From Twitter to Vine, Angel List to Google, .CO has become a mainstay for some of the most recognized startups and Fortune 500 companies on the planet and like most startups, it has everything to do with the team and their ability to execute. When it comes to this execution Juan Calle and Lori Anne Wardi could write the book on it, they took an extension with absolutely no name recognition and turned it into a household name.
I first met Juan and Lori back in 2010 when they were launching .CO. I can still remember eating dinner together at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. I’ll be honest, I thought Juan and Lori were amazing, but I thought it would be incredibly hard to get true mass adoption for .CO.
Then after seeing them in action for a year I realized it was more than possible, it was happening. Now some of the most innovative startups in the world are building their brands on .CO, from Brit.co (raised $27.6M), Jelly.co (founded by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone), Angel.co (raised $24.1M) and many more. All of these companies use the .CO for their primary domain, not as a forwarding address, and none have the matching .COM.
At the same time, while startups and Fortune 500 companies flocked to .CO, so did domain name investors, and I know many who have made a fortune selling .CO domains. Ticket.co sold for $20,000 on popular domain marketplace Sedo.com a couple of months ago along with True.co for $17,000 a month earlier.
What .CO proved is what I think we are going to see with new gTLDs, great teams that know how to execute can turn an unknown domain extension into a household name. We’re seeing this with new domain extensions like .CLUB, .NYC, .GURU, .XYZ, and many more.
Huge congrats to .CO and team for providing what’s possible, there many domain extensions that will try to do the same, and as we’ll see, only the best of the best will survive. While the extension itself is important, the team is the most important thing, period, and .CO has one of the best.