Why should a startup pick an unknown domain extension rather than a .COM

Let’s take a step into my time machine and go back to the late 90’s, a time when .COM, .NET, and .ORG were the three domain name extensions you would think of when picking a domain name. Those were the good old days when there weren’t many choices so picking a domain name was a whole lot easier than it is today.

Now let’s fast forward to 2016 and there are more domain name extensions than you can shake a stick at, from .GURU to .XYZ, .CLUB to .WORLD, and the list goes on. Here’s the catch, all of these domain extensions are still early, most people don’t even know they exist, which means that you could either be incredibly early on a trend that’s going to catch-on like it’s going out of style, or you could be buying some magic beans that never amount to nothing.

At the same time if you’ve wanted to brand around a particular word, let’s say a word like “data” now is the time to do it. Companies like Data.world are raising $14M and they aren’t alone. We’re moving into a world where .COM might not be the end all be all. At the same time, domain names like Vivo.com are selling for north of $2M showing that .COM domain names are more valuable than ever.

So here’s the question. Why should a startup pick an unknown extension like a .CLUB, a .WORLD, or a .XYZ? If you can raise north of $10M without getting a .COM, what’s stopping you from picking another extension?

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton