Anyway, here was the post on Twitter that caught my eye: "If only MyPunchbowl didn't have such a ridiculous name, I would totally start using it." This was written by Mike Davidson @mikeindustries the Founder of Newsvine. He has over 3,000 followers on Twitter. He's a respected entrepreneur and he's been in the trenches. And even though he's acknowledging that MyPunchbowl is a superior site, he's saying that he's not going to use it. That's not what I would expect from someone who has started their own company.
Yes, I've heard people say things about the name MyPunchbowl.com in the past. And as I've always said, I think the name is a 6 out of 10. I don't love it, but I think it's good enough. However, it bothers me that a guy who started and sold a company is saying that he won't use it because of the name? That's ridiculous. Consider some of the names of services that we all love and use now -- Google, Yahoo, Flickr, Meebo, Gowalla -- the list goes on and on. Try to take yourself back to the first time you heard of one of these names. Is MyPunchbowl really any worse than Flickr? The reality is that good domain names are hard to acquire. Sites should be judged on their ease of use, functionality and how well they solve your problem -- not on their brand name.
Back in the first year of launching this company, I spent more time than I care to admit looking for a domain name. Keep in mind that I was willing to pay significant money to acquire a great domain. I can remember spending entire weekend days scouring domain search sites and after-market domain companies. It was painful, because I wanted to find a name as good as "Facebook." But it is much, much harder than it sounds to find a great domain.
After much searching and many discussions, I decided on MyPunchbowl. Why? A Punchbowl is often the center of a party, and I felt that the "My" made it more personal. I would have loved to go with Punchbowl.com, but it was owned by a domaineer (the same person who recently sold candy.com for $3M) and it wasn't available for sale. I don't love the fact that MyPunchbowl is three syllables, but I think it has served us well. And most users in our demographic seem to love it.
It's easy to be a critic, but much harder to actually come up with something better. So here is my challenge to anyone: come up with a better domain and I'll *personally* pay you $5,000 (this money will come from me, not the company).
Here are the criteria that I'll use to evaluate whether or not the domain is better than MyPunchbowl:
- The domain name must be a .com
- The domain name must be 11 letters or less
- The domain name must have no common misspellings (for example "fiesta" is commonly misspelled as "feista")
- The domain must be easily transferable by word of mouth (if someone is on the phone it must be very easy to communicate the domain name without having to explain it)
- The domain must be available for sale for no more than $10,000.
- The domain must be perform better when brand tested with our target audience (women, aged 25-45).
That's it. Ok, Mike Davidson -- what do you got?