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The Almighty Buck

$7.5m for Domain Name 118

Grey writes "The Age has a report that a Houston entrepreneur sold the name "business.com" for US$7.5 million. " Sheesh - I thought the Altavista domain name sale was really high. I think it's time for to start auctioning off such great names as Cowboyneal.net, CmdrTaco, and, of course, hemos.net. Do I hear 1 billion? *grin*
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$7.5m for Domain Name

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  • We do already have a product (or a prototype, at least) before the (re-)launch of our website. The reason is secrecy. The cumulative IQ of an internet start-up can be measured by how much they give away of their trade secrets on their website. That's why I did a rm * in that directory after I figured that out (or did I get it all wrong?). We got screwed once and I'll do everything to prevent this from happening again. The issue here is about BRANDING. We already have a working prototype ready, it just deserves a better name that it has now. It's not about taking away a word or derivation from that word from the community that owns it (that would be, the community of people who speak english, for instance) and selling it for a profit. I am currently switching hosting companies and my personal domain name (last name + .com, it's of advantage to have a somewhat unique last name, hehe) points into nirvana. What you need, however, is a DNS record to make NSI happy.
  • I registered inomi.com basically because a friend of mine and I thought "Infinite Number Of Monkeys Incorporated" was a great name for a software consulting business, and once I had some cash to register a domain, I went ahead and did it - more for the hell of it than for any entreprenurial means. Admittedly, there's only a placeholder page on the site (my time is presently taken up by work, my wife and Nocturne), but I've recieved several e-mails asking about selling the site name. One of them was from one of those "Corporate Identity" companies who basically puts Scrabble pieces in a food processor and charges clients $100k for their work ("Agilent", anyone?). I guess I'm in the wrong line of work...
  • by queef ( 39232 )
    The guy is pretty lucky to get a domain that he can make that much money on. Judging from domain name auctions on Ebay, success in selling a domain name is pretty rare (of course, when you set your minimal bid to $5,000,000US on a lame domain, prepare to keep it for a while. :).
  • I strenuously object to the use of the term "entrepreneur" to refer to domain name brokers.

    Entrepreneurs work for their success. They organize, they manage, and they assume the risk of building a profitable business. They rely on intelligence and a solid work ethic to be successful.

    They do not exploit the rules of a flawed system to make a quick buck.
    Those who do are more properly referred to as hucksters, shysters, or carpetbaggers.
  • Registrant:
    D Blow Inc (EBULLSHIT-DOM)
    PO Box 342
    Lack, NY 14218
    US

    Domain Name: EBULLSHIT.COM
    [..]
    Record last updated on 12-May-1999.
    Record created on 02-Mar-1999.

    I wonder how much it will be worth in a few years!
  • you're reading too much into this... think @aol.com and the Me Too! mentality...
  • by Ralph Bearpark ( 2819 ) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @06:12AM (#1490650) Homepage
    Only stupid businessmen would ever enter such an loosely defined address as www.business.com. Businessmen have money. Stupid businessmen can easily have their money removed from them. Stupid businessmen are therefore a very profitable market. Thus www.business.com is well worth $7.5m.

    QED

    Regards, Ralph.
  • I've tried to sell wicker.com to pier 1 for years and they never bite. Why not? It's a good choice for them.

    Seriously folks, I've been hearing these ads for some mobile phone service on the radio for the past few days and I can't remember the URL from the parking lot to my office. Is it simplywireless.com? simplewireless.com? I don't know, maybe if it was pudgefacker.com I'd laugh and remember it.

    BTW don't reply with the domain name, it's simplymobile.com, I think.

  • The market for domain names is pretty interesting. You hear about these sales for fabulous amounts of money, but for the most part it seems to be all sellers and no buyers.

    I have one worthwhile domain name, amazing.com. The GreatDomains.com valuation page claims it's worth "between $ 50,000 and $ 1 million". At the same time, it sure looks to me like most of the domains on there sit for a long time without a single offer. Once someone gets interested, they hold an auction and get the big bucks; but the majority of name holders get basically ignored by the company, as far as I can tell. Personally, I've never received an offer (directly, without their help) over circa $ 10k, which probably doesn't even represent the value (for me, anyway) of my present search engine positions.

    Truth to tell, I'm really ambivalent about selling. I like having the name. It's certainly prestigous. I don't have to tell people how to spell it. I like to think I've built a "personal brand" around the name that a lot of people enjoy. At the same time, if it could give me the kind of money that would change my life ... I'd probably sell.

    Any thoughts about how to get the best possible price for my name? Anyone been through the procedure of selling a name for serious money?

    D

    ----
  • No way. Maybe business.com might not do really well, but many people underestimate the importance of a good name. Marketing is incredibly important and a lot of /.ers don't realize this. Look at all the furor on another /. thread about Windows CE -> Windows Powered (or whatever it is). /.ers think it's a whole lot of antics, when it really isn't. Marketing is almost as important as the actual product.

