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Why I gave away a domain name

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Like so many of my colleagues I have a disease. I think it could be called “Idea Induced Domain Hogging”. You know that thing that happens in three easy steps. Develop gets idea, developer buys domain, developer proceeds to do nothing. What happens next depends on the individual. Sometimes you realize your mistake after one year, and stop paying for the thing. Sometimes you actually do real work and put something into the world - maybe someone actually uses it … But most often - the domain is forgotten until a reminder is sent (and my registrar sends them a lot).

The other day a guy reached out on twitter wanting to know if I owned a specific domain - and wether I would consider selling it.

I quickly decided that since I had not used the domain, and was pretty sure (when looking on the projects I am currently involved in) that I would not use it in a foreseeable future he could of course get the rights to the domain. Furthermore having a domain unused is a rather big source of stress for me. It is a constant reminder that I made myself a promise that I am not able to fulfil. Oh and while I keep not wanting to let myself down - I keep paying for the damn thing.

I also rather quickly decided that I would not let him pay for it. Why would I? It would just be a new source of stress. We would have to negotiate a price, and we would have to decide on a payment method, and all that stuff. Letting him get the domain for free was an instant gratification for me, and making a fellow human being happy, by just releasing a domain was rather fun in and of itself.

Hopefully he will do something cool/awesome/nice with the domain - instead of it just pointing into the void as it had the past year.

Q and A

Q: But why not try to make some money?

A: Well, why should I? I don’t believe domain names have an inherent value. It is the product/service/website you put behind it that has the value. And since I had nothing behind it, it had no value to me.

Q: But what if that other guy gets rich of your domain name?

A: Again: he doesn’t - if he does indeed get rich, it is probably because he executed on an idea - not because he had a domain with a specific name.

Q: Can I have one of you domains?

A: Maybe?!

Q: Have you stopped buying domains you do not need.

A: I would so love to say yes to this, but probably no.

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