Dope.com

Compulsive, disillusioned, aloof at times, hooked on to new ideas, craving for the next shot. In the dark depths of “The Valley”, they sniff on domain names. Despite suffering from a distortion in perceptions of time and space, there’s nothing quite like inhaling that volatile $9.99 stimulant from “Go Daddy”, the peddler. However, the psychoactive state through an intravenous injection or inhalation only lasts for a short while. And then, the withdrawal symptoms kick-in.

Most aspiring startup entrepreneurs are like drug addicts.

Drug addiction, or “substance dependence”, is dangerous. SUBSTANCE dependence. What has started bothering me lately is that many of my fellow dopey technologists are depending on something that has no substance at all, thereby feeling gloomy due to inaction and eventually it results in tragic cases of product abandonment and morale deprivation.

There are disturbing stories of intervention and rehab all over these days. One such testimony comes from “Sean” (name changed), who confesses:

I’m turning 30 and I’ve produced no amazing art.

Sean has ideas, lot’s of shimmering new ones. Incurably, he has procured domain names (over 300 now!), probably one (or more) for each one of them. But he feels he hasn’t done anything meaningful yet. This is a rather common psychedelic syndrome. Sean, and many others like him, are getting trapped by the thought, rather than the action. The realization is a good thing, because it can induce intervention.

A lot of these domain addictions occur due to, what we in the non-medical profession call, the first snort — viz. the recurring thought that the name is so important that it must come above & before all.

The name of your product is, and will always be, secondary to the product itself. The domain name is hugely overrated. It’s like naming your baby before you’ve even graduated from high-school. What it also does is that it creates a psychological barrier. Now that you’ve found a great name (great in your mind), you have to push yourself to build an equally great or even better application. Great, amazing, incredible, best, awesome, are all narcotic fences that restrict you (but look so good in keynotes by Apple Laboratories).

I QUIT HEROIN FOR THIS BABY BLUE

My fellow dopey technologists, The Crazy Ones, don’t get caught-up with the masturbation of your ideas. It’s pleasing, I know. But, don’t abuse your talent. Don’t take comfort in thoughts and imaginary applications. Find solace by finding customers, who will pay for a problem-solving product, not your idea or your domain name or that 3-page hypothesis you wrote about your new Spell Checker using Node.js and Haddop.

Say no to domain names until you can stand up on your feet with a simple working prototype or an MVP.

Say no to drugs.


P.S. Ironically, dope.com is a placeholder, that will probably sell for millions.

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