P2PCar.com MowFo.com

I look at a lot of names, usually around ideas of my own, but often around a trend that’s breaking. Here’s a couple of names I found irresistible today. ‘Collaborative consumption’ is a buzz word around the phenomenon of sharing things rather than owning them outright. It’s estimated, for example, that the average electric drill will see a total of 12 minutes use in its lifetime. “What you really need is the hole, not the drill.” (Rachel Botsman, Collaborative Consumption at TED) People are starting to figure out how to share locally. Cars, for instance, sitting in garages while you’re at work, or in the driveway when you’re home for the weekend have become a target for peer to peer sharing. It’s kind of obvious the minute you think of it. There seems to be quite a lot of activity in the startup community around sharing cars. I was surprised to find that my first choice for a name, P2PCar.com, was available. I hope that, as new companies come into the space, one will be happy to find that a great name is available for a reasonable price.

p2pCar.jpg

As for MowFo? I saw that it dropped recently. I put it in my interesting list. And then I tried to forget about it. But I couldn’t. I just kept picturing a gardening truck driving by me with MowFo.com on the side. Or wouldn’t it be a great name for a grass cutting Roomba?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Commons License  credit: hagwall

We Will Watch You – WeWillWatchYou.com

We Will Watch You

Update 8/18/11 Probably Turntable.fm inspired, but here come a lot of rooms to hang out in. watch and comment on, videos. In Beta, these guys have a great domain http://chill.com.

This dovetails nicely into the previous post about CrowdNamer because it too involves a crowd.  Before there was Groupon there was ThePoint. Andrew set it up so that people could build critical mass around an action before the action executed. So, for instance, if you were going to protest something, but didn’t want to risk a lame turnout, you could post the campaign to ThePoint.com (still can) and only after reaching a critical mass of supporters would an action trigger. I’m also thinking of Kickstarter, especially that aspect of it that requires a target dollar amount to be achieved before any of the contributions change hands.

If you’ve ever made a short film, music video, or video ad for that matter, then you know how difficult it is to get an audience together to watch your work. Submitting to film festivals etc etc… Or sometimes you want early stage feedback to help you shape your story. Or you might have a fork in the road and want some audience to help determine which way to turn.

Introducing WeWillWatchYou (this one has an audio logo as well, it’s a drum beat, can you hear it?) Post a project. Collect committers until you reach your goal, and then- we watch online, together, and talk about it in a live chat!  Data! Fans even.

Since I’ve discovered Convore.com I can safely say that the chat part of the equation is done. The video can be posted on YouTube, even privately.  So all I really need is a front end where film makers and video artists can login and post projects. And watchers can create an account and commit to watching projects. Doesn’t sound too difficult but it is beyond my coding chops. If you know of an off the shelf CMS that could do it, easily, let me know. I don’t see a business model yet, but hey, it’s 2011!

Are you my CTO?

CrowdNamer.com, or is it CrowdName… CrowdNaming?

[Update 12/10/14 Just heard about someone who’s doing this. Wonder how much better they’d do with a great name of their own? Dockname.com ]

[Update. This is ready to test NOW. If you are looking for a name for your startup (or a better name) I will hand pick a posse of knowledgeable domain and branding professionals, and in a private, invite only chatroom, we will post our finds and suggestions. You only need to feel comfortable explaining clearly what you’re looking for in a name.]

Probably the main motivation for getting into domain names, at the time (about 3 years ago), was to scratch up some extra cash in order to self-fund a startup. I’d just sold one of the 4 domains I owned for more than I earn in a couple of months at work. “Really, could it be this easy?” Well, it’s not. Or hasn’t been. I used that money to buy a couple of hundred domains. Most of them were bad choices- experiments around keywords where there might be traffic (but not cybersquatting). I was trying to think outside the box, and indeed that’s about all there is left to think about when it comes to domains, as I’m sure most of you know.

