“We have always lusted after the dot com”

Yesterday afternoon, I wrote about the domain names used by YCombinator’s group of Summer 2020 startups. The majority (by a hair) of companies use .com domain names for their websites, although this figure is likely down from previous years as mentioned by Doron Vermaat. One startup on the list that has its brand match .com domain name is Roboflow, a company that was founded in 2019.

Roboflow founder Brad Dwyer replied to a tweet to mention that his company recently published an article about how it acquired its brand match .com domain name after initially launching on a matching .AI domain name:

There are several things that stand out to me in Roboflow’s article.

First, of course, is their desire to get the matching .com domain name. I generally believe that most companies and startups would absolutely prefer to use a brand match .com domain name, but this is based on intuition and that is hard to quantify. Here’s what Brad wrote about the company’s desire to get the matching .com domain name:

“For almost a year, Roboflow has lived at roboflow.ai. It’s served us well but we have always lusted after the dot com.

I was impressed with Brad’s tenacity in getting in touch with the right person at the company that owned the domain name. This is often what separates people from everyone else when trying to secure a domain name. Over the years, I have found that the best deals come after extensive research and touch points at a company to get the right decision maker.

Finally, the price Roboflow paid to secure its brand match .com domain name (along with two other extensions) was great. Much more often than not, a larger company would rather not go through the time and effort of selling a domain name relatively inexpensively. When I buy from larger companies, it seems like five figure deals are the minimum, so getting their names for $1,000 is a big win.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. There’s a reason I own only 1% ccTLDs. They aren’t that good!

    They are NOT meaningful, wholesome 1 word ‘span the dot’ domains. They forced/niche meaning some times IMPLIED by domainers living in a bubble!

    HARD understand some of these relevance like .io, .cc – give it a break people – those don’t make GOOD DOMAINS! They make LITTLE sense to the majority. Like, is this a joke?

    Domaining is trying to LUMP them in with NEW TOP level domains – they are not!

    Domaining KNOWS big problems with .com, so that’s why they are out everywhere looking for ‘something’.

    .co, .tv. .me .ly .ai .io .gg .vc…noobs don’t want to be ostracized by the nTLD *smashers* aka: domainers.

    New domains are NEW, some opportunity is there – and more is coming! BIG DIFFERENCES.

    Those ccTLD for the most part are contrived gibberish like .com.

    REAL WORDS PPL always real words.

    NOT saying Eliot here IS putting them in same boat: but as a whole the industry is TRYING.

    Don’t confuse gibberish like COM or IO with REALS WORD of NTLD – Far from the same! Which is why they EXIST in the first place – they’re BETTER.

  2. I can bet that most .COM website like roboflow.com would love to get a hold of robo.flow if it existed and they were aware.

    Problem in this case, and in many cases, there’s no such .flow. But that doesn’t matter to domainers. Plenty even *better* connections to buy among 1000 other nTLD.

    I’m sure if .FLOW etc do come out, websites will feel ENTITLED to their NEW TLD, which in this case would be robo.flow! You see the problem here? You’re being *conditioned* to think .com owns EVERYTHING!

    And this is going to happen, perceptions will change. New ‘span the dot’ will seem savvy. Fireworks coming.

    It’s going to get UGLY. .COM websites (domainers) need you to think .com is the king, so they command ever variation of their name!

    That’s why they *cheer* trademarks too. They want a complete monopoly of *ANY 1 or 2 WORDS* simply by having a .com!

    It won’t happen. You’re all going to fail .comrs. And you’ll pay for being dirty, domaining.

      • If you read above, my first post, *I SAID* .com’r would “LOVE to lump REAL words and GIBBERISH ccTLD together”. It was basically the WHOLE point of what I wrote!

        That’s *exactly* what he did… putting robo.flow on the same plane as robofl.ow – GIVE ME A BREAK! Does anyone see how ridiculous of a thought this is?

        And that’s what’s HAPPENING everywhere. SO, the proof is in the pudding & I’m 100% right. He proved my whole point!

        But things are changing.

      • Fair enough. He can think what he wants.
        I personally can’t take him serious when he puts robofl.ow in the same league as robo.flow.

        I just know he bases on perception – that of which he SEES (many use ccTLD shortner).

        This is developing market, new top level domain websites.

        Wait till there is use and exposure.

        It won’t be long! 2 years, these will be mainstream. Everyone will come around to reality.

    • I’d like to help you .comrs!

      You know how the casino goes? NO ONE knows when to get out!

      A lot of ‘domainers’ hold huge portfolios and need *BIG* income to maintain *BIG* renewals! But look, they’re caught up in the game!

      What’s going to happen, is they’re going to cull their portfolio down and down. Every time they ‘let go’ of some names, it’s because they are going red.

      That red is going to add up over time – 10 years…while .com falls and falls (actually it’s going to be FAST – and already in motion), then they’re left *funding their lie* They’ll end up BROKE to SAFE FACE!

      Doesn’t apply to everyone, but some people are going to lose BIG…pls don’t be one to fool them into HODLING!

      • I was going to ignore this idiocy, but, for the sake of industry accuracy, someone needs a reality check. DotCOM registrations are now at 148.7 million. DotCOM registrations have continuously gone up. Not down. TOTAL registrations for ALL new gGTLDs (over 1,000 of them) is only 32.6 million. In April 2017, over three years ago, it was at 29.4 million. New gTLDs are fool’s gold. If you really want to promote dotONLINE, and have people take you seriously, you need to stop posting like a carnival barker.

        • Big +1 David. If he’d spent the same time he’s wasted spewing this junk gTLDs baloney to all us folks who know better, he’d probably own a few nice golden .coms by now.

      • I have a handful of alternative tld’s (.app, .tv, .co, .io, .gg …) reserved for possible development, and most of these are not listed for sale. I feel it’s early to invest more in this market, but it might make sense for others who found some niche here. I dropped some good two-words which span the dot, and kept the HOT one words in the mentioned tlds. If you want to be a pioneer in this, I wish you luck and gg.

        Ultimately there’s prestige and even goodwill associated with the .com and .org, which make these valuable NOW and into the near future (5-10 years) which is probably the foreseeable investment timeline for many of us. This is where the hot and cute companies mingle NOW which makes this real estate popular and I’m at this party enjoying the cocktails and live bands, and not at the emo camp lamenting about the state of things and how things could or should be.


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