June 16, 2007

Getting Paid by the Word

Three years ago as I was drifting off to sleep, I came up with the perfect new name for a long term project of mine, PLANalyst, which I wrote in HyperCard in the early 90s. For some time I've been wanting to revive it as an online application and hosting site for user-contributed lesson plans. Someone else had since trademarked PLANalyst for another product, so a new name was needed. My new name was perfect and the next morning I registered the .com, .net, .org domains, and then kept renewing them while waiting for the time to put the site together.

But then, last week, an email came out of the blue from a startup company that wanted to buy the domains. They said it was exactly the right word for their forthcoming super secret product. I refused at first, since the domain name was also perfect for my updated PLANalyst site, but everyone has their price. We went back and forth a bit and settled on $5500. The check arrived today.

When I was a kid, I dreamed of writing short stories for science fiction magazines. They paid 5 to 10 cents a word in those days, so a story might end up netting a few hundred. Big bucks to a downtown poor kid. And today, I've gotten paid much more handsomely for just one word. Nice work if you can get it. Time to think up a few new words.

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