FastCo Labs came out with an article yesterday about Donuts and how they became the world’s largest registry overnight. I think the author forgot about Verisign who has many more domains under its wing than Donuts.
In the article Daniel Schindler one of the co-founders discussed things like specificity and how they thought long and hard about an extension that was 11 characters long. 40,000 plus registrations seems to be proof that specificity matters.
From the article:
What’s In A Name?
“You don’t want to be in dot-com because it doesn’t mean anything.” Daniel Schindler, cofounder of Donuts. “If dot-com was released now with all these other TLDs it wouldn’t have any success at all. It only had its success because it had a near monopoly for 25 years,” says Schindler. This isn’t the world we live in, though. The web consists of about a trillion pages and only around 1.6 million new gTLDs. The most visited sites everyone knows and loves all end in dot-com.
If Schindler sounds convinced, it’s because he’s put a lot of capital behind this hypothesis. At $185,000 each, applying for domain names isn’t exactly a cheap investment. Donuts applied for 307 domains, which is how they got to that $58 million figure.
So, how do you pick winners in the domain game? Schindler was reluctant to share Donuts’ methods, but told me there are 20-25 parameters that determine which domains will be successful. In the past, new gTLDs like dot-co or dot-us have performed with mixed results. Donuts points to .guru, which they suspected would be popular; in fact it has turned out to be a runaway success with 64,000 .guru domains registered in just a few months.
Domain names categorizing a specific field are strongest contenders, Schindler says. He points to .photography as an example. “We debated long and hard whether a world that was used to seeing two and three-letter TLDs would actually welcome a TLD that had whatever photography’s got,” a comparatively long 11 letters. “Forty-thousand people have signed up for [that] one because of its specificity.”
Read the full article here