Random ramblings about startup name(s)

My brother Wieland got heavily involved in a new startup dubbed “jobMapp”, which is trying to establish a new market place for every-day jobs in Spain. All fraternal affection aside, I am really excited about the project.  I think it is cool to see how easy it is to e. g. arrange for the delivery of documents and small parcels in Madrid through a dedicated website (not sure I would hire somebody to to my household chores, t. b. h.).

At the same time, I am less convinced that jobMapp is really a great name to develop into a strong brand. I have been told the name several times by now and I still find it hard to remember.  Why not go for a more intuitive name? What can be more important for a start up than carefully selecting a catchy, short, pronounceable and, most importantly, distinctive name?

(Don’t worry, Wieland, if this sounds overly critical – I am just an academic commenting from the sidelines. You guys will prove me wrong,  for sure.)

Interesting read: “A Hybrid CBR-ANN Approach to the Appraisal of Internet Domain Names”

New paper by Sebastian Dieterle and Prof. Dr. Ralph Bergmann

Good domain names have become rare and trading with premium domain names has developed into a profitable business. Domain appraisals are required for many different reasons, e.g., in connection with a loan on a domain name. The aim of this paper is to analyze various methods for estimating prices for domain names. The criteria for this are predictive accuracy, traceability and speed of the appraisal. First, the scientific relevance of the topic is demonstrated based on intensive literature and Internet research. Several approaches based on artificial neural networks (ANNs) and case-based reasoning (CBR) are developed for estimating domain name prices. In addition, hybrid appraisal approaches are introduced that are built up on CBR and which use ANN for improved adaptation and similarity determination. The approaches are evaluated in several con gurations using a training set of 4,231 actual domain transactions, which demonstrates their high usefulness.


Resale prices for Internet domain names climb to new peak in April

The new estimates for the Internet Domain Name Index (IDNX) suggest a price increase of 1% in April. The return in the last 12 months was 17%. This robust growths clearly puts an end to the 2011-2012 years of stagnating as prices reach a new record high. The upward trend is evidence that values for “traditional” Top Level Domains (TLD) are not diluted (at least at a large scale) by the launch of new TLDs.

2013: A solid year for domain values

In 2013, domain news were dominated by one single topic: the launch of new global top level domains and the massive supply of new domains. When looking at the sales data, one could describe the industry’s response to the changing environment as: “Keep calm and trade on.”

Despite all uncertainties and buzz created around the brave new domain world, developers and investors did not walk away from the established domains (COM/NET/ORG/… and ccTLDs). On the contrary, resale prices for traditional domains rose by overall 12% in 2013.

Obviously, we can only guess whether the return on domains could have been even higher without the looming competition from new TLDs. 2013 was a strong year for the IT industry. Internet giant Twitter went public and the stock price index NASDAQ 100 went up by 29%. Against this benchmark, domain performance can be described as solid, but not stellar.

Domain prices continue upward trend of last 4 months

The second half of 2013 witnessed a strong overall upward trend in Internet domain name prices. The recent IDNX update for prices of domains sold in November is 7.7% above October’s values (which has been a weak month, though). The month-to-month fluctuations are interesting, still a more long term perspective might be more relevant: Overall, domain prices in the last 4 months have increased by a solid 13%.

The gains in domains prices are arguably not as pronounced as increases in value of related assets like IT shares (not to mention Bitcoin here). Still, domain investors exhibit optimism and confidence in the value of “virtual real estate”.

UP, UP, DOWN: Prices for domains cannot keep pace in October.

Prices paid for domain names decreased by 3% during October. The last IDNX update indicates that domain markets could not keep the momentum of the previous 2 months when re-sale prices increased by more than 9%. Given the strong performance of technology related market indicators like the NASDAQ100 stock price index in the last months, I am very curious to see whether domains will bounce back in November.

The overall price trend estimated by IDNX is based on data from a quarter million real domain real sales (no “expert” opinions) and takes into account differences in the quality of the sold domains.

Prices for domains up 2 % in June

The new estimates for the Internet Domain Name Index (IDNX) show a 2 percent increase in re-sale prices for domain names. The number of transactions is also stronger than in the previous month, suggesting that domainers were not only able to sell at higher prices but also in larger quantities.