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.

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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.


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…


Expenses! Expensly.com!



Got Mynts? Mynts.com!

Get it done! ToDoToDone.com!

Calm, Headspace, Yoga! uddha.com!

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

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

The spirit of Scandanavia! Malmu.com

What a trip! Trppy.com

The spirit of the East! Alaysia.com

#BCI I just got my MindTo.com

Scheduling? Booking? PencilThisIn.com

Soft & Wise,  Owlyn.com

Does your app WaterMyFlowers.com?

Cute! Enobu.com

Stylishly jock? Joque.com

Hang out in my hologram with Whoevr.com

We are SUBMIXER.com!

The all-seeing VR recorder VRcorder.com

Does your app appraise? Apprazer.com

Don’t mess with the Disbot.com

I just got epayd.com!

Are you the reverse Ebay? StuffIdPayFor.com

Distributed publishing? PubTo.com!

Level up! Updit.com

Do make the web votable? Votified.com

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!

Moz on Domains, Uniregistry Sales, Myth of the Available Domain Name

Rand Fishkin, SEO expert-founder of Moz.com, reviewed choosing a domain name recently. If you’re about to launch a company the video provides an excellent approach to finding the right domain. Rand doesn’t discuss the costs of his various examples. You can bet, for example that Gusto.com cost ZenPayroll an easy quarter million when they rebranded last year (2015).

Here’s the list of acceptable domains that Rand comes up with in the video. For fun, lets have a look at what it might take to get one of these.
PastaLabs.com is taken. In fact it’s registered to Moz! It’s parked using Enom DNS servers.  PastaLab.com is owned by someone in Korea.
LandOfNoodles.com Congratulations, LandOfNoodles.com is available for registration fee! 7/26/16
MyPasta.com Is owned by the Campbell Soup company and forwards to Prego.com
PastaScience.com Hey, another Moz registration! About a year old. Again, parked with ENOM.
ThePenneIsMightier.com Registered to someone in LA who, considering they also have penneismightier.com, is probably starting a business.
PastaPerfected.com Hmm, not in the Whois database, but also not available? In transition?  PastaPerfect.com has a private registration and doesn’t resolve.
Gusto.com Discussed above. Can’t get anywhere near Gusto except for obscure new TLDs.
HandCut.com Forwards to a crystal glass company.

Well, we found one at least! Certainly it’s pronounceable. Rand liked this one. I’m not crazy about it.
But the point wasn’t to find a great domain, it was to demonstrate what to look for.

1) Make it brandable.
2) Make it pronounceable.
3) Make it as short as you possibly can, but no shorter.
4) Bias to .com.
5) Avoid names that infringe on another company or another organization’s existing trademark or could be confused with that trademark.
6) Make the domain name instantly intuitive.
7) Use broad keywords when sensible, but don’t stress keyword inclusion.
8) If your name isn’t available, it’s okay to append or modify it.

Uniregistry recently shared a list of domains and prices they sold over the last year or so for a total of $42 Million! Namebio published the list on their blog.

Recent unpublished comments to this blog remind me that a lot of people hate anyone who owns a domain they’re not using (let alone companies like Uniregistry that hold millions). These people are confused and this excellent article from Bill Sweetman might help them get clarity. Taken: The Myth of Domain Name Unavailability

Psyching Out a Domain Owner, and What Kevin Paid for Oink

Jason Goldberg is the founder and CEO of FAB. In this excerpt from an interview with Kevin Rose, Jason tells us how he was able to get Fab.com for a ‘low six figures’ and Kevin tells us what he paid for Oink.com.
[Update 6/16/17 From DNGeek.com]

  • Virtual Piggy Rebrands As Oink – Oink.com
    Virtual Piggy, a payments service aimed at minors rebranded as Oink in late 2013 after buying the domain, trademarks, and social marks from Kevin Rose for $57,500. Founder and CEO Jo Webber told TechCrunch that the reason was strategic:  “Piggy” sounded too infantile but “Oink” lets them retain some of the branding association with piggy banks while sounding more punchy in a way that will resonate better with the older end of the youth market — or so the company believes.

Click arrow to play audio. Psyching Out a Domain Horder
Update 12/6/16 Pepo, Jason Goldberg’s social media app, raises $2.35M from his old Fab.com backers

Brandable Domain Names – There’s A Domain For That!

