As Novac writes on the 1st of November, 2019, the Croatian company Infinum, which, by the way, operates not only here in the Republic of Croatia, but all over the world, said that simply changing their web domain from infinum.hr to infinum.com saw great changes follow.
”We started the company back while we were still students with lots of ideas but very shallow pockets, so we had to be careful what we spent. Since we started in Croatia, we got the ”.hr” domain for free. But to expand our business abroad, we needed a country-specific domain,” Tomislav Car wrote on the Infinum website, adding that he and his colleague, Matej Špoler, had decided in this context to buy the .co domain because it was the “closest” to .com, which was still too expensive for them at the time.
But as many as 495 of the top 500 American companies in 2016 had the .com domain, he points out, so it seemed to the two that this was one of the conditions for a successful business, and as Infinum grew, so did Car and Špoler’s investment opportunities. When the company reached a figure of 30 employees, they decided it was time to take a step further. Still, the infinum.com domain was taken.
”Alexander had a software development company of the same name and had no intention of selling us the domain name. His clients knew him by that name, so the change was risky,” recalled Tomislav Car, who was not stopped by this obstacle on the way to his desired address for the company’s website.
Instead, he sent mail to Alexander five to six times a year for the entire seven years and each time offered him more money for the letter ‘m’ in the domain name. While the Croatian company Infinum was growing and enjoying more business success, the American company of the same name decided to change its focus, so the name of the company no longer meant that much. Still, Car claims, “Alexander wasn’t ready to give up his domain.”
”It made sense. We were the only buyer, and he was the only seller. My first offer was 3,000 US dollars while his counter offer was 100,000 US dollars. Our seven-year bargaining would even embarrass the traders from Istanbul’s Bazaar,” said the co-founder of Infinum, adding that after these painstaking and lengthy negotiations, they paid 25,000 US dollars for the letter.
Yet, he believes, it has paid off. Search engines like Google, as Car explained, are well known for ranking domains not related to a particular country when listing results.