Is $750 too much for a $61 billion computer maker to pay for a domain name — especially when it involves one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry’s business? It was for Dell Inc.
Last month, Round Rock-based Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) launched its ultrathin laptop computer called the Adamo. But Dell, the No. 2 computer maker in the world, spent nearly three months playing a name game before finally spending the money for the domain Adamo.com.
Dell’s approach provides a cautionary tale, experts said, for computer companies trying to attract customers at a time of shrinking profit margins as consumers increasingly rely on simple Web site addresses to skip search engines.
When Salesforce.com crashed a couple weeks ago, technology executive Andy Meadows didn’t call a buddy nor the company to find the problem. Instead, he turned to a network of instantly accessible tech-savvy people — on Twitter.
Meadows, CEO of Austin business consulting firm LiveOak 360, said he used to log onto Google or wait for a really simple syndication, or RSS, feed. But Twitter, the text message-based social networking tool, has become his chosen method for fast answers.
“It’s the first place I go when I have a question,” Meadows said. “It’s a continuous conversation going on right now around the world. It’s immediate.”
It’s also why more businesspeople in Austin are using Twitter — businesses selling everything from coffee to computers.
Brian Greenstone wasn’t expecting much when he started working on an application for Apple Inc.’s iPhone in March.
The Austin-based game developer just wanted to have some fun. That fun has turned into a multimillion-dollar business for Greenstone’s Pangea Software Inc.
Although his game development business launched in 1987, the revenue generated in six months by just two of its iPhone games has matched the retail revenue of all of Pangea’s preceding personal computer games combined, he says. Instead of looking in the mouth of such a gift horse, Greenstone is jumping aboard and riding it all the way to the bank by forgoing the PC market to focus exclusively on iPhone games.
“There’s no point in doing any Mac games,” he says. “It’s more fun to do the iPhone, it’s more profitable and it’s easier.”