Grow a spine people! You have a giant growing market with just one dominant competitor, not even any real #2 ... Get a stick and try to knock G's crown off.Go read the whole thing. It's a good read.
Here are my tips to get started:
A conventional attack against Google's search product will fail ... A copy of their product with your brand has no pull.
Forget interface innovation ... Interface features only get in the way.
Forget about asking users to do anything besides typing two words into a box.
Users do not click on clusters, or tags, or categories, or directory tabs, or pulldowns. Ever. Extra work from users is going the wrong way. You want to figure out how the user can do even less work.
Personalized search, by the way, requires no extra work from the user, works from just a couple words in a box, adds no interface goo, and could provide a substantially different experience than using Google.
Some of my previous posts -- such as "Perfect Search and the clickstream", "Search without searching", and "Search as a matching engine" -- discuss in some detail why personalized search might be a good path for those who seek to beat Google.
See also my posts, "Kill Google, Vol. 3" and "Kill Google, Vol. 2", which argue for attacking Google's lifeblood, their advertising revenue, instead of focusing on search.