Anyhow… Tough to start something without any capital, especially when you’re not a developer. But one of the great things about domains is how they can ‘lock in’ an idea. It’s not just an idea if you have the domain name as well!

CrowdNamer.com, CrowdNamers, or is it CrowdName.com. CrowdNaming.com? (Either way I’ve got it covered but I think CrowdNamer is the one). The idea starts out pretty straight forwardly. Get feedback from the crowd on choosing a name for your business. Let the wisdom of crowds help you name your company and find a domain for it. Along the way domainers might suggest one of their names, with a price. The crowd might help you find out who owns that Twitter handle someone is sitting on. They might help determine a fair price for a domain.

I’d really appreciate any feedback you have about the idea. Which of the three domains do you think makes a better brand? What do you think the minimum viable product that would provide enough real value to get started might be? Do you think reputation in a community would be enough to drive participation? Do you think a business model could be built around taking a small percentage of sales between domain sellers and buyers?

Are you my CTO?

crowdNaming.jpgCrowd NamerCrowd Name

Crowd Namers

 

2010 Crunchies Awards Winners – Domain Names Edition

For the purposes of this little experiment I scored all names- company, personal, and game, similarly- from a branding perspective.
Obviously a CEO or VC doesn’t have to care whether he’s got the exact match .com and Twitter handle, but it is safe to assume they’d probably want them, and if they had them, it would make it easy to find them. I didn’t include Facebook, because honestly, I don’t fully get Facebook from a branding perspective yet.
I’d also note that the app/game space seems to be an ecosystem unto itself and plenty of business is getting done without the matching domain name, although again, I bet they wish they had them.

Exact match company name, dot com, and Twitter handle scores an A.
Bonus (+) factors:
Short, easy to spell, clever in a way that remains brandable but didn’t cost you an arm and a leg (Hipmunk.com is currently my favorite example.)
Score a penalty for:
Alternative tlds (.org etc. where you don’t own the .com as well).
Domain hacks (using the tld to the right of the dot to complete the word).
Domain and Twitter handle not matching.

The logic? IMO hearing the company discussed in a podcast or radio interview, you should be able to navigate directly to the site without having to Google. Ideally it’s memorable enough to tell a friend about it the next day.

Domain is exact match .com unless noted. (winner) etc. refers to how the company did in the 2010 Crunchies Awards.

Best Internet Application

A Chartbeat Twitter: @chartbeat

A Greplin Twitter: @Greplin

B Pandora (winner) Twitter: @pandora_radio

A Rdio (runnerup) Twitter: @Rdio

B Ujam Twitter: @Ujam_com

Best Social App

B Cityville Domain: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=291549705119 Cityville.com also resolves to the Facebook page. Twitter: @zCityVille

A Dailybooth (winner) Twitter: @dailybooth

A Foursquare Twitter: @foursquare

A GroupMe Twitter: @GroupMe

A Twitter (runnerup) Twitter: @twitter

Best Social Commerce App

A Blippy Twitter: @blippy

A Groupon (winner) Twitter: @Groupon

B Jetsetter Twitter @jetsetterdotcom

A LivingSocial Twitter: @LivingSocial

A One Kings Lane Twitter: @onekingslane

A ShopKick (runnerup) Twitter: @shopkick

Best Mobile App

BBump Domain hack: bu.mp Twitter: @bumptech

A Chomp Twitter: @chomp

B Google Mobile Maps for Android (winner) Domain: google.com/mobile/android Twitter: @googleapps

A Hashable Twitter: @hashable

B Instagram (runnerup) Domain hack: instagr.am instagram.com is parked and is owned by someone in Korea with a Sedo email address. Twitter: @instagram

Best Location Based Service

B+ Facebook Places (runnerup) Domain: facebook.com/places Twitter: @facebook @facebookplaces is a suspended account

A Foursquare (winner) Twitter: @foursquare

A Gowalla Twitter: @gowalla

A SimpleGeo Twitter: @SimpleGeo

A+ Uber Twitter: @Uber

Best New Device

B+ Boxee Domain: Boxee.tv Boxee.com is a webmail company Twitter: @boxee

B Google Chrome Notebook Domain: google.com/chromeos Twitter: @googlechrome

BiPad (winner) DOMAIN: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_ipad/family/ipad Apple does not appear to own ipad.com Twitter: @iPad but not used.

