Last week the .CO team announced a major milestone, they now have over 2 million domain names under management. The incredible thing about this number is that they did this all in the span of less than six years. I can still remember sitting with Juan and Lori in 2010 in Las Vegas, we were at a Japanese restaurant at the Hard Rock Hotel. They told me about their grand plans for .CO and even though it sounded impossible, I could see it in their eyes, they were going to make it happen.
I can also remember what most people said when they first launched? “That will never work! Everyone is so used to typing .COM they’re going to accidentally add an “M” to the end of every .CO domain they type-in and send a majority of the traffic to the .COM”
That never happened. From what I’ve heard anecdotally, the bleed from .CO to .COM is actually under 5%, definitely not over 50% like so many people were expecting. Of course this was out of .CO’s control, what was in their control is getting awareness for a domain extension that literally had not been on the map for the first 15 years of the Internet.
So what was the secret? Yes, I know there answer, here’s how they did it.
.CO built a dream team.
Juan, Lori, Crystal, and the whole team at .CO aren’t just normal people, they are extraordinary people and together they really can do anything. I learned this over the years seeing them in action and watching .CO become a global brand. Now I use companies build on .CO like Angel.co, Vine.co and many others every single day. I see a lot of the same magic in the team behind .CLUB, Donuts, XYZ, Rightside, and many of the other gTLD operators.
Sure, there’s a lot to be said for a great marketing strategy but I think too often people miss the fact that it’s really the people behind-the-scenes that really make it special. The same is true for extensions that won’t take off – you can take a great TLD and put a mediocre team behind it and it’s won’t become a global brand, it will fall flat, we’ve seen it happen before and we’ll see it happen a whole lot more with all the new gTLDs hitting the market.
So hats off to .CO, 2 million domains under management isn’t just a big deal, it’s proof that if you put a great team together you really can achieve what most people think is impossible. I’ll always remember that dinner back in 2010, back then they were dreamers shooting for the moon, now I think it’s safe to say the sky really isn’t the limit.