·  2 min read

Domain (Name) Driven Development

Founding stories usually start with a problem. Zuck created Facebook in his dorm room because college facebooks were a bit crappy. Airbnb solved the problem of overbooked hotels in conference cities. Uber exists because Garrett Camp was blacklisted by every taxi company in San Francisco.

There is, however, a different route to entrepreneurship. It starts with great domain names.

The Internet survived an early version of this, back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Many failed businesses mentioned in F’d Companies were borne out of unforgettable domain names. Pets.com sold pet food and failed. Webvan.com delivered groceries and failed. eToys sold toys and failed.

All were just a bit too early. Amazon - an early investor in Pets.com - sells a gatrillion tonnes of pet food every year. Instacart and Deliveroo deliver groceries. eToys… Amazon do that now. Oh, Jeff.

These days domain name driven development is a choice for many bootstrapped Indie Hackers.

Stephen Shaw created Product Names - a stream of available domain names, potentially useful for development. Peter Askew gets his inspiration from domain names. He’s the proud owner of - and successful founder of - Onions.comBirthdayParties.com, and RanchWork.com.

Domain names are a fun place to start, and a great place to start. Back in the early 2000s, many of the businesses I created started with great domain names. Some were more successful than others, but each were easier to create because domain names started the ideation process.

Compare.ie was Ireland’s first price comparison website, with over 1.4 million products listed and hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. Babysitters.ie had over 30,000 registered babysitters and thousands of parents used it. Fashion.ie counted L’Oreal, Toyota, and Vodafone as advertisers.

Domain names are worth investing in. Peter Askew created GDDO (Great Domain Development Opportunities) to help surface some of the best ones. Worth checking out.

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