make a typo and you are making someone millionaire

I typed thenhbushman.cm this afternoon and was directed to agoga.com. Notice the “cm” instead of “com”[n yes i still prefer to type into address bar handful of websites that I visit frequently instead of bookkeeping urls in favorites :P guilty]. First thought in my mind was that my system might have got some adware~spyware which redirected me to agoga.com but fortunately that wasn’t the case. Now I know there are thousands of web sites with misspelled domain names which are very close to other popular sites. But there is nothing common in “thenhbushman.cm” and “agoga.com”. So I did a small research on agoga.com and was led to this The man who owns the Internet Business 2.0 magazine article. Whoa I was stunned after reading about Kevin Ham, a dotcom mogul who owns agoga.com.

This is what I read from the article in summary
bq. Kevin Ham has built a $300 million empire out of misspelled domain names. The trick is he has cobbled together a portfolio of  300,000 misspelled domains. Try any name you can think of ending with .cm and you will land on agoga.com which is filled with advertisements served by Yahoo. Everytime someone clicks on these ads this guy makes money as does his partner Cameroon. Why Cameroon? It has the unforeseen good fortune of owning .cm as its country code. The difference is that hardly any .cm names are registered, and the letters are just one keyboard slip away from .com, the mother lode of all domains. Ham landed connections to the Cameroon government and flew in his people to reroute the traffic. And if he gets his way, Colombia (.co), Oman (.om), Niger (.ne), and Ethiopia (.et) will be his as well.
This is what I love about Business. Imagination and innovation are so critical to success. I remembered a quote by Albert Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge” and Idea cellular punchline “An idea can change your life”

- Ashish

Published: November 09 2007

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