What makes this story interesting, is the domain HotPotato.com was for sale at the TRAFFIC auction in Orlando in May 2008 with a reserve price of $10k-$25K.
(You should check out this YouTube Video of Kevin Wood who owned the domain HotPotato.com which was for sale at that TRAFFIC Show talking about the domain and its potential).
The domain obviously sold shortly thereafter probably around the higher end of the reserve range of $25K.
The site, Hotpotato.com just went live last November as well as their popular location based app which is something along the lines of Four Squared.
The site already received $1.4 million in financing last year.
Just to show you you just need a short memorable domain and a great development idea to hit it BIG.
From a low five figure domain purchase to an 8 figure sale in less than a couple of years, in the worst economy in 70 years, that’s pretty impressive stuff.
It’s been an exciting year at Hot Potato. Since going live last November, we’ve been inspired and energized by your reaction to the service and people’s appetite for socializing around activities and live events.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce that some of the features and thinking behind Hot Potato are going to be exposed to a much larger audience: We’ve been acquired by Facebook.
This wasn’t an easy decision, especially since we’ve built up a base of dedicated users. If Hot Potato was going to sell to anyone, Facebook was the natural choice. Facebook is still small, moves fast, provides a great supportive environment for people to be entrepreneurial, and most importantly, Facebook builds great products. We’re looking forward to joining their team.
We’ll soon be wrapping up operations at Hot Potato. We will no longer be accepting new user registrations, and we will be offering existing users a way to download their information from the site. To do this, go to: http://hotpotato.com/dashboard/history. In about a month, Hot Potato will close up shop and delete all user data. No user data or account information will be kept by Facebook. We will be sure to keep you posted on this process over the next few weeks.
Finally, we just want to say a big thank you — and give a big spuddie hug! — to all of you for sharing your events on Hot Potato and sending us thoughtful feedback that pushed us to think harder. It’s been real, friendos!
— The Hot Potato Team”””