Successful entrepreneur, Rolf Larsen awoke in the middle of the night with his latest business idea for a virtual desktop service. Months later with the help of Sedo he was able to secure its best matching domain for the ultimate online success. Read on for a Q&A describing his experience is obtaining this sought-after one work keyword .com domain.
Q: Why did you decide to purchase Desktop.com?
"In September of this year, I woke in the middle of the night with a business idea to create a virtual desktop service to help businesses in the distribution, organization and security related to apps to be used by employees. The idea came from my own pain points relating to these areas, and the fact that in my opinion there are no good solutions available. I believe such a service can be of use to most businesses, and to some extent even consumers. If I’m right, it’s a big market and area for opportunity. I would never seek to launch a service that would grow rapidly and become highly valuable, with anything but a great brand. Desktop.com defines exactly the service I want to provide and is at the same time good to use as a brand name. It was my top choice of all the domain alternatives I came up with."
Q: Why was it so important for you to acquire this domain name? What kind of benefit do you expect by getting this short keyword domain name?
This particular domain is unique to the service I plan to launch, in that people can immediately identify what type of service is behind such a name, even without an explanation. I think some of the benefits will be: an inexpensive way to get relevant traffic from search engines. In addition, people will easily remember the name after having heard about the service only once. Lastly, the domain name will make my company appear to be on a larger scale from day one with minimal effort.
Q: What kind of impact do you foresee this domain bringing to your business? Do you already have a plan in place of how this domain will be used?
I immediately started to build this business in the planning and prototyping phase etc., even before the deal was done to acquire Desktop.com. So I do have a concrete plan in place to launch a service using Desktop.com in 2020. The impact I expect from this domain is a faster growth rate and more PR just due to the branding. Hopefully, getting serious funding for growth should be easier too, since branding is already established.
Q: If the acquisition of Desktop.com wouldn't have been successful - what would have been the alternative?
I did purchase Desktop.app first because it was a faster process to acquire it directly from the domain investor that had listed it for sale. I was also able to purchase Desktop.cloud directly from the registry. Both these domain name extensions have a strong connection to the service that will be offered. Individually or in combination would have been an alternative way to brand the service. There are other domains that would work well, but those are not as descriptive and wouldn’t have performed as strongly in search rankings as Desktop.com. Desktop.com, desktop.app and desktop.cloud is the strongest combination that I could have wished for.
Q: Are you looking at any additional tlds with this term?
Although it isn’t my highest priority at the moment, acquiring the name under other extensions could be explored in the future if the prices are right. As of now, some of the most relevant typo domains have already been secured.
Q: What were the benefits of working with Sedo? Had you tried to obtain the domain directly yourself prior to enlisting Sedo?
For this particular domain, it resolved to the owner and then I chose to contact them directly. They connected me with Sedo who was representing them in this sale along with their whole domain portfolio and I began working with one of their top brokers, Negar Hajikhani. From start to finish I had a very good experience with Sedo in solidifying the deal. I have purchased several domains using Sedo previously, and therefore I was already familiar with the process. Throughout the purchase, Sedo was instrumental in structuring the legal framework and installment plan for this deal, and being that they’re one of the most trusted service providers in the domain industry, I had no doubts this would go as smoothly as it did.
Q: Please provide any additional information about your purchase that could be interesting to other business owners, entrepreneurs, end users, etc.
The purchase agreement for this domain was reached with the previous owner, Idealab and a two year payment plan was agreed upon, with a significant upfront down payment. This is not an uncommon structure in the industry when valuable domain names are sold. One keyword .com domains are hard to acquire, but they can be of huge value if the domain is an exact or close match to the business vertical. As a serial entrepreneur, I have occasionally tried to acquire industry matching .com keyword domains. But this is the first time I have been successful in doing so. My advice to other entrepreneurs would be to prioritize your online branding from day one, even if you can’t have your top choice due to either unavailability or price.
About Rolf Larsen
Rolf is a veteran of the Internet domain space and is currently the Chairman and CEO of DNS Global.
Rolf´s many startups are always timed to take advantage of a major technological and industrial shift. In 1998, he founded Active ISP, a pan European registrar and the first of its kind to fully automate domain name registration and web hosting. RiksNett, the second ISP he built in 1995, became the largest competitive ISP to the Norwegian Telco incumbent. The Registry behind the new domain extension .global was also founded by Rolf and a small experienced team. This new domain extension became one of the most successful new branding options online for businesses.