Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Tjor wrote a weblog entry today with me as one of the primary subjects. He sent an email letting me know:

  Bill Bumgarner has long owned the domain "friday.com" You would think it would be worth lots of money, right? Well obviously during the internet boom nobody broke down and made Bill "feel like he won the lottery" so he still owns the domain. Why do I bring this up? Because the consulting arm (business management and technology) of PwC is splitting off. And they decided to name the company after a day of the week... is Bill going to be rich? No, they picked Monday. Not sure that is such a great name. What person wakes up and cheers "I LOVE MONDAY!"???  

I also received this in my email from Owen's Ditherati Mailing list (excellent and funny mailing list -- one post a day, quote from the industry):

 "Monday is a new identity on which to build our company's future, and it will have meaning and stand for something." 
 PriceWaterhouseCoopers Consulting CEO Greg Brenneman, on his firm's newly announced lack of identity, CBS MarketWatch, 10 June 2002 

All very funny and I do wonder what the owner of monday.com made off of the deal. I wish the new company luck. It is an ugly market for consulting companies.

For the record, I have owned friday.com since 1993. A friend of mine and I registered it on a whim. I also own fryday.com (and bumgarner.com). Don't bother going to any of the domains as there isn't any useful content publically available through the home page. That will change some day (like when there are 30 hours in the day so that I have time to deal with it).

I have never actually generated any revenue through friday.com; never tried. Over the years, I had a number of offers for friday.com. Some were cash offers ranging from $50 to $25,000. Others were in the form of millions of dollars of stock or stock options. All of the stock/options would have been valueless by the time I could have liquidated.

There were also numerous offers to turn friday.com into a portal for entertainment, gambling, business, porn (entertainment, I suppose), or some combination therein. Each offered me a cut of the 'profits' generated by the portal.

Not all contacts have been by email. I have occasional received phone calls from people wanting friday.com. Some have been rude, most have been very polite, very few have had the remotest clue about doing business on the Internet.

Domains are like real estate, you can only sell a piece of property once. Obviously, a domain name has a bit more volatility than a piece of dirt in that something could come along that renders domain names useless. But it isn't going to happen for a long, long time. Witness the whole mess with the new TLDs and ICANN. There is only one '.com' (and '.net', '.org').

Though I never thought twice about taking any of the offers, every response to an offer left the door open. Two options were always offered: pay me a very lump sum for my bit of virtual real estate or figure out a way to cut me into the deal.

Most folks went away never to return. Of those that responded, almost all were portal related. None of them made it past the second round of conversations; none of them could answer the very basic questions of "Would this business work in the real world?", "How do you plan on generating revenue?" or "What is your target market?". The universal answers seemed to be "No-- but on the Internet, the old rules of business don't apply", "build it and someone will pay" and "people on the Internet" respectively.

One very nice woman called and tried to convince me to give her friday.com because she had a brilliant money making idea but couldn't afford to pay for it because she was a single mom with a crappy job. I responded that I would be happy to help her out; if her idea was going to fly, she needed to-- at least-- write the idea into a form that would convince folks to invest in the business or buy the product of the business. Write down her idea, send it to me, I would be happy to provide her with a stock NDA so her idea was protected, and-- if her idea had merit-- I would be happy to lease friday.com to her. Even if I wasn't involved in the business, I would be happy to confidentially review her idea from the perspetive of someone who had been on the 'net since the mid-80's.

Never heard from her again.
10:23:54 AM