Years ago, Apple published a developer magazine. I don’t even remember the name of it, but it covered various topics on programming on the Mac or Apple II, but it would also occasionally have humor articles. One in particular stuck with me.
The author said that when you are getting ready to start developing your application, the single most important thing to do is you need to develop a killer icon. The desktop icon could make or break your application and it really should be your first priority.
As humorous a suggestion as it was, I think what I found most amusing was that there was a slight bit of truth to it… or at least it didn’t come from that ridiculous a place in the mind of the developer.
I’ve long thought the web-developer equivalent to that is the domain name. Like most web-folk, I have a lot of ideas for websites on a regular basis. Some are just passing thoughts, others, I might sit down and consider developing at some point in the future. Once I feel serious enough about an idea, my first priority is to find the perfect domain name. Without the perfect domain name, it’s very hard to make any further progress on the idea.
Like the icon, it’s the centerpiece of the idea, and can make or break the entire project. I don’t believe everyone necessarily thinks like this, though. I’ve heard stories of people just picking a domain and planning on changing it later, or maybe even growing into it… but that sounds crazy. The domain is the brand, and if I don’t feel like it represents the site or idea perfectly (or as perfectly as I can afford), then I have a hard time proceeding.
Anyhow, it’s this line of thinking and my unnatural love of domains that has caused me to become a domain name hoarder, with numerous names in my portfolio waiting to be developed.