B iPhone 4 Apple do own iphone.com (though not iphone4, 5 or 6.com -they’re parked at Fabulous with private Whois) Twitter: @iphone is a suspended account. @iphone4 is somebody trying to win a prize.

B Kno Twitter: @GoodtoKNO (but they’re going to want to get @kno for more than the obvious reasons)

B+ Xbox Kinect (runnerup) Domain: xbox.com kinect.com points to Bing Twitter: @xbox (but not @kinect)

Best Technology Achievement

B Blekko Yes, Blekko does own blekko.com Twitter: @blekko (scores a B in my book but seems to be working out for them 😉

Google Self-driving Cars (winner)

A+ Hunch Twitter: @hunch

B Palantir Domain: Palantir.com Twitter: palantirtech (Palantir.net has @palentir)

A Qwiki (runnerup) Twitter: @Qwiki

BWord Lens Domain: QuestVisual.com (There’s a blog at WordLens.com) Twitter: @wordlens (But curiously not used)

Best Design

A 1000memories Twitter: @1000Memories

B about.me (runnerup) They are branding with the dot me, i.e. They are About.me wherever seen. Twitter: @aboutdotme

B+ Airbnb (They do own AirBandB.com as well) Twitter: @airbnb

A Flipboard Twitter: @Flipboard

A Gogobot (winner) Twitter: @gogobot

A Qwiki Twitter: @Qwiki

Best Touch Interface

A Flipboard (winner) Twitter: @Flipboard

A Fotopedia Heritage iPad app (runnerup) Twitter: @Fotopedia

B Osmos Domain: HemisphereGames.com Twitter: @HemisphereGames See Also

BPulse News Reader Links to itunes. Company is AlphonsoLabs.com Twitter: @pulsepad

B Sencha Touch Domain: Sencha.com but may or may not own SenchaTouch.com (If they do it should be pointed, private GoDaddy reg. for both) Twitter: @SenchaInc @Senchatouch is theirs but links to the other.

B Swype Domain: SwypeInc.com (SwipeInc.com is for sale at HugeDomains for $2495) Twitter: @Swype

Best Bootstrapped Startup

C Addmired (iMob) (winner) Company name for iphone game Gangstaz Domain: ogapponline.com Twitter: @OG_app

B Beluga Domain: BelugaPods.com Twitter: @belugapods

B Easel Domain:EaselLearning.com Twitter: @easellearning

A Fast Society Twitter: @fastsociety

A Instapaper (runnerup) Twitter: @instapaper

A Techmeme Twitter:@Techmeme

Best Enterprise

A 37 Signals Twitter: @37signals

A Buddy Media (winner) Twitter: @BuddyMedia

B CloudApp Domain: GetCloudApp.com Twitter: @getcloudapp

A inDinero Twitter: @indinero

A Millennial Media (runnerup) Twitter: @MillennialMedia

A Salesforce Twitter: @salesforce

Best International

C Crivo Domain: Crivo.com.br Doesn’t resolve without www, Crivo.com is parked. Twitter: ?

B+ PCH International Domain: PchIntl.com (also PchInternational.com) PchInt.com is a Frank Schilling domain. Twitter: @pchintl

A Soluto (runnerup) Twitter: @Soluto

A+ ViKi (winner) Twitter: @Viki

BVNL Domain: Vnl.in Twitter: @vnl_india

B Wonga Twitter: @WongaWoman @WongaMan (but not @wonga)

Best Clean Tech

A Coolerado Twitter: @Coolerado

BKopernik (runnerup) Domain: TheKopernik.org TheKopernik.com doesn’t resolve, is owned by someone in Bali and was created almost a full year after the .org Twitter: @thekopernik

BMicroGreen Domain: MicroGreenInc.com MicroGreen.com is parked with a for sale form. Twitter: @MicroGREENAdAir

A Puralytics Twitter: @Puralytics (You’re welcome!)

