A solution to domain names
Domain names are broken. Squatters abound. Registration is ridiculous. I vented a bit about this on twitter, and @fredwilson asked for a solution. This got me thinking.
If search were good enough, "I'm feeling lucky" could replace the need for domain names. URLs are meant to be read by machines anyway. Enter something into the URL bar. If it is a cut & paste URL, it takes you there. If not, you're sent to the first search result. Google should weight “I’m feeling lucky” to return the top N search results if the top result isn’t sufficiently higher relevance than the rest.
Links would still work - they would just have IPs.
A forward naming scheme to get a short description of the IP would remove all naming exclusivity. You could even expand this to tagging.
220.127.116.11 could map to tipjoy. It could also map to "free culture” and “make money blogging”.
18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 could each map to "sex". Content and pagerank would determine which gets listed higher in search engines.
The only problem with this scheme is the search component. It needs to be good enough so a good description of a particular web page will result in a successful search.
This isn't a perfect solution, but squatting would be completely eliminated. Naming a company wouldn't be a matter of getting the domain name. People could focus on making something people want.
UPDATE: any issues around things that utilize DNS could just start using a domain numbering service layer. Anything that doesn't tie the character string to something people associate with the site. That doesn't scale.