Value… These entrepreneurs see value where others only see costs. Vision… “Where there is no vision the people (and businesses) perish.” Proverbs 29:18 Originality… They think outside-the-box. Persistence… So what if 50 VCs have said no to their idea? Focused… These entrepreneurs know where they are going and how to get there. MINT.COM Aaron Patzer had a vision for a dead simple financial product to help people get their finances in order and to make them feel they were in control of their life. Unfortunately, few others shared his vision or optimism. Patzer told everyone he knew about his product. His idea had an uphill climb in gaining trust with users. Out of the roughly ninety people he told, only one said they would use his product. Patzer said 50 venture capitalists turned him down before he got his first “yes.” The number one reason? The VCs also didn’t think people would trust a startup with their financial and other private information. Patzer was entering a crowded market with a superior product. But would a superior product be enough of an advantage to succeed? Enter the domain name change from MyMint.com to Mint.com. Patzer spent three months and $182,000 negotiating for the Mint.com domain name. He reportedly paid approximately $1 million plus 3% of the company for the domain name. The results were: - The Mint.com domain name significantly reduced his marketing and advertising costs. - Mint.com attracted over one million new users and was gaining thousands of new customers daily. - The domain name quickly paid for itself… and then some. - Patzer: “You will lose all word-of-mouth marketing if you don’t have a good domain name… the domain name Mint.com was the best purchase I ever made.” - Within two years of the name change Patzer sold Mint.com for $170 million. RING.COM In 2011, an inventor named Jamie Siminoff brought together a team of 5 engineers to work out of his garage to create a product that would become DoorBot; a doorbell system that allows you to see and speak to visitors from your smartphone. DoorBot.com was a decent name but not a name one could build a long lasting meaningful business around. They were interested only in the best dot com available. The group eventually decided on Ring.com, a name that gives the company a foundation to build something unique and special from. Negotiations for the domain name were lengthy and difficult. It is believed the eventual price was around $1 million. Patzer believes their domain name made a big difference in their ultimate success. Shortly after the name change the company saw a massive increase in web traffic and sales. Ring.com is now a billion-dollar company. NUTS.COM The Newark Nut Company began in 1929 as a brick and mortar store, bringing in $1.25 million in 2002. They decided to launch a website, NutsOnline.com. Annual sales reached $5 million, but customers still had a problem remembering their domain name. The owners subsequently purchased Nuts.com for $700,000. The domain name paid for itself in six months(!) and sales grew to $35 million. Just another example of wise investing in an ultra-premium domain name. INVESTING.COM CEO Dror Efrat and his 70 employees had an idea for a one-stop shop for financial traders and investors around the globe by providing streaming, real-time data and financial analytics. They needed a small, user-friendly, and memorable domain name. The domain name INVESTING.COM hit all the magic keys. They thereupon paid $2.45 million for the domain name. The CEO’s comments on their domain name are: - “As an online company, our domain name is really important, we wanted it to be intuitive, memorable and straightforward.” - The INVESTING.COM domain name demonstrates our commitment as a long-term player in the world of investing. - “We were able to negotiate a sum (for the domain name) that offered great value for money.