    You think Absolut is good vodka? Is Banana Republic better clothing than the GAP? Is a Lexus better than an Infinitiy? It's all in the marketing ...

  • from my not-so-knowledgeable point of view.. I think that could work. that was basically what I was thinking. GMTA.
  • Heh, I'm surprised they didn't buy www.eBusiness.com, that would have guaranteed them at least another 10 million in venture capital.
  • you have to produce a letterhead to prove that that's your company's name.

    In Australia you actually have to have registered a company name with the appropriate authority.
  • buying up the remainder of the three-letter domains in the UK.

    http://www.3la.org [3la.org] lists all the available three letter domains in .com .net .org
  • "It's so darned general, it almost makes you think it could be a search engine for business related sites"

    That's actually a pretty good idea. Run a business directory, list all (or as many as you can) businesses, break 'em down into categories, do reviews, etc. Charge a buck to register as a business and have a subscription-based thing for the customer (two or three bucks for all of the juicy details of all businesses in a certain category), or do a charge-per-look kind of a thing (a quarter per business search).

    While I understand that all of the information is already free and readily avaliable to the public, I think people might pay for the convenience of having it all in one place.

    The customer is happy because they can dig up dirt on competetors, find the exact, perfect business to suit their needs, and do this faster than going to the BBB with more info than the yellow pages can provide. The business is happy because, hey, cheap advertising.

    Would this work, or have I just had too much crack this morning?

    Jedi Hacker (Apprentice) and Code Poet
  • So true...So true...



  • Short: sure. Easily memorizable: sure.

    In some way related to what you find on the website: no. Amazon. Ebay. Yahoo. Slashdot.
  • In Australia, I gather I would be up the creek.

    In Australia, to have registered panda.com.au in the first place, it would have had to have been a registered business name - ie you would have had to be Panda Computing. (Actually, Panda Video Productions has panda.com.au). You can't actually even register a domain with a trademark - a lot of companies who want a marking campaign based around www.mynewestproduct.com.au have had to go an register a shelf business name "MyNewestProduct Pty Ltd".

    I believe .net.au and .org.au are somewhat easier to get - Internet Names Australia [ina.com.au] handles .com.au registrations - their policy is here [ina.com.au]. See www.aunic.net [aunic.net] for the others.

    I'm not sure about what happens if you actually register someone else's trademark - or if someone's newly registered trademark intersects with your name.
  • ::Seriously, I really don't see anything wrong with cybersquatting; someone is smart enough to pick up a commodity at a low price and sell it at a higher price.::

    Usually stifling the creativity of someone who can make better use of that name in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

    Of course, there are also enough complete idiots to go around [xarph.net].

    -Lx?
  • The US has a law thats purpose is to stop companies from over charging on government deals. Basically it says when you do business with the government, the most profit you can make on is 25%. If your costs go down and you don't rebate the government, then you can loose big time. There used to be a warning about this on the NASA SBIR [nasa.gov] program page but I can't find it in the current docs (the old ones are on line and searchable as well). If this law applies to licenses (which I think it does), then it looks like out of this 7.5mil, about 5.625mil should go back to the NSF.
  • How about .adu for adult or .cum for well, you know? The only way to get more url's is to get rid of the Internic monopoly. Personally, I would love to see adult sites move thier names over to a domain that they can all use. Filtering would be easier, companies could block it with proxy servers, and I could remember names better. I think that .xxx is a little too cliche but you do have a point.
  • Think about it, there is only one reason to buy these domain names:

    Thousands of normal people are using the net for the first time every day, they don't know a thing about search engines and are told to type the name of the place they wish to visit in that little white box. Many of them try a common English word, with '.com' at the end.

    And most of the English speakers in the world still haven't used the Web even once!
    www.business.com and several other names are one of the hottest investments, because they will definitely increase in value, and really fast.
    www.wallstreet.com sold for $1 million, and for the same reasons.
  • I suggest that we extend the alphabet beyond the usual 26 characters and add a few kanji characters every week to satisfy the demand in names.
  • No, I don't agree; "business.com" is too generic; linux, lego and sloppylargetitties are a little more specific, eh?

    and in the grand scheme of things, it probably would be more helpful to the world to make your domain name more relevant. I mean.. www.business.com can mean any business in the world. A lot of things qualify as being businesses, so I'm wondering where they're expecting this domain to take them. It's so darned general, it almost makes you think it could be a search engine for business related sites (i.e. sites that sell stuff/are there to make money, because even though there are tons of them, there are as many or more sites that aren't there to make money or sell stuff).

    so, imho, i think they're a big loopy for paying $7.5 million dollars for it. geez!
  • This site has to be a joke. Needless to say it sorta reminds me of the "I Kiss You" site with all the careless mispellings.

