I wish every startup founder, brand manager, and other people responsible for buying company domain names could read an article published by Zalmi Duchman on Forbes.com today. The article is entitled, “How I Blew 50 Grand On My Journey For The Perfect Domain Name,” and it offers some valuable insight to people considering a domain name that isn’t the exact .com match (EMD) to their brand.
Duchman discusses his startup called Fresh Diet. Instead of buying the FreshDiet.com EMD from the owner of the domain name, Duchman hand registered TheFreshDiet.com. Duchman explained that the owner of FreshDiet.com was asking $20,000 for the domain name, and he opted to not spend the money. Long (but interesting) story short, Fresh Diet became a big thing, and Ducman wrote that “our continued growth fueled my concerns that not owing FreshDiet.com would become a liability over time.”
The company ended up buying FreshDiet.com for much more than the original asking price, and they were able to get a deal done using a payment plan. Interestingly, based on the Whois information, it looks like Duchman’s deal was with Michael Berkens, whose company, Most Wanted Domains, owns some exceptional domain names.
The article offers excellent advice to others who might be in the same position as Duchman when it comes to buying the right domain name for their business instead of settling on something that may hurt the business:
“The main lesson I learned from this mistake: as an entrepreneur, I need to think out of the box and find creative ways to get things done now. Back in 2007 when I originally wanted to purchase the domain name, I should have spent more time strategizing how I might secure the domain without writing a large check. I knew that as I grew my brand the domain would become more expensive, but I was too inexperienced to realize the importance of getting it done immediately.”
There are many ways to be creative in securing a domain name. Prospective buyers can work out a payment plan (as Duchman mentioned above), they can finance it using the services of a company like Domain Capital, they can agree to a lease with a future option to buy, they can offer equity in the company, or they can do other things to come up with the cash to buy it immediately.
I wish more people would read articles like this instead of bitching about not being able to afford the exact match domain name of their new business or filing a UDRP or other legal action to try to take something they have no right to take. Thank you to Mr. Duchman for sharing his story and congratulations on the success of Fresh Diet.