Thursday, April 24, 2008

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. could map to tipjoy. It could also map to "free culture” and “make money blogging”. and 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.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Startup Lyrics

I'm driving across the country right now, listening to a lot of music. Some lyrics stand out - reminding me of startups.

Here are a few, with a short mix tape at the end. If you have any others, post a comment and I'll add them to the mix.

Update: I'll add the song suggested over at HackerNews shortly.

Timbaland - "The Way I Are". This might be a stretch, but I love this song. A good startup might be cash strapped, but willing to give equity to early important hires. It's not about the perks, but the aligned incentives to work to build the future.
Oh, baby, it's alright now, you ain't gotta flaunt for me
If we go dutch, you can still touch my love, it's free
We can work without the perks just you and me
Thug it out 'til we get it right

The White Stripes - "Little Room". Start small, get big.
When you're in your little room
and you're working on something good
but if it is really good
You're gonna need a bigger room
and when you're in the bigger room
You might not know what to do
You might have to think of
How you got started sittin' in your little room

Daft Punk - "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". Nothing is perfect. That's actually really good. Things can always get better. Go work on that. The version I used is from the latest live album 'Alive'. Excellent mix with "Around The World"
Work It Harder Make It Better
Do It Faster, Makes Us stronger
More Than Ever Hour After
Our Work Is Never Over

Sunday, April 6, 2008

More customization options, and more social tipping

We just released some updates to the Tipjoy button maker. Go here to check them out.

This allows you to make more custom options. For example, you can change the text in the button, and add a message to the bottom, like this:

We also added comments to each item in Tipjoy, and let you see who has tipped it, if their tips are set to be public.

Go here for an example.

Change your settings to make your tips public here.