    The owner is selling the mispelled site for $150k, I doubt that anyone would sign a cashier check for that domain.

    Here's the WHOIS for buisness.com

    Registrant:
    MidNet Ireland (BUISNESS2-DOM)
    5 Bridge Street
    Tullamore, Offaly
    ie

    Domain Name: BUISNESS.COM

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:Keith, York (YK156) keith@MIDNET.IE
    +353 506 22292 (FAX) +353 506 22899

    Billing Contact:
    Finlay-Bryan, Philip (PF635) philip@MIDNET.IE
    +353 506 22292 (FAX) +353 506 22899

    Record last updated on 23-Sep-1997.
    Record created on 07-Jun-1997.
    Database last updated on 30-Nov-1999 13:00:46 EST.

    Domain servers in listed order:

    RUSTY.MIDNET.IE 194.125.60.15
    SIGGI.MIDNET.IE 194.125.60.2

  • It seems just a little odd to me that a "name" should carry this much weight. I guess in a way, it is similar to the three traditionally most important things in business: location, location and location. I suppose to some (at least eCompanies) this could be considered the "corner store on the busiest street in the world" but, $7.5 million? As the Internet continues to grow and become more of a standard way of doing business, how important will this "name" be? Is it important now? It seems to me that this is in line with the tremendous over-valuation of many new Internet companies. If a company has a .com in it's name BAM! here's $1 billion in market capital. Another instance of this hysteria is Microsoft's purchase of Hotmail. I forget the enormous amount they paid for it, but I remember thinking it was waaaaaay to much. I mean FREE email? Wooo-hooo! It's gonna take a lot of banner ads to pay that off. It will probably be quite sometime (if ever) before they can recoup that investment or maybe, just maybe, they did it for a tax write-off. I know if you end up with too much money at the end of the year, Uncle Sam comes callin' wanting (more than) his share.

    Or, maybe I just have no foresight.

    ----------------

    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
  • I don't know. I tend to think that having a strong domain name is everything. Look at slashdot.org. That is the coolest name in the world. Do you think this site would be half as popular if it was called kiddiepornandsheeptoo.com??

  • When most people say cybersquatting (including congress) they mean buying a domain name that is similar to that of an established company simply for resale. Like me buying budweiser.com and then telling Amseur Busch (spelling?) that I need $1000 before I give it to them. Now to the best of my knowledge no company owns business or is called business inc. or business corp. so no one has a right to the name. More power to him. PS: Of course someone may hold the patent for business and may sue for $$$ later. LOL

    Bad Command Or File Name
  • Hmmm... What could I possibly bid for hemos.net that would truly be worthy?

    I know - I'll give you $35, (rummaging through my desk) a PC Card placeholder for your laptop, a chocolate Balance bar, three Pepcid AC tablets, a serial/PS/2 adapter, and a slightly used Pentium motherboard from some no-name manufacturer.

    Do we have a deal, or what?

    I'll even throw in a couple of those free Home Depot "remodeling your home"-type pamphlets - you could probably use one of them...

    - -Josh Turiel
  • Actually, why don't we do something like the great renaming of 1986. Say 1st Jan 2000. IPV6 and forced change of domain names together?
    This should clean up a huge mess.
    Disclaimer, I am not familiar with the details of 1986, except what I got from the jargon file.
  • Maybe at those rates I could sell "ctrl-alt-del.com" to Microsoft. (They make enough use from those keystrokes.) Of course, they really need "clueserver.org". (And, yes, I actually own both of those...) To get good domain names nowadays, you just have to be a bit creative. (Until someone trademarks your idea, then you are screwed.)

    But remember, the net is not for the users, it is for big corporations and marketing.

    Sigh.
  • My favorite was back in the day before AltaVista got it's own domain, there was www.altavista.digitla.com (digitLA instead of digitAL). It was a porn site. Kidna funny. And there's always the www.whitehouse.com thing.

    Rick
  • This is one of the questions our site, Afternic.com [afternic.com] is trying to answer, How much is a domain worth? While we can't give you an answer - we do offer an appraisal board [afternic.com], where you can post your domain (anonymously even), and give the community an opportunity to rate it. Various members have different appraisal methodologies, taking into account length, is it a common word or phrase, how fit it is for a business, etc. It's been very educational to see some of the responses. For example, people have placed domains up for appraisal in every price range - I've seen users strike down absurdly high prices, and encourage others to raise a domain that may on auction and undervalued. Hope this helps.
  • Check this out: http://www.afternic.com
  • Nice site - thanks for letting me know about it.

