What does $10 Million get you for a domain name? The answer lies behind Kosovo warlords, a forged signature, mobsters, and a ponzi scheme.
Years after purchasing the domain for this site I realize the mistake I had made. At the time I believed I was creating an eponymous masterpiece of a brand like Goldman Sachs, Dell, or KKR. It took several years for me to understand the major issues with my domain choice. Verbally communicating the name did not always result in a potential client having the ability to find the domain. This is a key element for an online business. At the end of the day I paid $10 for the initial purchase and continue to pay about that for renewal, not a very costly mistake.
Upon my decision to pivot into the crowdfunding space I focused on finding the perfect domain name. I used tools to help identify available domains, like, Bust A Name, as well as domains that were and were not actively being sold. I reached out to current owners of the domains I had identified as good matches, but the average asking price was ten thousand dollars. The domain that caught my attention was fund.com. According to the SEC, the domain had been purchased for an astounding $9,999,950. It was mysteriously not being used, yet was previously owned by a publicly traded firm, ticker FNDM. I reached out to the owner listed on Whois records and was told he no longer had association with the firm. This gave me hope as maybe it was abandoned. I then reached out to everyone that had ever been written about being associated with the firm and everyone I called had the same response, no further association with abrupt conversation endings. I became infatuated with acquiring this domain as it was incredibly valuable but not being used. The more I dug to try to attain it the more interesting the chase became. As I uncovered more I realized the people I had been reaching out to were associated with Kosovo warlords, mobsters, and ponzi schemes according to Business Insider.
After 2 months of outreach and pondering I selected FundWisdom.com, for $10. Spending as much time and effort on the search was a waste. I believe in the importance of reaching out to as many professionals to provide input on making the decision, but the process became a distraction from building our core business. This process can be accomplished much more efficiently through crowdsourcing. Sites like CrowdSpring at $299 allow the ability to reach a vast set of creatives that can help build a lasting brand name. Paying $10 million for a domain name resulted in the dissapearnce of a publicly traded firm. My advice, be efficient and frugal with your selection process some of the best names carry no meaning and cost less than $10.
Authored by Brian Thopsey of Fund Wisdom.