B Smith Electric Vehicles

A SolarCity (winner) Twitter: @solarcity

Best Time Sink Application

BAngry Birds (runnerup) Domain: ShopAngryBirds.com Twitter: @RovioMobile

B Cityville (winner) Cityville.com also resolves to the Facebook page. Twitter: @zCityVille

A Netflix streaming Twitter: @netflix @Netflixhelps

A Quora Twitter: @quora

A StumbleUpon Twitter: @StumbleUpon

Angel of the Year

A Jeff Clavier, SoftTech VC Domain: SoftTechVc.com Twitter: @softtechvc @jeffclavier (Interestingly JeffClavier.com doesn’t resolve and is owned by Top Business Names of Grand Caymen).

A Ron Conway, SV Angel (runnerup) Domain: SVAngel.com Twitter: @svangel @RonConway RonConway.com is for sale at Epik for $3981 USD!

B Michael Dearing, Harrison Metal Capital Domain: HarrisonMetal.com Twitter: @mcgd

B Chris Dixon, Founder Collective Domain: FounderCollective.com CDixon.org Twitter: @cdixon

B Mike Maples, FLOODGATE Domain:Floodgate.com Twitter:@m2jr

A Paul Graham, Y Combinator (winner) Domain: YCombinator.com PaulGraham.com Twitter: @ycombinator

VC of the Year (individual)

B Marc Andreessen & Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz Domain: a16z.com MarcAndreesen.com is parked at Godaddy with private Whois.

B Roelof Botha, Sequoia Capital Domain: SequoiaCap.com Twitter: @roelofbotha

B Jim Breyer, Accel Partners Domain: Accel.com Twitter: @jimihendrixlive

B John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins Domain: kpcb.com KleinerPerkins.com Twitter: @johndoerr

C Yuri Milner, DST (winner) Domain: DST-Global.com (but there’s nothing there). Twitter: ?

B+ Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures (runnerup) Domain: AVC.com UnionSquareVentures.com Twitter: @fredwilson

Founder of the Year

B+ Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Domain: Wikileaks.org Twitter: @wikileaks

B+ Dennis Crowley, Foursquare Domain: DennisCrowley.com Twitter: @dens

BJack Dorsey, Square (runnerup) Domain: SquareUp.com Twitter: @jack @square

A Kevin and Julia Hartz, Eventbrite Domain: EventBrite.com (also EventBright.co) Twitter: @eventbrite @kevinhartz @juliahartz

B David Karp, Tumblr Domain: Tumblr.com DavidsLog.com Twitter: @davidkarp (Tumbler.com makes glasses you drink out of)

B Mark Pincus, Zynga (winner) Domain: Zynga.com Twitter: @markpinc @zynga (Zinga.com makes filters and mechanical parts in Reedsburg WI)

CEO of the Year

BDick Costolo, Twitter Twitter: @DickC

B Reed Hastings, Netflix Domain: Netflix.com (Also own NetFlicks.com) Twitter: ?

B Drew Houston, Dropbox Twitter:@drewhouston

B Andrew Mason, Groupon (winner) Twitter: @andrewmason

B Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook (runnerup) Twitter: @finkd

Best New Startup or Product of 2010

A Flipboard

A GroupMe

B Instagram

A Quora (winner)

C Square (runnerup) Domain: SquareUp.com

A Uber

Best Overall Startup or Product of 2010

A Facebook

A Groupon (runnerup)

A Quora

A Twitter (winner)

A Zynga

Will Your Startup Do Better If It’s Easy To Pronounce?