    D

    ----
  • I couldn't disagree with you more! First, open markets - auctions or otherwise are great price setting mechanism. Second, I would say they are getting more then 8 million in free advertising from the press coverage alone. I would go so far as to say that it has paid for itself, and then some. Think of it as an investment - and this was a very smart one - with a proven track record of setting record prices in the domain name market (in 1997 it was sold for $150k [cnet.com]). It cost a lot of money to brand a site, such a phenomenal domain only makes it easier - again saving you money in the long run, increasing the value of the name. I would argue a name like "business.com" is inherently easier to market, and the money saved by this alone, for a large multimillion dollar company again makes this price more then justifiable. One might argue that business.com is generic, if you drop the .com, what is "business" on it's own?

    Afternic.com [afternic.com] is the domain name exchange.

  • Reminds me of the short-lived portal site "www.com". They thought they could make money from domain name recognition and their (bogus) claim that they were "the first site on the Internet".

    You'll notice the portal isn't there anymore. It's some kind of Internet radio site now.
    --
  • All right. Now I've got to reply to myself, because the same people apparently own it. Their "company" page still starts with:
    A long, long time ago, when the Internet was still in its formation, and the World Wide Web was created, a young engineer registered the very first domain name; www.com. However, little was done with the name over the years that followed until, in 1999, a group of Internet veterans came together to develop www.com into the next generation music netcasting company.

    That is the exact same message that they had at first, except it said "next generation Web portal" instead of "next generation music netcasting company".

    Now let's translate this into fact... A couple of years ago, when the domain name system started to become completely corrupted, some guy thought he could get rich by registering the domain "www.com" and selling it. Little was done with the name in the years that followed until, in 1999, a group of marketroids paid a suitably large amount of money for it and decided they could make it a portal site. After the portal site died, they decided that netcasting was more "in" and tried that instead.


    --
  • $0.01 for 'hemos.com'

    Tony
  • I propose the final solution to domain name problems. Lets let more that one person use a domain name. This way, when I go to slashdot.org there will be say, one in five chance of getting the site I want. At other times I might get the home page of the Punctuation Society or the maybe the homepage of someone who miss-read the registration form.


    The next stage of the plan would be to add one to all IP address every Tuesday to make things more fair...
  • It's a pretty logical URL for someone to enter: www.business.com. Honestly, how many times have you taken a stab at a web site by entering something, say, www.linux.com? www.lego.com? www.sloppylargetitties.com? Especially with the browsers these days and their 'internet keywords', you can enter one word and most likely have it trying 'www.xxxxxx.[com|org|net]' first. An entrepreneur would probably try www.business.com at some point.

    Maybe $7.5 million dollars is a lot of money. However, consider today how much money is getting made on the web. If the implementer of the domain does it right, this will be a small price to pay. I only wish I had the money and the idea of what to do with it :-)

    --

  • Recently, some guy went and spent a pretty penny (or thousands and thousands of pounds) buying up the remainder of the three-letter domains in the UK. I can imagine him being able to sell some, but there's going to be hundreds left that he owns. This would be all well and good for him if he didn't have to pay the renewal fee in just under 2 years time ...
  • by LordChaos ( 2432 ) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @02:56AM (#1490702) Homepage
    Interesting to think that, technically, since last week, this is illegal here in Australia
    That is, buying a domain name and selling it is illegal (unless the company is declared bankrupt and the domain name is one of it's assets).
    Mind you domain name laws have always been more strict in Australia - just look at the distributor of .com.au domains - Melbourne IT. You can't register a .com.au domain unless it is your company name - i.e. fred bloggs inc can only have something similar to www.fredbloggs.com.au.
  • by narsiman ( 67024 ) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @03:05AM (#1490703)
    The thought that just because you have a common name and so people would flock to you is so misguided. How common place, say 10 years ago would names like yahoo, lycos, altavista (may be astala vista), or eBullShit have been. This Great Domain names are just milking the hell out of ignorant MBAs who think they know the nerd mind because they have 5 programmers working under them and they have an 'e' in front of their company's name. Nonsense. How many of you go to www.search.com to search for web pages. In the next few years thats how many will go to business.com to do business. There is nothing in a name.
  • For names like 'business.com' and other names that aren't related to anything particular. It's a good domain name, and if someone wants to sell it, let the highest bid win!

    The lawsuit that Volkswagen lost for trying to get 'vw.net' is ridiculous. vw.net has nothing to do with Volkswagen, and they have no right to _claim_ that they should own it.

    Now if someone registers microsoftsucks.com, what happens? Are Microsoft entitled to sue for damage to their reputation?
  • And here we are, at the sale of the 21st Century! Domain Name Auction!

    And first up is "com.com". Bidding starts at 30 million dollars! 31 million! 32 million! 35 million! Do I hear 40 million? 40 million, plus a packet of M&M's! Going once, going twice, sold to the blubbering idiot for 40 million and some M&M's!

