Russell Beattie ay Yahoo has a lengthy post about RealNames. It’s a generous and thoughtful piece. Thanks for the link Russell.
There are a couple of things worth knowing.
Firstly RealNames didn’t really crash in the bubble. At least not directly. We were profitable and growing fast (about 120% a quarter back in Q1 2002.
Secondly, we had an awesome business model. Resellers all over the world were selling Keywords. Most uptake was in China, Korea and Japan where we were the only way to make local languages useable as navigational addresses. We had pretty strict controls on ownership but we were able to segment nations into seperate namespaces. Today we would do local keywords too.
Thirdly, we were doing 1 billion resolutions a quarter in Q1 2002. That was page views that MSN lost to us because we were able to provide direct navigation to a web page from a keyword. Microsoft decided to close us down in order to regain those page views. Search this blog for the story.
There is a patent. You (Yahoo) own it through your acquisition of 3721.
I still own all of the code and the domain name.