My takeaway is a simple extrapolation: The easier it is to pronounce, spell, and remember your company’s name, the better off you are, especially at launch.

Arming The DonkeysI’m loving all the data coming out of behavioral science. It really does turn out we’re biased towards idiocy. Fortunately, by studying our biases we can keep ourselves from acting on them. A favorite source of fascinating and useful psychological insights is Dan Ariely,  Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of two excellent books, The Upside of Irrationality, and Predictably Irrational. He’s also the host of a podcast series called, Arming the Donkeys. In this excerpt from an interview with Princeton University psychology professor Danny Oppenheimer, they discuss the findings of a study [pdf] where Danny’s team discovered that the difficulty of pronouncing a stock’s name predicted how it would do on its IPO. The area of inquiry is called fluency. Fluency is the property of a person or of a system that delivers information quickly and with expertise.

(Click arrow to play audio) Easy for you to say?

My takeaway is a simple extrapolation: The easier it is to pronounce, spell, and remember your company’s name, the better off you are, especially at launch.

How Much Of Marketing Is The Name?

jason-calacanis-jamie-siminoff-unsubscribe-twist-90

Jason Calacanis interviewed Jamie Siminoff recently on This Week In Startups.
When Jamie’s Simulscribe.com (phone message to email transcription service) changed their URL to
PhoneTag.com
, “…our sales tripled overnight and just kept going.”

JC “Why did you come up with the world’s worst domain name?”
JS “Well I was sort of a cowboy at the time and felt like, it doesn’t matter, the name – just get it out there and if it’s a good product…”
JC “You were wrong.”
JS “Oh I was totally wrong.”

Jason suggests that your name is 50% of your marketing.
Unsubscribe.com was owned by someone who had bought it as a kid in 1994. He had an emotional attachment to it. He’d had many offers for it. Why did he take Jamie’s?
(Click arrow to play audio) A name is a key foundational block to making a great business.

It’s Not Squatting Until Someone Else Wants It

But what do you think? If someone was early to the Twitter game and took the time to register 100 keyword accounts around the possibility that someday Twitter handles would be valuable, is that wrong? Now that it’s apparent that Twitter handles ARE ‘valuable’, but that person’s not using them, should he give them up – release them back into the Twitosphere? And what about you? Do you ‘own’ multiple Twitter handles? Did you secure the Twitter handle to match your domain name or does some ‘Twitter squatter’ have it now?

Election reaction
Creative Commons License photo credit: markhillary

As you can probably tell I’m a big fan of Jason Calacanis’s This Week In Startups web show. I learn a lot and I enjoy Jason’s quick wit. Jason is a very public figure who lays his opinions on the line and for that reason attracts a lot of haters. So many in fact, that the acknowledged term for them is ‘Jaters’.  I know I’m risking adding fuel to the fire, but this is more interesting than that, so here goes.

On a recent episode Jason volunteered that he ‘owned’ the Twitter handle @democrats. He mentions that he had a use for it – he’ll use it to cover politics – but that the DNC had called him and asked for it. Jason’s response was, “Well, what kind of arrangement would you like to make for it?” To which they replied, “Well when you give us the handle we’ll retweet it.” What ensues is a funny riffing session between Jason, Lon Harris, and Tyler Crowley. Listen carefully and you’ll get some insights into the kinds of things, apart from money, that could entice the owner of a domain (or Twitter handle) to part with it.

(Click arrow to play audio) @democrats

But what do you think? If someone was early to the Twitter game and took the time to register 100 keyword accounts around the possibility that someday Twitter handles would be valuable, is that wrong? Now that it’s apparent that Twitter handles ARE ‘valuable’, but that person’s not using them, should he give them up – release them back into the Twitosphere? And what about you? Do you ‘own’ multiple Twitter handles? Did you secure the Twitter handle to match your domain name or does some ‘Twitter squatter’ have it now?