    Seriously, domain names are getting seriously over-valued. (Assuming they weren't, already.) When the bubble bursts, there are going to be some severely out-of-pocket suckers, conned into the idea that a few words will make them rich and lured by the promise of a quick buck for no effort.

  • Now if someone registers microsoftsucks.com, what happens? Are Microsoft entitled to sue for damage to their reputation?

    I see that someone has "parked" microsoftsucks.net
    I wonder if Microsoft would/could sue for this trademark infringement...

  • Cybersquatting. Is it evil? Where's the boundary? Whose laws apply? Your guess is probably better than mine

    Especially since you were just shooting for first post anyway, eh? :)

    Seriously, I really don't see anything wrong with cybersquatting; someone is smart enough to pick up a commodity at a low price and sell it at a higher price. Baseball card collectors do it all the time, real estate dealers base their jobs around it; hell, the entire stock market thrives on it. The only person who sets the value of a website is the buyer; if nobody wants to spend big bucks for a site name, then the squatter eats the cost. That's the nature of business.

    Deosyne
  • ... I know that websites *can* make money, but how on earth is he going to earn 7,5 million bucks to pay back this expense??? Why doesn't he just build a good brand with a name that's available??? When I want to search, I don't go to search.com, I mean, why would I go to business.com when I would know biszzooo! (small mistake coming up, but too lazy to correct the loose)
    _
    / /pyder.....
    \_\ You type "WIN" but actually you LOSE
  • I was planning on inserting it on another thread, but I'll put it up for hemos.net instead!
  • Someone with a grievance against Toys-R-Us [toysrus.co.uk] registered "toys-r-us.co.uk". Have a look:

    http://www.toys-r-us.co.uk/ [toys-r-us.co.uk]

    -Stephen

  • by Paul Crowley ( 837 ) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @03:17AM (#1490712) Homepage Journal
    $ whois sloppylargetitties.com
    [rs.internic.net]

    Whois Server Version 1.1

    Domain names in the .com, .net, and .org domains can now be registered with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net for detailed information.

    No match for "SLOPPYLARGETITTIES.COM".

    >>> Last update of whois database: Tue, 30 Nov 99 00:40:30 EST <<<

    --
  • by Pfhreakaz0id ( 82141 ) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @03:19AM (#1490713)
    Yeah, a good name doesn't hurt, BUT..

    I'll take three examples. Ebay, Amazon, Yahoo. Hmmmmmmmmmm... anyone tell me what ebay is? What the excalamation yahoo! has to do with searching? What large, tall, strong women and/or a river has to do with books? And yet, those are highly successful internet companies, each really breaking some new ground and are pretty recognizable names.

    In short, "it's the marketing, stupid." Next.
  • why would she want to go to business.com?

    Bad Command Or File Name
  • by rde ( 17364 ) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @03:19AM (#1490715)
    It's a pretty logical URL for someone to enter: www.business.com.
    I disagree; I think that this was a phenomenal waste of money and my heartiest congratulations go to Mr Ostrofsky.
    Domain dipping is only effective in the specific; if you're looking for the world's most-hyped beverage, do you type www.coke.com or www.cola.com? Similarly, no-one looks for Linux under www.operating-systems.com, and I would suspect entrepreneurs would look at a number of things -- www.entrepreneur.com, www.capital.com et al, and www.business.com will be but one of many they try.

    business.com sounds like it's the sort of thing that will be effective, so ecompanies bought it without really thinking of whether it was worth it. A few minutes consideration and they'd have run away. I think.

    Ostrofsky also will become an adviser to
    business.com.

    If you're going to hire an advisor, you might as well hire one that's capable for selling a domain for thousands of times its worth.
  • and I'll bet they'll pass part of the 7.5 mil on to us, the consumers....

    *shrug*
  • My main gripe, as it were, with domain names, is the fact that, even now, American companies, institutions et.c. automatically go for .com, .org, et.c., and this causes a large part of the domain name congestion that seems to be occurring. If there had been a better way of enforcing things, it might have been better for these generic TLD suffixes (ie .com, .org)to be restricted only to international and internet-only organisations, and use .com.usa or .co.usa etc for companies whose sole 'empire' is likely to be 'local'.

    It seems to me that if things had operated more logically, then I'd have been 'educated' into looking for ford.co.usa for American cars, and ford.co.uk for British, instead of immediately starting off at the generic ford.com

    I'd also like to know what the difficulty seems to be with generic TLD's. I know there were seven new ones coming 'real soon now', but what happened to that? Why isn't adding even more than that a simple process? Why dont we have .news, .music, .linux or whatever?

