December 10, 2019
By: Richard Lau
What does your company do?
Right now I am building a startup in the collectibles space. I also invest in domain names and startups. I like to acquire short .com names like 2 or 3 letter .coms and one-word .com names. I am mostly interested in generic words that are flexible in nature, where you could brand any type of startup on them (think uber, amazon, apple, bird, lime – all generic words that could represent literally anything)
How did you come up with (or why did you want to do) this idea/concept/product/service?
I ran small businesses out of my house while in college 20 years ago. I started selling domain names after desperately searching for something to sell that required no shipping. 😃 I also realized that the best names were already taken and I knew there had to be an aftermarket (and demand) for these top domains.
How did you decide on your company name?
Symbolics.com is the first .com ever registered on the Internet. It dates back to 1985. I had always known that Symbolics.com was the first/oldest .com so when the opportunity to purchase it came up, I jumped on it. For now, we house an Internet museum. Visitors to the site are seeking information on the history of domain names and the web, and we thought this would be a good starting point.
What's been a good way of growing your customer base and sales?
Oddly enough, we rely on curious people typing in our domain name. They usually read about it in the news, or a blog or on social media.
Tens of thousands of people visit the site each year… this is a great starting point for a further development.
What did you wish you knew before you started your company?
As far as domain investing goes, I wish I would have invested more in domain names. The two letter .com names were around $30K each when I started. I bought 1. It’s all I could afford – and I took out a loan for it and put up everything I had against it. The values have risen to 6 and 7 figures each.
What are you looking forward to in the next week/month/quarter or year? Or what are your aspirations for your company?
We are working on a startup concept at March.com (another great one word .com name). We have a vision to disrupt the collectibles industry
and development is underway.
What three words describe you as a person?
Honest, obsessed. Two is enough. 😃 When I get ‘on’ a project, I obsess over it. I love exploring passion projects. Also, people know that I am an honest person. Honesty has helped me tremendously in business. Especially when people have a split-second to make a decision on whether to do business with you, or keep reading your offer etc.
What is the last book you've read that you would recommend others read?
Flip the Script by Oren Klaff
What is an unusual things can you not travel without?
We have two small kids, and don’t travel as much as we used to. But these days, A LOT of snacks to keep them happy when we fly 😃
Where is your favorite place in the world?
We live in Southern California and really like it here. Great weather, good people, solid families and endless opportunities for business and startups.
If you had an extra ten minutes per day, what would you do with them?
Read more. With 2 small kids, I usually read a bit before bed. And Pray. I’ve found that, lately, I’m too busy to pray and connect with God… which is a horrible excuse. This is a good reminder that God is first, family second, and my projects are third. I need to get back on track! :D
*We forgot to ask Aron about the logo design used for Symbolics.com. We'll have to have him back!