself a new pair of cement shoes. You get the point. The new name, according to the story, will most likely be just Ask or Cool.

My favorite quote of the story comes from Barry Diller, who runs Interactive Corp, the company that bought us this year:

“Not that I don’t like that fat butler,” Diller said, according to a transcript provided by Thomson Financial.

Then, “the company” issued this:

““This research shows use of the character as the prominent symbol of the brand may inhibit people from recognizing that our search engine has changed,” the company said in a statement.”

Good stuff. I look forward to seeing how our company evolves here in the near future. To me, it’s less about butlers and mascots and more about how we can compete. I’m excited to see where we go now that we have more, uh, capital.

One idea I’ll be submitting to the senior brass soon, though: no reason why we shouldn’t just have David Ortiz as our mascot, right? I mean, they’re naming a plane after him, why not a search engine? I certainly have found everything I am looking for lately through David Ortiz. Go Red Sox!

By the way, major props to Google for this. Let’s hope other large companies rip a page out of that book sooner than later.