OnStartups

Why I Am Bidding To Buy A Digg Account

Posted by Dharmesh Shah on July 31, 2006 26 Comments


I came across an article a couple of hours ago whereby a Digg.com “top 100” user is looking to sell his/her account.

You can see the original post here:  http://www.digg.com/tech_news/For_Sale_My_Digg_Profile

The account (or, more accurately, the rights to use the account) is being sold on eBay.  I decided to participate in the auction.  As it turns out, I’m currently the high bidder.  Within minutes of my bid, one of the readers on the OnStartups.com forums made the connection (I wasn’t particularly covert about it, as I didn’t see a reason to be) and left a message on the forums asking:  “Why?”.

Thought I’d try and answer.

Reasons Why I Would Bid For A Digg Account
 
  1. Nothing Inherently Wrong:  Unlike about half the commenters to the original post, I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with someone trying to sell their digg account.

  1. People Buy Consulting Firms:  I compare this a bit to someone selling a consulting firm.  What you are buying is basically a bit of a “brand”.  This happens in business all the time.  To extend the consulting firm analogy, the buyer has to ensure that he continues to invest in preserving the brand in order to maintain or increase it’s value.  Many of the commenters were arguing that it was “stupid” to buy an account, since the account would not have any value other than to the original poster.  I disagree. 

  1. People Buy Blogs Too:  This is also similar to buying somebody’s blog.  If the buyer can’t continue to create content that is appealing, then the value will erode.  Same will happen here.  Whoever wins has to continue to deliver the goods.  Otherwise, they didn’t get anything.

  1. Digg.com is trending upwards:  Digg.com as a site continues to grow in popularity and traffic.  With enough time/energy, I think many people can likely create a relatively “successful” account on digg.  But, it takes an investment.  I simply compared the investment of time it would take for me to do it myself, and figured there’s a price I’m wiling to pay to accelerate this process.  At some level, this is a pure speculation game. 

  1. I Like The Name:  I kind of like the account name “geekforlife”.  Had it been something like “pinkballetslippers”, I’d likely be less interested.  

  1. Price Is Not Exorbitant:  My current bid is not that high.  If the required bid amount was in the thousands of dollars, the curiosity and amusement value wouldn’t be high enough to warrant the cost.


That’s it.  Nothing particularly devious, analytical or insightful about it.  I’m just participating in the experiment.  It’s unlikely that I’ll have the winning bid (but if I do, I fully intend to make good on it and pay up).  If I do win, this won’t be the most irrational money I’ve ever spent (and likely wont’ be the last irrational thing I do).

There’s probably an entrepreneurial lesson and a tie-back to startups (the focus of this site) in here somewhere, but will save that for another day.

Note:  The bid itself has nothing to do with OnStartups.com.  It’s just that I happened to use an eBay account by the same name (as I could not think of anything more creative at the time).