Imagine: you’re rich, like super rich. So, you have the means to buy whatever makes you happy. You are not in need, you have everything. Or almost … Why not buying your own domain name extension! The final stage of vanity, don’t you think?
.richardli or the story of a millionaire who buys himself a piece of internet
No, this story is not a fiction. Once upon a time, there was a wealthy businessman at the head of an investment company: the Hongkongese millionaire Richard Li. One day, he decided to register his own name as a top-level domain: .RICHARDLI!
According to the website The Register, the price to become the owner of its own name’s extension is, only, 250,000$! Not to mention annual management fees and others …
A TLD or nothing
Because nothing is too beautiful (or too expensive) when you’re rich, you can buy yourself a TLD branded with your own name. He could have afforded the domain name richardli.fr, for example. We checked, it is available for 12€ on Gandi.net (to any speculators who would like to register it and then resell it!). Not expensive enough kid! Especially when his personal fortune is estimated at $4,6 billions (according to Forbes).
As a result, Richard Li made a request to ICANN, a global organization that manages domain names (to which YouDot is accredited), in order to obtain the right to manage his own .richardli domain name. And he succeeded after several months of negotiations, ICANN took its decision in May 2016.
The most positive aspect is that this right opens the door to create hundreds, thousands, or even millions of domain names that would then feature his name: money.richardli, work.richardli. As TheRegister suggested, with a little imagination, he could automatically post everything he eats and we would find it on food.richardli. Or even create his own url shortener to redirect to his own sites! But maybe Richard Li aims to launch his own clothing line (hi Kanye West), a restaurant franchise, or a media like a TV channel.
Protect your name, protect your brand
In the application details on the ICANN website, it states that “one of the important goals of domain names is to preserve the intellectual property rights of the CEO Richard Li”.
Is it really necessary to possess its own TLD in order to protect its Brand? Isn’t it just the height of vanity, or even megalomania? Who knows it might inspire the great fortunes of the world!
For the average person, it is quite possible to secure its digital identity by registering as soon as possible its domain name if its available on one, or more, relevant extension. Whether it is for a brand, a product or for oneself like the vanity domains, it is always better to be foresighted and pragmatic.
From your own opinion, do you think this man is a visionary and has perceived a real opportunity (somehow, he might be a pioneer!)? Or it might just be a demonstration of an oversized ego who wanted to buy a piece of internet … How far would you be willing to go to secure your digital identity?
I’m going to leave you now, I have to register my name in extension!