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January 19, 2005

Just in case there's any question where I come down on this matter: I'll take 43 Folders over 43 Things any day of the week. For one thing, the 43 in 43 Folders actually means something, whereas the 43 in 43 Things is a number chosen allegedly at random that just happens to muddy an existing, successful brand. Jerks.

<=> | January 19, 2005


What exactly is being diluted? I think they fit together quite nicely in my GTD bookmarks folder.

The mark of 43 is as good a number as any to hang a theme on. Both sets of tools are related to each other. 43folders provides theory, 43things provides practise. Both are public services, not for-profit sites.

Maybe i am missing some background information that has raised your hackles, but i don't understand your vehemance. I am glad both sites are in my life. Kind of expected a little more insight and looking beyond names from you, jjg.

Posted by: adam | Jan 20, 2005 1:02:26 PM

Names matter, and anybody launching a new product, for profit or not, has a responsibility to choose a name carefully. No one involved with 43 Things has suggested that the site was inspired by or conceptually linked to 43 Folders. They won't even admit that there is a legitimate potential for confusion between the sites. It is, at best, disingenuous and a pretty poor way to behave.

Posted by: jjg | Jan 20, 2005 2:10:40 PM

Interesting to get a lecture on how to behave from a guy calling us "Jerks" without having met us, and apparently without having the full story. This looks like one of those cases where your actions reflect more on you, Jesse, than on your target!

I wrote to Merlin in November to make sure he knew who was behind 43 Things and how he could get in touch if he had any concerns. I also wanted to make sure he knew we were working on other 43 prefixed projects. He responded saying there was plenty of room in the "43 vertical" for everybody and thanked me for being "classy" in the way we handled communicating with him. Contrast that sort of professional exchange to the one you've put here on your blog.

No one has done any naming here that "allegedly" or "just happens" to move in on Merlin's turf. The folks at and did the same thing as us at We all dared to build businesses and register urls with 43 in the name before your pal Merlin registered 43folders. None of these sites are conceptually linked to 43folders other than coincidentally - because they were all established prior to 43 folders.

Thanks for the salient points on good conduct and the importance of naming - it's always valuable to learn from a professional "information architect". But next time you ought to get your information straight before you start architecting untruths and calling people names.

P.S. is a commercial site. Just not a very big one yet!

Posted by: Josh Petersen | Jan 20, 2005 7:40:24 PM

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