Founded: June 2007
Valuation: $10 billion+
Original Domain: getdropbox.com
Preferred Domain Name: dropbox.com
DropBox first offered its services in 2008 under the getdropbox.com domain. Even before the concept of “the Cloud” became as widespread as it is today, the company started as an online-based data storage system. In 2009, DropBox filed a lawsuit against dropbox.com, a domain it deemed to be a squatter; the lawsuit was filed in response to its need to upgrade its brand after traffic and the number of users were growing nearly exponentially. The dropbox.com domain has been a parked site before it started hosting the links of DropBox competitors. DropBox cited in its lawsuit that the dropbox.com traffic was growing but they were losing millions of potential customers who mistakenly believed that the domain belonged to DropBox, but who were unable to get to getdropbox.com. While the financials are unclear, according to TechCrunch reports, the company was finally in ownership of the domain everybody thought it already possessed by October 2009.
Let’s keep in mind a crucial point here. Secondary keywords, such as INC, GET, CORP, LLC, and PLAY, aren’t your brand. People including your own employees and investors will not remember them. Instead, people will remember and the media will refer to is your company name’s primary word. We are in a short world, so to speak, so your domain requirements particularly its name should also be short.
The DropBox story is a perfect example of the crucial differences between acquiring the perfect domain and a satisfactory domain. At the time of its launch, getdropbox.com was a satisfactory choice for the company, especially as it needed to launch its business and product. But once its product became a success and word-of-mouth started to spread, most of the potential customers assumed the dropbox.com was its official site. The company’s need to acquire the dropbox.com domain was then mandatory.
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