Search and Collaborate Domain Name Research
We've built the first Google Sheet Add-on that allows you to search and collaborate on domain names. All you have to do is enter your domain name and click search. GSheetDomains automatically searches your domain name, and hundreds of other combinations for your consideration.
Share the Google Sheet with your co-founders so you can both review results and comment on your favorites. No more emailing back and forth names, only to find someone snatched it up in the meantime.
Maybe you want RocketShip.com, but that's been taken. We automatically search hundreds of other prefixes and suffixes like MyRocketShip, RocketShipOnline, RocketShipWeb and many others. You'll be sure to find a great name!
There are many website's that search domain names, but once you close that site, your results are gone. Putting results in a Google Sheet allows you to save your searches while you do your research. You can always come back and refresh results to get the latest data.
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Post Install Tips
After you install, click 'Add-ons' to access the GSheetDomains menu
To start your first search, click 'Start Domain Search' and enter your desired name into the pop up window
If you ever want to refresh results you think might be dated, just click 'Refresh Results' in the GSheetDomains menu
How I met a stranger online and built a Google Sheet add-on in under 2 weeks!
Quite awhile ago I had built an add-on for the G Suite Marketplace (now known as the Google Workplace Marketplace). I decided to offload it and turned to the Saas marketplace called Microacquire. During that process I founder a stranger who wanted to partner up, and this is how we built an app in under 2 weeks. Here's the story and importantly, a few lessons you can take learn from out journey.
Meeting A Stranger
While selling my previous add-on, I had a ton of inquires and scheduled half a dozen Q/A with potential buyers. I had listed the add-on for a low price ($1000) since I had launched but didn't do any post launch work (quick aside....I launched right at the start of COVID and I work in healthcare, specifically in infection control, so it's been a busy year). During the first Q/A with some buyers from eastern Europe, they made an offer to purchase on the spot, for which I accepted (mini-lesson, if you get a ton of inquires and the first people you talk to make an offer, you likely listed too low...my loss) Literally 20 minutes later, I get an email that reads like this (I don't have the email anymore or else I would post it). But the fact that he did the legwork to find my personal email showed me he meant business!
Hey - I was doing a deep dive on Microacquire and I found your tool. I think it's pretty cool and I wonder if you'd be open to a unique partnership? Give me 45 days to help build up a customer base and then we can return to Microacquire and try to sell for $10,000 instead of $1000. What are your thoughts?
$10,000 definitely sounds better than $1000 and what was another 45 days? I had already sat on the app for almost a year doing nothing, 45 days couldn't hurt. The problem was that I had 20 minutes prior accepted the offer from two other guys (for which it all went through smoothly).
Not wanting to back out of the deal I accepted, I told Ed that I had just sold the startup but I was very much attracted to his offer, perhaps we could work together. He was disappointed that he missed the boat by 20 minutes but was excited to work on something new!
Lesson 1: if you want to get involved in a startup, sometimes just reaching out can work!
I was intrigued by Ed's offer, it was different from all the other people that reached out on Microacquire. It showed passion, it showed enthusiasm. I would have taken it if it wasn't for the already accepted offer. Ed and I emailed back and forth and agreed to try and find another startup we could work together on. Ed said that he didn't have the time to purchase an operate a startup, but thought he could help take one up a level. It was a unique way to get involved. If you don't have the complete set of skills to start one (ex. don't have development skills) and want to get involved early, perhaps you could take the 'Ed route' and reach out to startups looking to sell. Partner up and try to help build a customer base for future sale!
Ed and I went back and forth on some ideas. Some that we had sitting in our head previously and some new ones that came up through our chats. Ironically, we both happened to have a similar educational back ground since we are both epidemiologists. We both agreed that the Google Workplace Marketplace is a great place to be working. To me, the Google Workplace Marketplace seems like the Apple app store before it was the Apple app store, in that there aren't many apps in the store, but there are a lot of users! Just think, there are billions of Gmail users in addition to a ton of businesses (some estimates are over 10 million users) using Google for their email handling. All these people can access the Google Workplace Marketplace for free!
Lesson 2: Go to where the puck is heading.
If you search through the Google Workplace Marketplace you won't find a ton of great add-ons. There are a handful that are well designed and developed, but nothing like the Apple app store or Google Play store! Both Ed and I agreed we should focus our efforts there, the potential was huge!
Finally one of us started talking about domain names. Both being serial entrepreneurs we had done a lot of domain name searching in the past. We both had used sites like Namecheap where you plug in your desired name and see if it's taken. Namecheap will take your name and add various things like 'my' or 'club' and also try out various zone/tlds such as .io or .org. The one thing missing was a way to save those results! That was our idea!!!
We would create a spreadsheet tool that not only searches your domain (and various iterations) but also saves the searches! It was a problem, albeit maybe a bit minor, that both of us had in the past. We would conduct a domain search, find a few names but then have to create some word doc somewhere to save them. Ed even pulled up a document from a long time ago where him and his co-founder did this process!
Our idea was the design a spreadsheet that would allow the user to search for domain names (and a bunch of different combinations), save those results and collaborate with others on which ones they like. The spreadsheet would be free to use, and we'd make money by partnering with domain registers on an affiliate basis. Therefore, if someone did register a domain after using our tool, we'd make a small commission on that sale!
Being the developer, I got to work on the app right away. I had some downtime in my job and was able to utilize breaks, lunch hours and evenings to develop the app. It was fairly straightforward and I was able to get things together pretty quickly. In 2-3 days I had a working prototype for Ed to try out. After gathering some feedback I went about making changes and working toward a V1.
Lesson 3: Set deadlines, and live by them
Since Ed and I were strangers (he lives in Texas, I live in Alberta) we were upfront about our intentions. First, everything was 50/50 and importantly, we wanted to iterate fast, build some customers and try to flip the business to someone who could operate it long term. Given the quick start, we told each other that we would try to have the add-on ready to submit to Google in 1 week, we didn't want things to linger. I worked many hours to get it done, while Ed went about building a website, designing up a logo on Canva and starting on a marketing plan.
True to our word, we had everything ready to go after about 7 or 8 days. I went through the awkward submission process with Google. Being a relatively new marketplace, the submission process isn't as smooth as say Apple. Google did make some improvements between my previous add-on and this new add-on though. However, to give you a sense of what it's like, at one point a Google representative creates a shared Google Doc and you both work off of that, commenting back and forth about the add-on.
It took about a week and a half to get approved and we were live in the Google Workplace Marketplace.... G Suite Marketplace is definitely a better name, easier to say as well!
Lesson 4: Tell your story
This post is a part of that marketing plan. In the past I found stories would work way better than fact based posts. I learned this first hand when I posted about losing $7 selling McDonalds sauces online. I posted the story to r/startups and received 448 upvotes (link to post). A journalist even reached out and asked if I could write up the store for posting to the The Observer.
You can't just tell your story though, you need to allow the reader to take something away from it, to learn from it. So I posted some lessons that I took away from this early partnership between Ed and I. I hope there is something you learned, or something that you are able to take away for your next startup or partnership!
Click the link below to go to our Google Add-on Page!