My point is only that ANYTIME someone wants what someone else has, a MARKET grows. You can regulate it, but you can’t control human nature. If you’re angry and find yourself using the term ‘squatter’ you’re probably being irrational. Either that or you should call an IP attorney, at least for a consultation. In other words, GET OVER IT!

Purchase Inquiry – Weasels.com

From Bill Sweetman Sweetmantra.com. Via Andrew Allemann.

When you own a large portfolio of premium domain names for sale, like we do at YummyNames, you get a lot of purchase inquiries. This is a typical one. While it is not based on an actual inquiry (tempting though that may have been), this video captures the spirit of many of the inquiries we get from people who are shocked we won’t sell a premium domain name to them for $50.

How We Got Sal (KhanAcademy.org) His Dot Com

I discovered that KhanAcademy.com was registered with Enom. It was parked (the schoolgirl photo with lots of ads) with a link to ‘buy this domain’. That link took me to a site called AcquireThisName.com where I was presented with a ‘make an offer’ form. I did. My offer led to a brief exchange part of which was…

Andrew Warner & Sal Khan
Andrew Warner & Sal Khan

I was already a big fan of Sal and KhanAcademy.org after I heard him interviewed by Jon Udell on IT Conversations. Here was a guy really making a difference. I could relate too, because if I’d had such a resource when I was a kid (Sal has hundreds of short-form math and science instructional videos online) I might have had a workaround for some horrible teachers that completely turned me off math.

A few months later Andrew Warner interviewed Sal for Mixergy (an awesome collection of interviews with entrepreneurs) and I heard this exchange as the interview came to a close…

Andrew: All right. Well, thanks guys. If you have any feedback, any suggestions, want to be part of this in any way, xxxxx@khanacademy.org, right? But you also have the dotcom.
Sal: No, I don’t. Somebody claimed the dotcom. I don’t own the dotcom.
Andrew: Who is the evil son of a bitch who has the dot com, who does not…
Sal: Well, I don’t know. I was almost able to get it, and someone got it. I don’t know. There are people more sophisticated at squatting domain names than I am.
Andrew: I guess so. Somebody get that domain name back for him. If anyone out there is listening, get that domain back. All right. Thank you…

I think it was the part about ‘almost getting it’ that really piqued my curiosity. So I began to look into it.
I discovered that KhanAcademy.com was registered with Enom. It was parked (the schoolgirl photo with lots of ads) with a link to ‘buy this domain’. That link took me to a site called AcquireThisName.com where I was presented with a ‘make an offer’ form. I did. My offer led to a brief exchange part of which was…

John,
To be honest, I’m not sure if the registrant is motivated to sell this domain. At this time, he is only asking for solid 6 figure offers for consideration. Please let me know if you have a offer you would like to be presented. Appreciate your interest.
Kind Regards,
Bxxxxx | AcquireThisName.com

Hmm, a ‘solid 6 figure’ offer for a domain whose value derives from the fact that Sal’s Khan Academy gets a lot of traffic? That made me mad. I started looking around the net. There were plenty of people mad at AcquireThisName.com. They had also been involved in numerous trademark suits, (see also). I found that Acquire This Name was incorporated in Nevada and that two of its board members, Michael Blend, and Matthew Polesetsky were also on the board of Demand Media. Demand Media owns Enom and a LOT of other domain related companies.

I checked to see if Sal had a trademark. If he had I would have suggested a WIPO action. It would have been a slam dunk. But Sal, busy teaching kids trigonometry for free, hadn’t gotten one yet.

A couple of months later I got an email from Acquire This Name informing me that KhanAcademy.com was about to go to auction at Namejet. Huh? Great! I signed in to Namejet and placed the $69 minimum bid. You HAVE to have placed the minimal bid before the auction starts in order to participate in the auction. I was able to contact Sal through Andrew Warner and Sal was happy to have me bid on his behalf. The morning the auction opens I log in and discover there are 30 people in the auction! The first two days the bidding stays well below our budget but on the morning of the last day I wake up to discover the price has shot up to $1600. I get on the phone to Sal and he gives me the go ahead to keep bidding. We’re down to 4 bidders now as the auction winds down to those last few nail-biting minutes but finally the clock runs out and we have it – for $5000.

