By being small DDG can address issues that others will not even think or bother thinking about i.e. enhanced privacy controls, TOR utilization etc.
I believe that Cull was a dream that went south. Unfortunately that dream had a hefty bill ($33m).
Strangely enough I visited that site once before and could not put a name to a site until I saw a screenshot of it.
I once contacted Cuil about some worthless search results, and got a standard reply asking me to be patient since they were a small company. But there wasn't any hint in the email that they would actually address the issue, so drastically reduced my use of them and never bothered to contact them again. Listening to users would have probably helped if my experience indicates a pattern.