Jamie Zoch shared a link on Twitter to Y Combinator’s 2019 Top Companies List. He mentioned that most of the companies own their brand match .com domain names, which is no surprise to me:
Y Combinator’s 2019 top companies list, hats off to you! Each valued at $150M+. The overwhelming majority of all the companies in the list own the exact match .com #domain to what they brand as. #startup #domainnames #brand #ItMatters https://t.co/9xNHU9Dx0t
— Jamie Zoch (@DotWeekly) October 3, 2019
There are many references points that can be used when selling a domain name to a startup that uses the matching brand name or wants to build its brand to match the domain name. I think it could be helpful for a domain registrant to point out the proliferation of brand match .com domain names amongst the Y Combinator list. I don’t think it is bad for a startup to start off with a ccTLD or new gTLD domain name, but I do think this shows that the most valuable startups use .com.
I had a look at the list of companies and the domain names they use, and I thought I would share my 5 favorite domain names. These domain names may or may not be the most valuable on the list, but they are my favorites.
I invite you to share your favorites as well because there are quite a few other companies on the list utilizing exceptional domain names.
I can tell you from a TM law perspective that this trend towards single dictionary words for startups is going to cause them a lot of pain down the road – but it’s the ‘cool’ thing to do, it seems, especially for founders who love to tout their brands on-stage at conferences and events.
It’s difficult enough to get a registered TM in a single International Class; and when you do with a generic dictionary word it’s almost a miracle. My business partner owns an IP law boutique and tells me that the USPTO has gotten so strict lately that ~ 90% of TM filings are getting initially rejected. But these startup founders all seem to think that their brands will instantaneously achieve ‘secondary meaning’ in the marketplace; and, therefore, their rights will extend even to the most obscure TM classes – immediately. They’re dead wrong about that, which I can testify to based on my own, personal experiences.
Granted, that domainers really don’t care about those things, and simply want to unload their inventory for the best possible ROI.
I don’t totally agree. I think some care about the TM-ability, but other simply want the best and most authoritative brand name possible.
There is a post by John Berryhill somewhere where he explains that one does not need a registered trademark in the US to have legal protection. Your trademark can use it even if there is no registration, the same in other “common law” jurisdictions like UK, Canada, Australia. You’d have to prove you’re well-known enough under that name in that certain industry to exercise it though. So rejection of a simple popular words before they reach that level of fame should be perfectly fine, come again later.
What kind of “pain” do you imply? I am fairly certain that anyone trying to run a competitive business on a similar (international) domain but with a different extension is going to be forced to shut down/rebrand quickly and easily.
The EMD is perfect. The brand is the .com the EMD & the .com is a one off Brand
(G)reatest (O)f (A)ll (T)imes. Huge potential.
@DaleBuckey–Bull(Shit)Websites—bigger potential than yours. It is already big.
One word domains are overrated and sometimes have lost their meaning. Look at at oyster, when I want to know about seafood oyster , I get something else.
Another good example is cars, there are so many 2 words car related domains that are doing pretty well , no need one word domain.
This by far the stupidest statement I have read this year. I took a dump this morning that had more intelligence than this comment
Mr. Cultra, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it
You miss the boat with those names bro?
I don’t think the YC company actually owns grin.com. They messed it up in their report. They seem to be using OnGrin.com