So who was bidding against us? KhanAcademy.org is up to (by Compete’s numbers even) @250k visitors a month. Googling a couple of the bidder’s handles suggested Asian game site owners, probably looking to siphon off the .com type-ins. But who knows-  a shady domainer after a higher end-user sale to Sal down the road? A shill bidder from AcquireThisName?

Interestingly, about a week after the auction closed Namejet informs me that they had detected fraudulent bidding in the auction (bad credit card), and were refunding me $2012,  so in fact we got KhanAcademy.com for $2,988 (my highest bid before the fraudster bid it higher).

Sal has been so busy we haven’t had time to even transfer the name over yet. He’s just won a Google prize and recently Bill Gates declared Sal his favorite teacher.

So there’s the story. But I’m left with a lot of unanswered questions.
Who got Sal’s money? Was it Namejet? They call themselves a partner of eNom. So is Namejet also owned by Demand?
And why the change of heart? Why sell now if you know how much traffic KhanAcademy is getting?
Does it have something to do with the attic cleaning going on at Demand around their IPO?
And who is Mark Barker Incorporated? They show up on the Whois as registrar now (it was Enom). They’re also owned by Demand.

My hunch is that Enom retains some domains that drop even when they don’t  have any generic value. If you look through the domains available through AcquireThisName.com there’s all kinds of names that look like they once belonged to a real business. For example, I found existing exact match companies for domains like BankOfElgin.com KentuckyHomeBank.com BudapestBank.com MichiganTalentBank.com FraminghamCoopBank.com ClevelandFurnitureBank.com. For what other reason could Enom own these domains except to sell them (though Acquire This Name) to the companies that are building value into their brands? No wonder people hate the domain industry. That’s sleaze!

I’m glad we were able to help Sal get his .com. In fact all it took, in this case, was Andrew’s information, my attention, and Sal’s checkbook! It’s not the first time I’ve been able to help someone out, but it’s the first time I’ve written about it. Usually it’s as easy as buying the name and putting up a “This is a present.” page. I call it Good Will Domaining.

See Also:
Hey just discovered a TechDirt article about this post. Interesting comments as well.
Michael Berkens: Here We Go Again: Now Enom Has A Site To Sell Its Own Domain Inventory: Where Did These Domains Come From?

Is $2000 Too Much To Pay For A Great Startup Domain?

As an example to startups especially, I wanted to highlight this recent auction as an example of the kinds of domains that can be acquired for reasonable prices. If you’re getting ready to launch and are facing the difficult task of finding the right name consider enlisting my help. I know where and how to look for great names at reasonable prices.

I recently participated in a domain auction for the domain Penance.com. I actually have content that matches the domain perfectly. Previously I’ve hosted it on other URLs but I’ve been keeping my eye open for a better one. For my purposes you couldn’t have a better url than Penance.com, and with a ‘category killer’ domain like that it would be much easier to roll out more content in the event the idea started to get traction. But besides my (fun and basically no-profit) idea, Penance.com could make a great domain for all sorts of things (perfume, fashion, feature film title, etc. etc.) so, in my opinion, it would be a smart buy even as an investment- depending on the price.

I hopped in the auction, which was at Sedo. The domain was part of a collection being offered by a single domainer and all the domains were no or low reserve (meaning the owner was prepared to let them go for whatever the market priced them at).

Here’s what happened…

penance-Auction

Penance.com went for $2075, in my opinion a great price. A little over my head but a great deal for the new owner.
If you’re a developer I’m sure you see some obvious and interesting potential for the HockeyScore.com names.
Doodling.com strikes me as a good (not great) branding opportunity for an art related site or blog.
The point is, there are great domains out there for reasonable prices. If you could use a little help finding them, drop me a line.