    White Rabbit

  • I agree with everything U said except the hotmail.com thing. on its own hotmail.com was a money loosing idea of the grandest kind but as part of a portal like MSn it becomes an integral part of a whole. MSN is constantly in the top 5 sites visited list mainly because of all the people who log of from hotmail and are sent to the MSN page and the 8 - 10 million people who click all those links in hotmail.com. PS: If U think hotmail's a bad idea how about Yahoo with a market cap of 14 billion$ that has no direct source of income except banner ads and whatever deal they make with stores that are in Yahoo! shopping.

    Bad Command Or File Name
  • If you look at all the money that is flying around silicon valley then this deal looks pretty good if not great. First of all lets look at what businesses are paying firms to just come up with a business name and/or a domain name! Many, many companies are spending $1-2M just for a naming firm to come up with a load of (mostly) crap! US Air paid a naming firm (and I am sorry I forgot which firm) $1M and 9 months and guess what name they came up with at the end of this time? US AirWays! Thats it!! Seriously! And US Air is HAPPY about this! Next lets talk about the insane amounts of money Tech firms are spending on the superbowl. $4M for 1 minute. A couple of firms I am familiar with are spending $5-6M for pregame/gametime ads totaling 2-3 minutes of exposure. How much exposure is business.com getting for FREE in the news because of the price paid? I can already think of some great ads for business.com without hiring a PR firm! Like we are business (xyz company) BUSINESS.COM - for business on the internet...blah blah blah. The name infringes on no one, just a forward thinking guy bought business.com, decided not to develop it himself, and sold it for a pretty penny. I don't see anybody losing on this deal, and for the foreseeable future .COM addy's are the pinnacle man. Just my opinion on the thing, but I don't think anyone should criticize this deal. By the way I purchased the domain name WhyStudy.com recently and have started developing this site into an e-commerce site. What does anyone think of my domain name? I saw it and had to snatch it up - I would like to hear what people think of the domain name and my $70 investment! - Dave dave@whystudy.com
  • Why would you want to buy a name as generic as business.com? the problem with the net is that there are already to many names that sound similar and can be confused with that one (e.g. business.org, business.net ebusiness.com etc.). I remember when I read this article [zdnet.com] and I realized how smart it was that Yahoo, eBay and Amazon all have none generic names like search.com, auctions.com and books.com.

    The money would have been better spent hiring a firm to come up with a killer name...such as the company that converted Computer Literacy corp to fatbrain.com.

    That's one company that has way too much VC funding... they'll probably go the way of Free PCs [cnet.com].

    Bad Command Or File Name
  • The 'c' doesn't make much of a difference, because exite.com [exite.com] just refers you to excite.com [excite.com]. They are registered by different corporations, however, and this behavior might change sometime in the future.
  • Your site's domain name doesn't matter if users find you via search engines, other site links, or bookmarks! I think that generic names like Business.com don't have that much "power". Who would type in Business.com, unless they already knew about it? A user would probably go to AltaVista/Yahoo/whatever and search for "business". Search engines don't care what your domain name is..

  • business.com was sold a while back? I'm pretty damn sure that it was sold a couple years ago for approx. $750,000. If that's the case, I'd say this guy made a nice turnover on profit. If anybody can confirm this, I'd appreciate it.
  • I have a good friend (who is also an avid /. reader BTW) who owned business.com in 1995. He must just be howling right now.

    I own five domain names. Some are for my personal use, some are business related, and one is purely for speculation.

    I think that cybersquatting is OK. If you register a name for personal use that happens to resemble a trademarked entity, there's no reason in the world why you should have to give it up. And the boundary between "for personal use" and "pay my ransom!" can be mighty fuzzy sometimes, believe it or not.

    I own "panda.net", among other names. Not a week goes by when I don't get a request for the name. Nobody has offered any money yet, and I won't take it unless it's a stratospherically high offer. For personal use! But what if "Panda Computing" or some sort of other group decides that I am infringing on their trademark? In Australia, I gather I would be up the creek. How do you separate the assholes from the earnest?
  • No. Actually I think it would be about twice as popular. Porn is what holds the net together don'tcha know?

    --
    Gellor
  • Actually, it's a excellent name, but not necessarily because people will randomly punch it up. It's a great name due to it's ease of recognition.

    A good example: Where do you go to order drugs online? Most likely, unless you're following a link, you'll go to drugstore.com. Because they have an easy to remember name, they get much more name recognition for their advertising $ then they would with a less obvious name.

    That said, do I think it was worth $7.5 mil? Probably not, but then again, you never know...
  • Mr. X, our "entrepreneur," did take a risk in purchasing the domain. His risk happened to pay off a huge return. Still, X did not produce anything of value in order to make that money. Therefore, I would be hesitant to call him an entrepreneur, as that word carries connotations of personal merit and achievement. "Lucky gambler" would be a more accurate label.

