The second largest domain name sale of 2018 (to date) is the $900,000 sale of Great.com. The domain name was bought by a tech entrepreneur named Erik Bergman at this year’s NamesCon live domain name auction on NameJet. Erik reached out to me discuss why he spent nearly seven figures on Great.com and to let me know how Great.com will be used by him.
Erik is an online entrepreneur who built a large business with a focus on affiliate marketing. His specialty has been SEO, conversion optimization, and email marketing, all of which help make someone make money through the affiliate channel. He co-founded a company called Catena Media, and Erik told me he and his partner took the company public in 2015. Erik did very well financially from the public offering, and this is what spurred him to think about charity and helping others. It is with this in mind that Erik acquired Great.com.
According to Erik, Great.com will be a commercial endeavor with the goal of giving away all of the proceeds to charitable causes. Here’s what Erik told me about how Great.com will be used:
“I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking and learning about charity the last two years and I’ve realized that there is an extreme difference between a good charity and the very best ones. I’ve been reading up on how to evaluate the causes and the progress that they are doing.
What is interesting is that it’s very easy to determine if a company is good. You can basically just see if they are making money, and if so, how much – and you have a grade of how good the company is. When it comes to charity it’s way different though. There are so many factors to whey in, there is a great organization called Give Well, that does very thorough analyses and reports that I have learned a lot from.
Now I want to create a new company where the focus is to make as much money as possible but to give all of it away – and to give it away in the smartest way possible. In line with how Give Well evaluates charities and really thinking about who to support. I want to build an organization where this is the main purpose for everyone working in it and where everyone feels that they are contributing to something big.”
Obviously, a domain name like Great.com can be turned into just about any kind of brand. Specifically, Erik told me he chose Great.com because of its “positive connotations.” The domain name is also easy to remember and is such a common word that people who don’t speak English will likely understand the branding.
Erik already launched a bit of a coming soon website on Great.com. He has a video sharing more information about himself and his plans for the Great.com venture. In between when I was initially chatting with Erik and the time of publication, Erik also did an extensive podcast interview with Andrew Allemann on Domain Name Wire. I asked Erik if there is anything else I could share and he asked for some feedback:
“I would love if people get curious about this and reach out to me. I want to hear people’s opinions about how to build remote organizations, if it is possible to run a business without bosses and how to show appreciation in the best possible way. What companies are doing really great things out there right now? I want to learn!”
Congratulations to Erik
Eril’s plan to create a ‘for profit’ company with all profits given to charities that do a good job is a way to be able to hire ‘talent’ @ market rate salaries and profit sharing options; which traditional non profits are unable to do. The business model was pioneered by the late Paul Newman the actor with ‘Newmans Own’ branded food products – which has distributed over $ 500 Million in profits over its 35 yrs so far.
Its a prime example of emerging ‘entrepreneurial impact investing’ which I support as venture catalyst at CareBanks.com (note .com) – which uses ‘time credits’ to provide vital community based services. See, wikipedia ‘time currency’ and alternative local community produced / used means of exchange.
paul foldes be/jd
social impact venture catalyst
Elliot and Erik,
Thank you both! This is inspiring and how I think as well.