YouTube’s Co-Founder Chad Hurley: “Domains are the Original Digital Store of Value”

Co-founder and former CEO of YouTube, Chad Hurley, has been tweeting prolifically about domain names in recent days.

He first told his 601,000-strong follower base that you need to register a “sweet” domain to change the world. What constitutes a “sweet” domain name, though?

Chad followed that up today by revealing his plans to set up a fund that focuses on domain name strategy for startups, claiming that startups just need a “sweet” domain.

Then, he said something that will come as music to the ears of long-term domain name investors that have been eulogizing the benefits of domain names as investments for years. He said that domains are the original store of value. Although, perhaps he should clarify that by stating that “good domains are the original digital store of value.”

He elaborated on this tweet by telling his followers to only invest in .COM domains:

If Chad does indeed set up his domain strategy fund, that will bring a significant amount of attention to the domain name industry and could even be a game-changer for investors — a moment when domain names get widely recognized as an original digital asset.

However, thousands of domain investors, entrepreneurs, and startup founders would likely disagree with Chad’s claims to only invest in .COM, as other domain extensions are scams.

Ultimately, I agree that the best assets for both investors and end-users are ultra-premium .COM domains, but some other extensions offer healthy alternatives to a .COM, especially for companies that cannot acquire their exact-match .COM for any reason.

The demand for these alternatives, which Crunchbase claims is helping to make startup names “less silly,” in turn fuels an aftermarket that many domain investors have successfully navigated to make a healthy living from extensions such as .CO, .IO, or .AI.

Chad’s use of the term “scam” in connection to domain names may also hurt the industry to some extent. To many outside of the domain industry, the idea of parting with thousands of dollars for a domain name is a daunting experience, and for a public figure to even loosely connect domain names with the word “scam” could be detrimental.

Regardless of whether Chad was spending his Saturday morning trolling his followers, or whether he was serious. Rhetoric about scams in relation to domains can be damaging.

It should be noted that despite Chad’s lauding of .COM, his Twitter bio currently contains a link to Hurley.vc, his venture capital site.

 

About James Iles

James Iles is a domain name industry writer and publisher of JamesNames.com. You can contact me here, or follow me on Twitter @jamesiles.

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