Paul Graham is one of the most respected people in the startup community, and he frequently shares advice on his personal website, PaulGraham.com. In an article he just published, Change Your Name, Paul discusses the importance of domain names. More precisely, he wrote about the importance of startups owning .com domain names.
The opening sentence of the article says it all: “If you have a US startup called X and you don’t have x.com, you should probably change your name.” The basic reason for this can be found in the next paragraph: “The problem with not having the .com of your name is that it signals weakness.”
There is quite a bit of good advice shared in the article, and I will let you have a look to see what one of the leading minds in the startup world has to say about .com domain names.
I frequently see startups launch on a domain hack, non-exact match domain name (like GetX.com), a ccTLD or something else that isn’t .com. I would imagine that most of these companies simply can not afford to purchase the exact match .com domain name when they are starting out, so they settle for something else that works. Many of these companies have the smarts (or have investors with the smarts) to know how important it is to have the .com, and they buy the .com when they can afford to do so. It may be more expensive down the road, but it would likely be more costly to not have it.
Paul Graham’s article is excellent, and I think you should read it and share it. Not only is it positive for domain investors with good .com domain names, but it also offers insight to people buying weird domain names with the hopes that someone else will want them in the future.
I would guess that other influential people in the startup space will read the article and write a rebuttal, and I look forward to seeing those, too.