Leveraging Domain Names – John Legend, Kanye & Nabil Elderkin

John Legend tells Marc Maron on the WTF Podcast episode 1137 how a young Nabil Elderkin leveraged ‘squatting’ the KanyeWest.com domain into a career changing relationship. Meeting Nabil lead to John meeting his future wife Chrissy Teigen!

From wikipedia:

His big break came when he befriended the then relatively unknown rap artist Kanye West. Elderkin had heard a Kanye West mixtape and had tried to contact the rapper by looking up www.kanyewest.com. The website came up as unregistered but available for registration, so he bought the domain name on an impulse. Three weeks later an executive from Roc-A-Fella Records contacted Elderkin to tell him the label had just signed Kanye West to a multi-album deal and wanted to know how much he was asking for the domain name. Elderkin wasn’t interested in a payment for the domain and preferred to transfer the domain name provided he could meet the new artist and do a photoshoot with him, these images went on to be the artist’s first publicity photos.[1] John Legend also happened to be at the photoshoot which led to the two forming a relationship, and future video work together where Elderkin introduced Legend to his future wife, Chrissy Teigen.

Bruce Springstein / Goodwill Domaining

No doubt there is a lot of shady stuff that goes on around domain names. And a lot of hate generated as a result. Occasionally I’ll see a domain dropping or in the auctions I think should rightfully belong to someone and rather than let it fall back into the endless churn I’ll nab it and try to get it to its ‘rightful owner’.  I’ve also reached out to non-profits and startups with their namesake dropping to let them know it’s heading for auction or available to register. I call this ‘goodwill domaining’.

An extreme example was helping Sal Khan get KhanAcademy.com ( How We Got Sal (KhanAcademy.org) His Dot Com) and then subsequently helped clean up their brand with domains like ConAcademy.org and ConAcademy.com, How We Got Sal (KhanAcademy.org) ConAcademy.com

In this case I saw that BruceSpringstein.com was winding down in the Godaddy auctions. It had a bid against it and to keep track of it I placed a bid as well and was later surprised to see I’d won the domain. Looking for a channel by which to communicate I ran across this WIPO case for the domain BruceSpringsteen.com where Bruce and his legal team LOST a dispute against notorious (Canadian I’m embarrassed to say) cybersquatter Jeff Burgar. Bruce hosts his site at BruceSpringsteen.net as a result.

I researched the lawyer’s names and available info in the WIPO case and didn’t find an obvious way to connect. The WHOIS for BruceSpringsteen.net shows the domain is handled by MarkMonitor. I’ve sent a couple of emails their way but what usually leads to being contacted is forwarding the domain to a contact splash page where I’m clear about the domain being a gift and how to contact me.  I’ll forward the domain to this post. I encourage the domainers among you to keep an eye out for the opportunity to help out a non-profit, Mom & Pop business, or someone you’re a fan of. It might only cost you a few bucks and you know how much the right domain can mean to someone.

Naming and Domains – Rev.com’s CEO Jason Chicola with Shaan Puri on the My First Million Podcast

Shaan Puri
Jason Chicola

Excerpt from the ‘Getting a Billion People Working From Home‘ episode of the My First Million podcast with Shaan Puri. The entire episode (linked to above) is great but I wanted to focus on what Jason Chicola shares about naming his company and acquiring the domain.  He demonstrates some hard-earned wisdom in his approach.

Chicola spent $400k to acquire Rev.com (a huge part of their assets at the time).

  • Started off with a funky (animal + keyword) $12 Godaddy domain to make clear and specific their initial product offering. Knew it was temporary. “Spend no time at the beginning thinking about a name because the odds that your business is going to work are not super high”.
  • Only later when the business was working and they’d found a good product/market fit did he prioritize naming the company.
  • “It’s really a two part problem. One is picking a name that you love, and then figuring out can you get the domain name”.
  • Hired two domain brokers to research his name list.
  • Used Mechanical Turk to evaluate names…”What three words does this name evoke?”

New Names For Startups

tidied
Get it tidied up! Tidied.com
rsslabs
Probably keeping this one for a project but let’s get to work! RSSLabs.com
kymal
Fighting, wrestling, super hero, game. KYMAL! Kymal.com
forevely
Because some things are Forevly.com!
genomicly
Impressive bio-sci startup name! Genomicly.com
spot on time
On time! SpotOnTime.com
aloudly
Say it for me! Aloudly.com
feriss
AI, Virtual Assistant Feriss.com
fockus
Fockus.com
lepinotnoir
Restaurant, winery! LePinotNoir.com
pursly
Pursly.com
voiceovr
Voiceovr.com $2800 + Escrow fees.
luverly
Wouldn’t it be Luverly.com!
slumberly
Slumberly.com $3200 + Escrow fees.
kavender
Classy! Kavender.com

Start a Conversation

Did a domain you’re interested in bring you to my site?
Say Hello, and let’s talk about it!

