Saturday, June 30, 2007

What Markets Reveal

Throughout history, there have always been small groups of people who complain about the appallingly shallow interests of the rest of humanity.

Now we know that the rest of humanity is where you can make the real money. And if you can get the rest of humanity to visit your web site, you will be fabulously rich. All you need is the right domain.

In the freewheeling world of the internet, people are free to explore every interest, no matter how shallow, specialized, obscure, or strange. The market value of a particular internet address is therefore determined by one thing and one thing only: how many people are likely to linger there. The more people, the greater the value.

This makes the auction value of an address a useful clue to the unspoken and sometimes unspeakable desires of the rest of humanity -- or at least those desires that someone thinks are worth millions.

And millions is exactly what they are worth. The top five most expensive domains sold to date are:

1. sex.com, for $12 million
2. porn.com, for $9.5 million
3. business.com, for $7.5 million
4. diamond.com, for $7.5 million
5. beer.com, for $7.0 million

What do most people want? Sex, money, diamonds and beer. Alas, Bastiat does not appear on the list. But we are hopeful.

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