Revealed: the true enemy of the gTLDs is……fresh air

magnifying glass and question mark cloud shape

In this piece, we examine some of the issues facing Entrepreneurs with regard to choosing their domain extension. Readers from will hopefully find this useful as we look at the naming process through the eyes of our users.

Yes you heard me right. Fresh air. A vacuum. Nothing, sweet nothing at all! Many would say the dot-com extension is the main obstacle…but I wonder.

Take a look at this quote from Jeff Sass, head of the dot club registry, after Google’s recent domaining foray.

“From .NYC to .London to .Tokyo the “new Google” story is making .news everywhere, as the .media large and small speculates on what it means for the .online and .tech industries, and beyond.”

Jeff continues:

“One .company in particular is having a .party thanks to their sudden .link to Google’s surprising announcement, the domain name registry .xyz. By choosing and using as the web address for the .website with the Alphabet announcement, .Google showed the world that it can be .cool to use a domain name that has some meaning on both sides of the “dot.” As a representation of the “alphabet,” makes perfect sense. It’s short, easy to remember and relevant.”

Fair enough – that’s what domains are, they have an extension, denoted by the dot, or “unc” as we sometimes say here in Ireland.

But now, let’s take a look at a post from Colleen Taylor on the Y Combinator blog (this is probably the most famous incubator for startups with DropBox, Reddit and Stripe passing through):

Here’s an excerpt from a post congratulating startups from the Summer 2015 intake (the full post is here)

“This week we held Demo Day for our Summer 2015 class at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. It was the 21st Demo Day event in Y Combinator’s history, with a total of 102 pitches spread across two days. Below is a list of the 99 companies that presented on the record, in the order in which they pitched onstage.

Congratulations to all of the S15 founders!

Captain 401
Circle Medical
Second Measure
Verge Genomics
Get Scale
Click & Grow
Ixchel Scientific
Cofactor Genomics
Auro Robotics

The list continues.

Hum…this is a problem. 11am in the morning, and not a dot in the house ready to go.

The architecture of the Internet has evolved partially into a dotless world – certainly in the startup community.

And that’s a problem for the new Gs in particular – who really need the dot.

It’s “Facebook me” – not “ me”.

It’s “Google it!” – not “ it”.

I love to look for positive solutions to this. How can we make this better? How can we get the dot sexy again, for both dot com and the new Gs? (hope you like that quick bit of fence sitting).

Firstly, all is not lost. It’s far from a totally dotless world.

The more descriptive and generic the name – involving a dictionary word if possible – the more the dot comes into play.

For example, it’s “ it”, definitely not “Booking it”. (Truth by told, I’m not actually sure anyone would say “ it”, but it will have to serve as the example).

Also, if you’re appearing a in a big list of dotless startups, and you use a “dot” or “unc” – could that give you a little branding “kick”? After all, a brand is just trying to stand out from the crowd.

I think we all know what needs to happen dot next.


Special thanks to Jeff Sass (Dot Club) and Colleen Taylor (YC) for allowing their quotes to be reproduced in this post.