In the New York City, Kurt Schrader and his team were working on the first project management platform for software development that brings everyone on every team together to build better products.
In San Francisco, one fine morning (or night not sure) Paul and Rohan decide to work on a new type of network based on voice. When you would open this app you will see “rooms” full of people talking—all open so you can get in or out, exploring different conversations. With no cameras on, you can use it anywhere, you can talk just like on phone while folding your clothes, while mailing someone, while doing dishes.
The common thing was that both these products were named Clubhouse.
Kurt Schrader and his team got the domain clubhouse.io around 2012 and settled with the name & domain name and according to their LinkedIn bio – More than 1,000 companies from all over the world use Clubhouse (project management software) to plan, collaborate, and build better software together.
Paul and Rohan bought joinclubhouse.com only around 2020 when they launched the clubhouse app!
During all this time, clubhouse.com domain name which was registered in 1997 was sitting with a domain owner who by the looks of it has just parked his domain name with minimal or no activity.
Paul and Rohan’s Clubhouse app blew up and all netizens were seen downloading the app, requesting invites, creating rooms, so much so that if someone in the US or anywhere in the digital world say clubhouse, they only meant the voice social network!
Kurt Schrader and his team did have opportunity to buy clubhouse.com between 2012 and 2020 and move over but eventually it was Paul and Rohan who purchased clubhouse.com and launched their app.
Kurt’s team has now decided to re-name their clubhouse as shortcut. (great name and yeah shortcut.com) and go through all the rebranding exercise as clubhouse.io now seems like a derived name for the project management app from clubhouse app at clubhouse.com and their popularity even-though Kurt’s team had been using the clubhouse name since 2012.
The key thing I want to point out is that many a times when we don’t consider domain names as important assets. In the digital world, your domain name is the first connection to your brand. It is always best to protect your brand online as rebranding is super expensive and needs a lot of time, effort & money. Kurt had good 7 years to negotiate it out with the original domain owner of clubhouse.com and buy it! Had Kurt decided to buy clubhouse.com early on, I really feel that Paul and Rohan may not have chosen “Clubhouse” as a name in the first place. Kurt would not have had to rebrand by writing this blog post and spend a ton of money for buying shortcut.com and complete rebranding exercise and I would not have gotten this opportunity and motivation to write this piece.
We still would have had the social network based on voice which would probably not been called clubhouse.