Naming a web site used to be easy. You thought of the name you wanted, you registered the name, you put up your site.
Then came the speculators. Search for your domain name of choice today, or your second choice, or third, or tenth, and you’re likely to discover that the name has already been registered by someone who has no intention of ever using the domain to establish a web site. Rather, they hope to sell you the name for a vastly inflated price and turn a profit in doing so. Because domain names are based on language, and there are a finite number of words in any language, the speculators know that if they buy up the most common words and phrases, someone will inevitably come knocking….
In the parlance of business, this is called ‘making a market’ for a commodity — in this case, domain names. Other well known examples of this entrepreneurial spirit include Enron’s electric power market, oil topping $140 a barrel and driving gas prices past $4.00 at the pump, and those sexy real-estate-backed derivatives that were based on inflated mortgage values, leading to the housing crisis and the worst American recession in seventy years. (Your free markets in action.) [ Read more ]