Jul 9, 2007
[This post is in response to this post. I could have just emailed Steve but hey blog rebuttal is the new in-thing]
Silicon Valley is full of visionaries, pundits and geeks. Lot of these folks provide good enough reason for lot of people to live here and be a part of the guess-the-next-big-thing game. I do that as well and I love it. I most probably fall under “geek” category as visionary and pundit title usually comes as part of the work. It’s something one has to earn. There is no tax in putting this in your resume by the way. LinkedIn takes some time to come back when you search for term “visionary”. It’s that overused and over-bestowed.
Therein lies my problem with the way Steve approached this domain name thing with me. He called me round about few hours after my wife came out of operation room. She had a c-section. He straight away asked me to give back the domain name to him. I politely told him “I appreciate your work and I will get back to you”. For some reason he thinks I made a bad move by registering this domain name. I didn’t get back to him as I got busy and I thought if Steve is serious then he will discuss the project in detail.
At that time I had this vague idea of a living book which captures emerging social and economic themes around iphone. (I am a second day buyer and this blog supports iphone theme!). Also I am a big fan of Steven Levitt as well and iphone is not the first term where I have tried applying “onomics”. This word I had thought before I saw Steve’s post. Steve’s post made me rush towards domain name registration. Not only that I put this domain name on sedo to study how irrational this whole thing will get. Watching and being part of domain name chase around iphone was a huge fun and still is. I am a project squatter not a domain squatter. Never sold any domain name so far. Doesn’t mean I wont sell any in future but projects excite me more than just domain names. I have my little lab as well.
This experience made me appreciate the dynamics of coining-terms industry better. In academic world there are clear rules. Either you publish or perish. Sitting in Starbucks and blogging your brains out doesn’t allow rigorous auditing. So when someone comes up with apparently new meme, then there are not many firms or tools to answer the question – who really invented this meme ? Maybe the lesson here is to adopt a new approach for coining terms. In our new world its the techmeme which holds the key.
It’s good that I already have CognitiveSpam domain name otherwise I will be blamed for that as well.