Origin Story

I was a professional musician living in LA. Things were, shall we say, ‘slow’. Napster and other music ‘sharing’ sites had come online right about the same time everyone had finished upgrading their vinyl records to CD. The giant record industry that had kept me employed, more or less, was dying! I was getting by with a couple months of road work each year and a side hustle teaching. When one day I get an email from a stranger wanting to buy one of the three domain names I owned, HelloCleveland.com. Why you might ask did I own HelloCleveland.com? Perhaps you’re not a devoted fan of Spinal Tap… but I was! This was going to be the place where I posted odd and funny bits of tour videos. Then I’d invite my friends to do the same. But video on the web was still clunky. Also, though my developer chops were coming along, I wasn’t there yet.

But I loved this domain and really didn’t want to part with it. He offered me $6k…
Later, while he was walking me through the transaction he shared why he wanted it… He had an entire network of HelloCity domain names. He was making a lot of money running ads against his network. But he didn’t have Cleveland, which was his home town! It also had sentimental value! He was happy to get it, I was happy for the cash – and so began my obsession with domain names.

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