Power.com is back, this time with an offering so stunningly basic yet mind-bogglingly expensive that we genuinely needed to verify if these guys weren’t simply taking the piss in a very elaborate way. But nope, they’re serious.
First, the background. Power.com was once a venture capital-backed social network aggregator that ended up bumping heads with Facebook and MySpace when they were the dominant social networking services. Lawsuits came and went (as did MySpace), and the domain power.com was put up for auction over a year ago.
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
Fast forward to today, and Power.com appears to be fully owned and operated by a company called Power Assist, Inc. They have a sparse press page, which points to this article about a company called @Identity, although I couldn’t figure out if and how they are affiliated.
Either way, the owners of the domain name today blasted out an email to people who’ve subscribed to notifications of further developments, introducing a new service called @Power.com. They referred to it as “the new standard in online identity and personal branding”. My interest was piqued.
Currently by invitation only (the time-limited invite code is PowerPersona – you’re welcome), @Power.com lets you purchase your very own @Power.com email address. Yes, purchase. This isn’t a free email service like Gmail or Hotmail.
I hand over the microphone to Power Assist:
“@Power.com is a premium email service designed to differentiate you from those overly crowded free email services that rarely have the best names available. Recall how frustrating it was when you tried to get yourname@gmail, Hotmail, Orkut, Yahoo etc. More often than not, you never got your first, second, third or umpteenth choice and had to settle for a less than stellar email address.
Today, more than ever, a professional online identity is one of your most valuable possessions. Discerning individuals recognize the importance of having a strong, memorable email address that they are proud to share with friends and business associates.”
Cool, so what is firstname.lastname@example.org going to cost me then? Oh, just a small $7,576.
Wait, what? (Also: “who inspires your Power?” Really?)
To be fair, this gives me a perpetual license to the email address, which means I can sell, lease, or trade it. Also included in the price is a one-time membership fee of $488, which gives me access to…well, the email address I guess.
I should also mention that the email would then be mine for 5 years, so it’s not like they’d be ripping me off completely here. Potential customers can also consider the (minimum) 1-year plan, which only sets one back $1,976, membership fee included.
And, also worth noting:
“@Power.com email is compatible with popular email clients like Gmail®, Yahoo!®, AOL®, Thunderbird, MS Outlook®, Entourage®, MS Live Mail/Hotmail® and others — as such, is compatible with iPhone®, Android®, and Windows Phone® clients.”
Good, because I was starting to think paying more than $7,500 wasn’t a bargain.
Clearly a no-brainer at that price, especially when you consider that Power Assist will only issue 250,000 email addresses worldwide, aside from pure numeric addresses. According to Power Assist, @Power.com email addresses will ‘instantly identify you as having arrived’. The company didn’t specify where.
Update: the plot thickens.