    While I despise the domain name brokering/squatting industry, it's difficult to think of a just system for distributing and trading domains. Ideally, domains would go, for a small fee, to the organization most deserving of them. The matter of deciding who most deserves a domain name would be, of course, nearly impossible.

    Still, there must be a better system than the current one. The fact that someone can make $7.5M doing essentially nothing devalues the money of those who worked hard to earn it.

    _.......................__
    ||.....__...._._||_..||-\\..._...._._||_
    ||......_\\.(/_'..||....||-//.//.\\.(/_'..||
    ||__((_||_,_/).||_..||....\\_//.,_/).\\_
    HAHA! LAST POST! Anything following is redundant.
  • I believe France is equally strict about its .fr domain (i.e., you have to have the business in France).

    I wish they (whoever is controlling this, American gov't, CORE, whatever) would get it sorted and introduce more TLDs. There should be somewhere for people to have their own individual homepage without it needing to be http://www.geocities.com/somestreet/5184/fred.html and neither should they really be occupying http://www.fred.com/ ... you should know when you type a page in that you're not going to get someone's personal one-page homepage, and also that you're not going to get a p0rn site (definitely, especially if the controller is serious about 'protecting minors'). I think all p0rn sites should use a .xxx extension, then whoever didn't want to go there wouldn't accidentally and embarrassingly land up there. I overheard someone the other day saying that they received a PDF file, and went to download acrobat reader. They thought http://www.acrobat.com/acrobat.html would be a reasonable place to look for it ... er, no, that was a p0rn site. Also, I'm sure companies who filter / monitor their employees Internet habits would find it easier to pick up on .xxx extensions :-)

  • I've had the xcski.com domain for many years. I got the domain because it represents one of my many interests, cross country skiing. Every few months some ski shop or other calls me up wanting my domain, but none of them are willing to pay more than a few hundred bucks for it. Forget it, it's not worth my while to get all my mailing lists and stuff transferred over to my new domain.

    I learned my lesson after the Toronto Sun acted like total assholes and stiffed me when they asked for and I gave them my old domain, canoe.com. I only asked for three things:
    • Pay for the new domain.
    • Allow me time to get the new domain set up and get my mailing lists transferred over.
    • Give me tickets to "Phantom of the Opera" for me and my family

    I should have known that something was wrong when I got the notification that the canoe.com domain was being transferred before I'd even put in the form for xcski.com. And I never got the damn tickets either.

    So I said right then and there that I'm not going through that again, not without demanding big bucks and making sure I had them in my hand.
  • Hmm. I have a domain that actually some folks might be interested in. I grabbed it from a lame delegator some time ago because I was at the time setting up an IRC net. We were popular for about, oh, 3 months... then we got to the point where we had more servers than people. :-)

    Wonder how much I could get for nameless.net? I'll trade someone it for a new Visor Deluxe [handspring.com] :-)

  • And first up is "com.com". Bidding starts at 30 million dollars! 31 million! 32 million! 35 million! Do I hear 40 million?

    No, the number one Internet name is comuno.com. Tell you what, you can have it for a mere $ 1 million.

  • I really hate the fact that all the seemingly "good" domain names are already taken. In fact, I would not mind if people had developed a business around most of them. However, most are just "parked". Can I park a trademark? No, I can't. And that's good the way it is. In my opinion, the same rules should apply to domain names that do apply for trademarks. I am currently in the process of starting an internet business (yeah, like everyone else, duh - but our idea is unique, hehe! - i digress) and have been researching names for MONTHS (really!) and every single one of the ones I came up with was already registered! About 90% of the names pointed to an "under construction" site or to a company that sells off these names. I understand that it is in the self-interest of NSI & other registrars to sell as many domains as possible - but does it make sense? I do not think so, especially since there can only be so-and-so many names that make sense. In my opinion, people should NOT be allowed to make a windfall profit just because they were the fastest to browse through their dictionaries and enter their credit card number a thousand times at netsol.com Now, if anyone came up with a decent name for my business that is still available, I'd consider giving you an appropriate share of our equity in return. Don't expect to get half of our company, though .. hehe - but imagine owning 0.001% of Microsoft or Sun Microsystems. What I'm looking for is an artificial but "naturally" sounding word with 6-10 letters that does not infringe any existing trademark rights. Plus the word should not provoke any negative associations in foreign languages. I don't want to later find out that my company name means "assholes" in portugese. Any suggestions?
  • But companies with the simple domain names aren't targeting people who've been on the 'net for awhile. They're targeting your Aunt Lula Mae who just got a Compaq and AOL...

