According to an article in TechCrunch this afternoon, “Richard Socher, former chief scientist at Salesforce,” is looking to take on Google with a new search engine. To me, the most interesting aspect of this article was the domain name that was chosen for this new brand: You.com.
In doing some research about the You.com domain name, it appears that there is a connection with Salesforce Founder and CEO Marc Benioff. Historical Whois records at DomainTools show Mr. Benioff was listed as the registrant of the You.com domain name several years ago. The domain name has been registered under Whois privacy for a number of years, so it is unclear whether he is currently the registrant.
I did a Google search to see if I could learn more about Mr. Benioff and You.com, and I found a New York Post article from when Mr. Benioff and his wife Lynne Benioff acquired Time magazine:
“The name of the company he formed to make the Time acquisition does not appear to have much staying power as the permanent new moniker of the corporation. It was dubbed: You.com Global LLC.”
A search of Archive.org shows that You.com has not been used very much over the years.
According to the TechCrunch article, Mr. Benioff is backing You.com in some capacity, although details about his involvement were not shared beyond this:
“Socher said he has funding and a team together working actively on the product, but wouldn’t share how much or how many employees at this point. He did say that Benioff and venture capitalist Jim Breyer are primary backers and he would have more information to share in the coming months.”
It will be interesting to see if You.com achieves its goal and becomes a competitor to Google. It’s pretty clear that they have a great domain name already.