Keeping It Simple

Juan Diego Calle

For more than two decades DOT COM has been the de facto standard top level domain name for business. One hundred million domain names later the choice of new names is at best limited or at worst involves options that are prohibitively expensive. There are several possible solutions including the new customised domain extensions to be introduced in 2013, but we think one stands out from the field.

Kelly Johnson was one of the world’s most influential engineers. He led the Lockheed team at Area 51 and helped design over 40 aircraft types during four decades with the company (including some of the world’s most iconic aircraft namely the SR71 Blackbird and the U2 Spy Plane). He coined the phrase Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS). The quote was not to suggest that anyone was stupid; it was a design ethos. Some of his aircraft would need to be maintained in the field and if frontline engineers were to be able to keep aircraft serviceable, maintenance needed to be a straightforward as possible.

When it comes to domain names, exactly the same logic applies. The best domains are generally the simplest. There is now a new alternative to DOT COM and that is DOT CO, which meets Kelly Johnson’s criteria: how simple this is! With options for new DOT COM domain names severely limited, DOT CO provides businesses with a clear and simple alternative either using words in full or as acronyms. This gives new options to start-ups and allows established organisations to simplify their existing domain names. Some of the best established internet domains have taken advantage and early adopters have include Google and Twitter with and respectively. With over 1.3 million domains now registered, DOT CO has sufficient momentum to be recognised as a new global standard.

“With over 1.3 million domains now registered, DOT CO has sufficient momentum to be recognised as a new global standard.”

The company running the DOT CO top level domain is .CO Internet SAS which is a strategic partnership with Neustar Inc (NYSE:NSR), the U.S.-based global provider of managed DNS services and registry solutions who has provided domain name solutions for extensions such as DOT US and DOT BIZ. The partnership was formed to promote and manage the DOT CO extension.

The DOT CO top-level-domain was assigned to the Republic of Colombia by ICANN. ICANN is responsible for allocating domain extensions around the world. The DOT CO domain – common with several other international country code extensions such as .TV for Tuvalu – has obvious global appeal. The Colombian government decided that it would facilitate the sharing of the DOT CO resources by adapting the registration policies for DOT CO to international industry standards and engaging DOT CO Internet SAS to manage both the operational aspects and marketing needs of the new domain extension.

Juan Diego Calle is the man behind .CO Internet. Juan is a serial entrepreneur with several start-ups to his credit. It was not long before he had attracted $5 million in seed capital and brands such as Amazon, Twitter and Google were soon to go .CO.

Again, the plan – just like the domain name itself – has kept it simple. The advantages of a DOT CO domain speak for themselves. What .CO Internet has done is take a strategic approach to the marketing and use of the domain. They have effectively prevented domains being parked by speculators thereby ensuring that start-ups and existing businesses can find a name that best suits their needs. Uptake has been global with registrations in over 200 counties. Of course, there are hotspots such as Silicon Valley where .CO is very much seen as the preferred extension for new start-ups. There is every chance the next Facebook or Google will be built on a DOT CO, but for any company that needs a punchy and effective web address DOT CO is the simplest, SEO-friendly and available solution. That was why we decided to adopt a DOT CO web address ourselves: In the words of Kelly Johnson, we have kept it simple stupid and fully expect millions of others to do exactly the same. When the dust settles on the availability of new top level domains you can expect DOT CO to carry on where DOT COM left off.

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