    Get fragged @ Lone Star Quake
  • The rules are probably all the same for European domain names, since they are all coordinated by RIPE (www.ripe.net).
  • Whether or not Cybersquatting is right or wrong is very subjective. And there really isn't going to be a quick easy answer. Of course, Big Brother can always step in and make a "law" about it (and they will one day, you have to KNOW that). Personally, if a squatter has a domain name someone wants, then look into other possibilities. Add a "-" between words or something. Shows the squatter that you aren't that hard up for the domain. Of course, people who pay millions for domain names send a bad message to the squatters. They say "it's profitable"; I personally think it's wrong, but what the hey---if you've the money and the inclination to make squatting profitable to someone, then it's your money!
  • It's not a waste of money. The choice of the right domain name can mean a significant amount of traffic. A good domain name has to be short, easily memorizable, and in some way related to what you find on the website.

    Of course you still have to build a good site around your name - but for entrepreneurs, small business, or whatever busines--related website you have, you can't have a better domain name.

    I don't even want to speculate what sex.com is worth - but probably more than 10 mio.
  • Mike O'Connor [haven.com] is the guy that owns or did own televison.com as well as a bunch of other such domains (Bar.com, Cafes.com, Company.com, Corp.com, Grill.com, Haven.com, Place.com, Pub.com, Shelter.com -- if business.com got $7.5million, then maybe company.com will get a comperable sum, since they're both equally silly). At one point he was offered US$1.1million, so whatever he's getting out of the current arrangement with mktv.com [mktv.com] is probably more than that.

    If you want some historical information (circa 1998) about the sale of altavista.com, you can also go here [ibiz.net].
  • No, I don't agree; "business.com" is too generic; linux, lego and sloppylargetitties are a little more specific, eh? The smart entrepreneur knows that business.com is a waste of time because it won't be where the action is; the weight of $7.5 mil ensures that. I bet I could buy office supplies there in six months tho'
  • That's .us for the United States - and no one cares. It's probably the most worthless TLD there is. Maybe right after .mg for Madagascar ;-(
  • Now I dont know who reserved this one: slashdot.de [slashdot.de], but its content looks very much like someone who grabbed this name since there is a small note that somethings going to be there soon which is required if you want to have a chance in any kind of trial ...
    Ciao, Peter
  • BRANDING is something that's generally done to cattle. don't let anyone trick you into thinking otherwise.
  • Feeling lucky Hemos? You can take the extravagant offer of a nickel, but I think you should take my little gamble. Just say the word man, and Ill go couch mining here in my living room. ALL of the change I find is yours. Hell, I'll even check my car seats. How about it Hemos? I found five bucks this way once, now think about it. A chance at a five spot for hemos.com. WOW. This would get the cover of Wired for sure. Let me know...

    -BW
  • All the news coverage (worldwide!) and free publicity he is going to get for this purchase might easily be worth the equivalent of $7.5m
  • About 90% of the names pointed to an "under construction" site ...

    Question for you. Ignore totally how anyone feels about just plain cybersquatting and reselling of domain names. That's not the issue here.

    You are starting an Internet business. Does it not stand to reason that when you start said business, you will register the domain before you ``go into business'' proper, and will have an ``under construction'' page?

    Just something to think about... there may very well be legitimacy behind those pages. I might also add that it is still possible (last time I checked) to run a domain without even having a site attached to it.

  • I believe France is equally strict about its .fr domain
    Same in Ireland. Try to register anything that isn't your name and you have to produce a letterhead to prove that that's your company's name.
  • I would suspect entrepreneurs would look at a number of things -- www.entrepreneur.com.

    Assuming they could spell it (its not the most obvious of words). Spelling is quite an issue for me when it comes to registering domain names. You think of something that sounds pretty cool (and is still available), and then you think, could your average person remember how to spell it?

    Just look at the major search engines, none of them have that memorable a names: lycos, excite (how many people miss out the 'c'?), altavista... (lucky for bookmarks, eh).

    Another issue: do you go for the hyphenated word or not? generally, I think things look better without them, but sometimes the words get mangled and it looks different to the meaning you are trying to convey. Most decent one-word domains have gone, so you are stuck with : do I register evil-greeb.com or should it be evilgreeb.com or should I get both, just in case? (that starts to get expensive). And for those companies with more than one word as their name, they have to protect their asset (their name and identity) but just registering all variants. Not to start mentioning common misspellings....

  • by Stephen Chadfield ( 7971 ) on Wednesday December 01, 1999 @03:35AM (#1490759) Homepage
    Check out: http://www.buisness.com/

    (spell carefully)

  • Since this is sorta related, can anyone recommend the best place for me to sell a domain name?

    I have FINDFILE.COM. seems like I could get a few duckets for it, but I'm not really sure where to go to pimp it.

    Or am I scum for trying to cash in on a domain name?

  • A nice *shiny* nickel too!

    I'll even toss in some dryer lint. How about it Hemos? :-)

    ---

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. -- Thomas Edison

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