Hooked on Fonics, and the Tragedy of Domain Name Driven Business Naming

I have long thought that it was slightly ironic that some of the most successful tech companies of our generation have been created around misspelled names. The reason for this of course, is due to limited amount of English words that can be used in a domain name, and the continued belief that if your company does not have a .com domain name then you may as well close shop right away.

I am guilty of this myself of course, since Statusy.co is a made up name that is a misspelling of “status” (and I did not even have the benefit of snagging a .com).

I wanted to bring special attention to this gem.


fonics.co.uk is a startup that is supposed to help kids learn how to read through the use of phonics. I find it utterly ironic that even in the world of education technology which is arguably the last bastion of hope for an educated future society, there is yet another misspelled name for a company.

UbuTab Case Study: How to be Taken Seriously

I was taking a look at the ubutab which is supposedly an upcoming Ubuntu/Android tablet that failed to meet its indegogo campaign goal last month. A couple of things about this site just make me sad. I see a lot of shady businesses with no SSL during checkout, no real email address, and a lazy themes for their site all the time. I am not sure if they are just lazy, don’t care, or a combination of both.

This post is really a PSA. The 1990’s are over. People expect a higher level of quality in your product, your website, and your brand. If you are launching a new product here are a few tips to be taken seriously.

Use a Real Email Address

Use an Email Address at your own domain. It is not difficult to have a custom domain for your email address. Gandi gives them away for free when you purchase a domain. Having a custom domain instead of free email makes your company seem more legitimate.
Using Gmail as a Company

Don’t Send Customers to Paypal

Use a payment processing system or at least something like stripe that it integrated to your website instead of redirecting users to a paypal checkout page that sends their payment to a company that has a different name from your own. This is just silly.

Paypal Checkout Screen

I would love to have a tablet that runs Ubuntu. But this entire operation just screams scam to me. It will be interesting to see if they actually release a product later on this year.


It looks like the actual site was taken down. You can see an archive of the site here.