Here’s one tangible thing you can do to help: Use DuckDuckGo.
Startups are wonderful. They allow us to solve big problems, to leave things better than we found them, to be part of a motivated team, to challenge ourselves, to really use our brains, to take risks, to go for great, to learn, and to wear flip flops a lot more often.
You can start a startup anywhere. But it’s easier to do it in a place where others are doing it too. Our startup community here in Philadelphia realizes this and is doing many things in an attempt to make our place a great place to have a startup.
If you have this as your goal, here’s my suggestion: put all of your might into helping a Philly-based startup be extremely successful. We don’t need better laws, we don’t need more VCs, we don’t need to be included on lists of America’s greatest startup towns. What we need to grow our community into a great place to start a startup is simple: more extremely successful startups.
There are lots of ways you can help, including starting your own great startup or joining someone else’s. But here’s a really really easy one: start using DuckDuckGo. Make it your default search engine. Join its newsletter. Get involved with its community. And most importantly, spread the word. Become an advocate for DuckDuckGo and help it become an extremely successful startup. If that happens, it’s a big step towards Philly becoming a great place to start a startup.
The great thing is, it’s on the brink of happening and a strong burst of advocacy from the Philly community might just be the thing that pushes it over the top. It’s picking up tons of traction and is about to take a big step: in the upcoming releases of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, DuckDuckGo will be a built in option in Safari to be the default search engine. I, for one, am hoping that’s huge.
Start small — go to duckduckgo.com and follow instructions to make it the default search engine in your browser. I’ve been liking “contrast mode” to more easily scan results. At first, you’ll experience #FOMO (“I wonder if the results are better on Google”). But, you’ll get over that because they’re really not. If every once in a while you just have to know, use “!g” in front of your query to search Google instead.
After you start using it and loving it, and feeling good about helping the Philly startup community with each search you make — start spreading the word.