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Cyger: Hey, everyone. My name is Michael Cyger, and I’m the publisher of DomainSherpa.com, the domain name authority and the place where you can learn about the domain name industry directly from experts, or Sherpas, themselves.

I live in Seattle, where there is a vibrant startup community. In addition to the startups, we have established high-tech and dot-com companies like Microsoft, Amazon, F5 Networks, and Big Fish Games. And every conference I go to, I meet a handful of engineers from companies like these who have a brilliant idea for their own startup. The problem I most often see is that these entrepreneurs are great with technology, stats, and proofs of concepts but could use help with branding and marketing. The most critical aspect, in my opinion, is getting a killer domain name. A company’s domain name is the core of a business’s identity, along with their name and telephone number. But how do startup entrepreneurs (who typically have very little cash) get great domain names?

Joining me today to answer this question is Mike Mann, a serial entrepreneur who has owned some of the finest premium domain names available and has built a number of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations on top of them, including Phone.com, SEO.com, Grassroots.org, and many others that we’ll learn about more today. Mike’s here to tell entrepreneurs how they can access premium domain names for their own startups. Mike, welcome to the show!

Mann: Thanks a lot, I appreciate it.

Cyger: You have a ton of domain names, Mike—from my research, currently over 160,000 domain names—one of which is Aux.com, as in auxiliary. Can you describe the purpose of Aux.com?

Mann: Sure. Of the 160,000 domain names we have, about one-tenth of one percent of them we use for our own purposes, including starting companies, blogs, or whatever. We use maybe a couple dozen currently for different companies, blogs, etc., and we have several hundred on tap that we could potentially use in the near future. They’re on the waiting list. So, Aux.com is one of them we peeled off because it’s a great name, easy to remember, and there’s a lot of good, simplistic information on there for domainers and internet people.