While most stories that are being written about the US economy lately have been negative, for a Maryland man his financial ship has finally come in. Back in 1994, Chris Clark now 43 only paid $20 per year to host the domain name pizza.com since buying it 14 years ago. Now, after a short auction Mr. Clark is selling that domain name to an anonymous buyer for 2.6 million dollars. What is amazing to me is that Chris Clark waited so long to put a obviously hot domain name up for sale. However, his patience has paid off and Mr. Clark is the newest American millionaire as soon as his check clears the bank. During the early days of the Internet, many people bought domain names that were already brand name registered by major businesses. Most of those domain pirates not only did not make any money from their pirating efforts, but many lost money when they had to surrender those domains to their rightful owner for no money at all.
With a generic name like pizza.com, there are no restrictions on an average person because the name pizza cannot become a registered trademark because it is considered to be a generic term referring to an everyday food product and not a major company brand. While I have no idea who paid 2.6 million dollars for pizza.com, most likely it was an already household name pizza company that wants to market their nationwide product to millions of people under that most simple of domain names. Rather than focus my attention on which major company offered Chris Clark that 2.6 million dollar payday, I would rather just enjoy the moment with Mr. Clark as he will soon start living his American dream with over 2.5 million dollars in the bank. These kinds of stories are what make Americans get up in the morning and pursue their crazy ideas and inventions.
I can only wish that I was on the Internet back in 1994 when those generic Internet domain names were available for the average American to purchase. Most certainly a simple name like pizza.com would have been high on my list of domain names that I would have gladly purchased and held on to for a decade. I'm shocked that some large pizza company did not approach Chris Clark during the late 1990's and offer him even more money for the simple pizza.com domain name. However, apparently no one approached him back then or their bidding price was not enough to interest Mr. Clark into selling his gold mine domain name. Right now Chris Clark is keeping a pretty low profile after word leaked out about his financial windfall after selling pizza.com for 2.6 million dollars and if he is smart, which I think he is, he will continue that low profile in the future.
Right now, I think it is wonderful that an average American can turn a few hundred dollar investment in a domain name into a multi million dollar sell less than two decades later. US history is filled with rags to riches stories where a little guy is at the right place and at the right time to move from an average American to a rich one. While 2.6 million dollars is nothing mega rich people like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett would consider large, for a regular American named Chris Clark of Maryland - selling a simple domain name called pizza.com will change his simple life forever. What a wonderful story to find on the weekend when most Americans are trying to relax and lower their stress levels before another busy week starts again on Monday. The story of Chris Clark selling pizza.com for 2.6 million dollars will be the number one subject of conversations in offices around the world come Monday morning.