Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Quick Lesson in Internet Time

So I'm searching Google earlier today and, surprise surprise, I came across another Marketing To Me listing. One click and off I go to this placeholder web site that on first look appears to be a simple case of domain squatting -- somebody has built a marketing to me domain web site, complete with some intro BS on the home page and a full-site, Ipsum Lorum template. My first thought is, "Wow, somebody is reading my blog." But it gets better. Throughout the day, the idea is just grating on me, sitting there in the back of my mind -- when I went through the hoops finding a blog title, "Marketing To Me" wasn't really an obvious choice, it was more like what I got to after I went through my list of top picks. How odd was it originally -- well, as I mentioned it to friends in the early months, most commented about being unable to find it. It's kind of funny how, within the past month, some guy can fire up a blog, secure a domain, start building a site, and, oh, climb over the top of your still breathing concept in some sort of attempt to carry the ball like you own it. It's not that I'm taking it personally -- few things are really new -- it's just kind of funny watching the echoes ripple into space.

But for all of the me, there's really not much worth writing about if there isn't a take-away for you, so here's a couple of things for you to keep in mind from this whole lesson:
  1. There are going to be copies. From internet start-ups to musical acts, there are legions of goomers who are convinced that your idea is okay, but that they could do better. If your not careful, don't execute well, or aren't true to the essense of the vision, they just might beat you.
  2. If your IP is strong, protect it. If Oreo is going to be the greatest Internet cookie on the planet, then you're going to need to spend the money to secure, .net, .org, and maybe even If you're just experimenting, there's a tremendous likelihood that someone will see some glimmer of your success and gamble that it will be worth more to you later.
  3. The copiers are relentless. Recently, I was working with a company who had thirty-year old trademarks on products in a couple of unique market segments with a very select handful of customers. A couple of years ago, a Russian company entered the market and tried to compete against them in those markets using an obvious knock-off of their marks. Eventually, the trademark infringer gave up and disappeared, but the probably managed to grab a few dollars from unsuspecting customers before they left. If there are 100 pennies sitting on the counter, never underestimate some people's willingness to attempt to grab one.
In keeping with my previous post, I think that the real question here is, has blogging under the "Marketing To Me" title crossed the threshold of too many users -- has "Marketing To Me" jumped the shark?

No comments: