Viagra anyone?

In 2000, the designers in our interactive department had a cool idea to create a video diary during some down time. This was right around the time that Web cams where getting popular. We purchased the URL www.afewseconds.com and Peter and Josh went about producing six five-minute experimental videos. Each week, a new day was posted. This was way before the blog, podcast, or video blog era.

It was a quirky experiment that garnered a lot of attention. By week three, the site was listed on MSN as a must see and www.coolhomepages.com, among other design sites, had featured it as a winning design. By week five, things came to a grinding halt when the servers we were hosting the site on crashed after 25,000 unique visitors tried to watch some rather large video files.

After exploring alternate hosting options, it proved to be too expensive to continue with. We took the site down, chalked it up to a good learning experience, and moved on.

Each year Peter has come to me and asked, “afewseconds is up for renewal, do you want me to renew or let it go?”

I just didn’t have the heart to let it go, so each year I coughed up the money to renew.

Fast forward four years later to May 2004, and Peter gets a call from an advertising agency in Minneapolis with a client interested in buying our beloved URL. The offer was US$300. We decide to play hard ball. Peter handled the negotiations and we ended up driving the price up to US$700.

The deal is done and we had close to a thousand bucks Canadian in hand. I considered this found money and asked the staff to decide what we should do with it. After much debate, we agreed to buy a barbecue, deck chairs, and enough food for a few gourmet Friday barbecues over the Summer.

Well, the money is gone, the barbecues were tasty, and everyone is happy. Right? Until today. Peter says, “Hey Tim, check this out.”

It turns out that the new owner of www.afewseconds.com is none other than international, mega drug company Pfizer. You know, the makers of Viagra, Benadryl, Cortizone, Celebrex, Listerine, Neosporin, Lubriderm, Zoloft, Rolaids, Sudafed, and Visine to name just a few.

On one hand, it was CDN$1,000 of found money. On the other hand, just how much had Pfizer authorized their agency to spend on securing this URL? I bet they are eating more than hamburgers!

Sigh… we’ll never know. Another hamburger anyone? No? How about Viagra?

Tim