For more information or to make an offer please email me.  More great names here!
(Where a Twitter handle is mentioned, I’m happy to transfer it to you for free at the conclusion of a domain sale.)
Contact form, or email me…

FixIt.Tv @FixItTv
Read it together! GroupReads.com @GroupReads


I ‘Swipd’ it! Swipd.com @Swipd

Yowio.com @Yowio

SolarPowder.com @SolarPowderCom

Osoyo.com @OsoyoCom

Do you use it? iuzit.com @iuzit

Killer Web App
KillerWebApp.com @KillerWebApp


NFC Coupons
NFCcoupons.com @NFCcoupons
Five letters, 14 years old, exact-match Twitter. Stokt.com I’m @stokt



Lucid Streaming
LucidStreaming.com @LucidStreaming

Is your startup a Japan related app? @appanese

iSpy.Tv @iSpy_Tv

NFC Systems
Nice, corporate-quality near field communication domain. @NFCSystems

Oh, like an app for pets? appets.com @appets

Send them a HeyTo! @HeyToCom $4000

Mobile sharing app? OneTapp.com @OneTapp

Type? Fonts? Typly.com @Typly

Louzy.com How was the service? @LouzyCom $2800

Yayno.com Yay, or no? Something to do with making a choice. @YAYNO

Affly.com Affiliate related company? @AfflyCom

Charging station startup? iChrg.com @iChrgCom

Filterly.com Aggregating and filtering?

Social bar-hopping app? Bar-hopping limousine service? A band?

Giving it away? @GivlyCom


Calories? Burning Man? Burnly.com @BurnlyCom

Share My Bike
Also ShareMyBicycle.com @ShareMyBike

Did your company discover Hapium? @Hapium

Down and out? Send them a HugTo! @HugToCom $1200

Building an SaaS that matches coders and founders? CodeFounder.com @Code_Founder

Most of these domains are priced low to mid 4 figures.
Need a domain to run a market test? I’ll point the DNS to your test if you’ll share the data.
Are these domains an appropriate quality/price point, but not in your vertical? I can find you a domain.
Lots more elsewhere in the blog or email me!

FixIt.Tv Swipd.com iuzit.com KillerWebApp.com WeedApp.com Burnly.com NFCCoupons.com Stokt.com HugTo.com LucidStreaming.com Appanese.com NFCSystems.com Appets.com HeyTo.com OneTapp.com Typly.com Louzy.com Yayno.com Affly.com iChrg.com Filterly.com Bendr.com Givly.com Fukrz.com ShareMyBike.com Hapium.com LePetitOiseau.com  GetLA.com CodeFounder.com iSpy.Tv GroupReads.com

Why So Quiet?

I’m still here. Still have a few hundred what I feel are awesome names for sale. Others I’m getting closer to being able to develop myself. I sell a handful a year. Some of the names on this blog have sold. I keep hoping one will turn into a Unicorn. But a few things have happened that have caused me to pull energy out of domaining.

I have absolutely no interest in the new gtlds. None.
It seems to me the market has gotten a lot tighter over the last year. It’s harder and harder to pick up a decent dot com using my previous methods. The wholesale prices I’m seeing being paid for crap domains makes me feel like a handful of players with deep pockets and clever bots are intent in owning the entire domain space (though Chinese domain investors are certainly adding to the froth).
But what led me to cut back drastically on my domaining is that Godaddy quit displaying closing prices on domains in my Watching List!  It started in March. A Godaddy Twitter response said it was due to the ‘quiet period’ around the IPO. Then the IPO ended.

If I spend an hour combing through thousands of domains to find a handful that are interesting, shouldn’t the platform reward me by allowing me to confirm my hunches? Or conversely, If Godaddy doesn’t value my time on their platform enough to even share price data on the domains I decide to watch, what does it say about their attitude towards me, their loyal customer?

I would guess that a new manager took over the auctions at Godaddy after the IPO and decided that too many domains were slipping through their fingers for $12. And so decided to pressure users to make bids in order to see results. That’s what it felt like and that’s low!
And then they bought Afternic! Plunging head first into the domain resale business. Yuck!
How long do you think it will be before they start warehousing drops and putting premium pricing on those?

Godaddy was the last bastion of the fair shake for the little guy when it came to domains. But the lure of  just a little more profit seems to have dragged them into the slime with all the rest.