One of my greatest business achievements, so far in my 40+ years, was my acquisition of the domain name “funk.com”. Face it, I have a pretty nifty name, particularly my last name “FUNK”. We can talk about my initials, “WTF” (and how my parents were pioneers in the acronym world), another time, but for this post, we’ll focus on Funk. It was always a fun name for my coaches to call out and for them to use as an adjective with funny nouns, e.g. “Hey, Funky Monkey”. I’m still not even sure they knew my first name, but that’s ok 🙂
When considering names for my brokerage, I tried EVERYTHING. I sought advice, I ran every domain through the WHOIS database, but nothing stuck, nothing resonated. I kept getting suggestions of “Funk” this or “Funk” that…but I was hesitant. After failing to link a name to a domain name, something that is crucial, in my opinion, I finally began to consider my surname as an option for the name of the Brokerage. I finally settled on “Funk Group”, just because it leaves the option open for future companies to fall underneath the “Funk Group” umbrella, i.e. Funk Investments, Funk Ventures, Funk Properties, etc.
Great, I had a name, now I just needed the domain to match, but both logical options of “funkgroup.com” and “funk.com” were taken, of course. As an aside, my career before Real Estate was in the High Tech world (see about Wade or Wade’s LinkedIn), so I knew a little about how domains work and I also happened to know who owned the “funk.com” domain, which was Juniper Networks (juniper.net), one of the stalwarts in the High Tech world I came from. They bought “Funk Software” 15 years ago and only used the domain as a redirect and didn’t use the Funk name anymore. So, I leveraged that background, with my awesome name, and reached out, in an appeal to the company. I found an email address for their Chief Marketing Officer, a long shot, I know. After a few reminders, he responded (surprisingly) and let me know he was working on it and that he thought he may be able to make it happen. Taken aback, I played it cool…I think. After another week, I followed-up…nothing, then, a few days later, out of the blue, I got a call while I was at Lowe’s (I remember exactly where I was). It was him, the CMO of Juniper Networks, and he was excited to tell me was sending over the contract…I’m sure I sounded like a fool…or a drunken sailor, not sure which, but I was very excited, to say the least! Fast forward…we worked out the deal, a contract was signed, and I now own FUNK.COM.
In hindsight, I’m thankful that there is a very reasonable guy in the executive ranks at Juniper that was willing to listen to a peon named “Funk” from Texas, and I’m very thankful his leadership allowed him to work out the deal with me. I’m still not sure he (or they) knew how big of a deal that is/was for me…but as they say…one small step for man, one GIANT leap for Funk Group! The rest, so to speak, is history, and now I have the coolest domain name on earth…
TL;DR: I managed to appeal to the VERY COOL Chief Marketing Officer of a $5 Billion company and managed to negotiate the acquisition of a domain name from them. #winning