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your project.
Most of my domains are priced in the lowish four figures.

 

First Names Make Great Brands!

For more information or to make an offer, email me.

alphonsos
Alphonsos.com

ridona
Ridona.com $2800 + Escrow fees

klarisa
Klarisa.com

jemalyn
Jemalyn.com

caryna
Caryna.com

timly
Timoy.com

engilbert
Engilbert.com

fantina
Fantina.com

jalien
Jalien.com

jedrick
Jedrick.com

bobana
Bobana.com

johnio
Johnio.com

kidada
Kidada.com

ridona
Edmona.com $2800 + Escrow fees

melisya
Melisya.com

presly
Presly.com

rodly
Rodly.com $2800 + Escrow fees

apprazer
Ruzwana.com

shouko
Shouko.com $4200 + Escrow fees

joberto
Joberto.com

ednan
Ednan.com

Most of my domains are priced low to mid 4 figures.
I’m up for creative deals.
Like the names but not your niche? I can find you a great name for a reasonable price.
Lots more elsewhere in the blog or email me!

Looking for some perspective? What is a First Name Domain Worth?

One Domain Can Change Everything | NameCorp

Excellent summary of all the advantages to owning and building on a great domain name.
Read the full article: One Domain Can Change Everything

A Domain Name Is An Asset.

Say that with me again, so you understand the difference between buying a service and an asset. A domain name is an asset.

  • A domain name is not a toy.
  • A domain name is not just a thing for the Interweb.
  • A domain name is not something everybody will automatically remember.

A domain name is a highly valuable piece of intellectual property that you need to focus on getting right.

  • A domain name is something your staff has to spell every day
  • A domain name is the face of your company email
  • A domain name is your home on the web.

Try To Get It Right The First Time!

Change Your Name
“If you have a US startup called X and you don’t have x.com, you should probably change your name.

The reason is not just that people can’t find you. For companies with mobile apps, especially, having the right domain name is not as critical as it used to be for getting users. The problem with not having the .com of your name is that it signals weakness.
–Paul Graham 8, 2015

What I Learned Spending $1.5 Million on Sumo.com
“This is crazy for me. I used to be so against buying expensive domain names!”
– Noah Kagan Feb 16, 2017

How (and Why) We Purchased the Snappa.com Domain for $40,000
Since Snappa.com was taken, we registered Snappa.io. I mean, all the hip new startups were using .io right?

Brutal Honesty: The Developer CEO & Our Journey
So, in the end, we went with a terrible domain name – “teamworkpm.net”. Could it be worse?
Captain Hindsight says we should have called it GetTeamwork.com
The upgrade to Teamwork.com cost them $675k

How to Name Your Startup
“The domain name doesn’t matter.”
My current startup is named Buffer, but the domain name is bufferapp.com
— Written by Joel Gascoigne Jan 17, 2014
We acquired Buffer.com: Here is how and why we did it

(At a cost of what’s estimated to be $600k)
– Rodolphe DutelMar 10, 2015

There’s A Domain For That – Startup Domains For Sale

A selection of names acquired over the last six months. Hundreds of hours pouring over domain drop lists and navigating the auction sites so that you don’t have to. For more information or to make an offer, email me (If you don’t hear back it slipped into the spam folder – please try again).
More great names here and here! Contact form, or…

 

expensly
Expenses! Expensly.com!

poddly
Poddly.com!

onyourmarket
OnYourMarket.com!

mynts
Got Mynts? Mynts.com!

todotodone
Get it done! ToDoToDone.com!

uddha
Calm, Headspace, Yoga! uddha.com!

txt2.com
We’re tired of apps. Text it to me! txt2.com

baconly
Does your company evoke the awesomeness of bacon? Baconly.com

malmu
The spirit of Scandanavia! Malmu.com

trppy.com
What a trip! Trppy.com

alaysia
The spirit of the East! Alaysia.com

MindTo
#BCI I just got my MindTo.com

PencilThisIn
Scheduling? Booking? PencilThisIn.com

Owlyn
Soft & Wise,  Owlyn.com

waterMyFlowers.com
Does your app WaterMyFlowers.com?

Enobu
Cute! Enobu.com

joque
Stylishly jock? Joque.com

whoevr
Hang out in my hologram with Whoevr.com

submixer
We are SUBMIXER.com!

vrcorder
The all-seeing VR recorder VRcorder.com

apprazer
Does your app appraise? Apprazer.com

disbot
Don’t mess with the Disbot.com

epayd
I just got epayd.com!

stuffidpayfor
Are you the reverse Ebay? StuffIdPayFor.com

pubto
Distributed publishing? PubTo.com!

updit
Level up! Updit.com

votified
Do make the web votable? Votified.com

phrum
Where’d you get it? Phrum.com!

Most of my domains are priced low to mid 4 figures.
I’m up for creative deals.
Like the names but not your niche? I can find you a great name for a reasonable price.
Lots more elsewhere in the blog or email me!