Development is the way to go for premium domain names if your company has the time and/or inclination to develop. There are many great development options, as I have mentioned several times on this blog, some of which can be found under the “Sponsors” title to the right. However, I would evaluate the domain names you want to develop and stick with developing the best of the bunch.
Don’t waste your time or money developing brandable or cute domain names, with the * in the title being *unless you have a very unique product, service, or information that you can offer visitors that they won’t find elsewhere. Development is hard work, and the domain name is the primary key to success if you don’t bring something unique to the table. There are plenty of unique sounding websites out there, but just about all offer something that helps to overcome the domain name.
A developed premium domain name can help the owner get the website indexed in the search engines, increasing traffic and revenue. It can also help prevent overreaching companies from trying to claim bad faith due to non-use or even parking. However, I don’t think building an average website on an average or below average domain name will be beneficial – aside from good practice with your development skills.
As other developers can attest, good development is difficult work and it is time consuming. Stick to developing and growing your best domain names, and you won’t get stuck in neutral.
I bolded one of the most imporant parts because some people missed a MAJOR point of my post. Yes, YouTube.com and De.licio.us are dumb domain names. HOWEVER, they have unique services to compensate for the poor domain name. I repeat, go ahead and devlop your dumb domain names if you have a killer idea that will be able to overcome it. I just don’t think you should build a mini site on a crap domain name.
Case in point, I am building a mini site on BerkeleyHeights.com – a town in NJ. I wouldn’t waste time or money building a site on BestBerkeleyHeightsSite.com.