After six-months of work Xelot is almost ready for primetime. If you don’t know what Xelot is make sure to read my post from a few weeks ago – Xelot.com – Find Out What Your Website Is Really Worth. It has been a blast putting-together our first software launch and I thought I’d share a little of the adventure with all of you. No, this post doesn’t really have much to do with Domaining…but remember I am much more interested in creating online companies on domain names than emailing and calling people trying to sell undeveloped names.
So what’s it like coming-up with an algorithm? Well first I thought I’d share the secret to Xelot’s success – it’s not just me! That’s right, we have a developer working on the front-end code and the secret sauce, the algorithm that makes it all happen has been designed by Daina and myself. Since both of us have a background in computer programming and algorithm design it has been unbelievably fun to put our heads together and create something completely unique.
When I was getting my Masters degree and spending just about 12-14 hours a day coding and writing algorithms I found myself getting bored quite easily. We were writing code that we knew how to write. Yes it was challenging, but it had been done before. Coming-up with an algorithm completely from scratch is hard but since Daina and I both are used to thinking about algorithms and code together I think you’ll all be impressed with what we’ve come-up with.
Okay, so back to my original question that I was going to answer for all of you – what’s it like coming-up with an algorithm?
Coming-up with an algorithm is a bit like a creating a mathematical formula…sounds geeky? It is, that’s why the title of this post included “Why I’m still a huge geek!” In computer science you learn the concept of divide and conquer – taking a big problem and dividing it into many smaller problems. That’s exactly what we’ve done and given the complexity of this algorithm it really takes two minds to do it!
We started with our main goal – estimate the sale price of a website. From there we broke down the zillions of qualities that contribute to the value of a site, pagerank, alexa rank, revenue, traffic, etc. the list goes on and on and no I’m not worried about anyone stealing my algorithm – it’s damn hard to come-up with! The great thing about working together with Daina on this is that we both keep coming-up with new criteria and cool ways to tune the algorithm and make it more accurate.
Of course with an estimation algorithm you still end-up with an estimate, however it’s all the little things you can tweak and add that improve the estimates dramatically. The reason why most people shy-away from making an algorithm is because they look at it as one big problem rather than many smaller problems.
So I said I wasn’t going to talk about Domaining…but I just can’t help myself. The way you think about an algorithm is very similar to how you might want to think about your domain portfolio. So many Domainers try to solve the entire problem all at once, they want to develop every single domain in their portfolio rather than dividing their portfolio into sections and only developing those that make sense. If we tried to code this algorithm without breaking it into components the quality level would drop, just as it does when you try to find one solution for all of your domains.
I’m hoping to get the beta out to all the wonderful folks that have signed-up for the beta but it still may have to wait until the last week in February or the first week in March. With programming it’s hard to give an exact deadline, it really is done when it’s done! Yes I’m still buying .com’s off of drops, still selling names, still developing names, but most of my free time now is spent thinking outside of the box and creating an algorithm that hopefully will make a major impact. So if you’ve got a little inner-geek inside you don’t forget to let it out every now and then, you’ll be surprised what you can do!
Have a great Friday night everyone and if you’d like to stay up-to-date with everything Xelot just visit our site and become a fan or sign-up for our stay-informed list.