What I Learned Spending $1.5 Million on Sumo.com

What I Learned Spending $1.5 Million on Sumo.com

Today I'm sharing the story of why we spent $1,500,000 on Sumo.com. I discuss how I got past my reservations and in the process out my business partner Chad as Batman.

Why did I spend 7+ years, hire 3 brokers, and send over 200 emails to buy the 82nd most expensive domain in history?

Lessons taught in this episode:

  • Why a domain name matters - a good domain equals a legit company.
  • Lets you own your brand and be the definitive source - consider what your customers will be saying when they repeat your domain.
  • It takes as much effort to do something big as it does to do something small - put as much time into them to do them right.
  • How to defer payment for large items as a percentage of revenue - sometimes sellers aren't interested in one payment.
  • How to use leverage in negotiations - figure out exactly what the other side wants or fears.
  • Use real-time communication channels - make your messages stand out from the noise in email.
  • Useful mindsets and questions for large purchases - this will be a huge drain, so think carefully.
  • A deal is never over until it's signed - don't skimp on anything until the deal is closed.

Direct Download Link
Right-click and select ‘Save As…’

Subscribe in iTunesSubscribe on AndroidSubscribe on Stitcher

Links discussed in this episode:





 Leave a comment and tell me what you really want.

Want to learn more about how I spent $1.5 million on a domain? Check out the video below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

89 responses to “What I Learned Spending $1.5 Million on Sumo.com”

Global Sumo
February 9, 2017 at 1:22 am

1.5 million is lot of money and you missed sumo.global - Contact if interested! #howtomake1kabusinessmonthcourse

February 9, 2017 at 1:21 am

What I really want to take the knowledge that I have gained from my (almost) 30 years in education and turn that into a business. I am aware of others who have created businesses selling their teaching wisdom--I have bought their products myself! So I have to go out there, buy the appropriate domain name and just do it. Or should I build the business first and then get the domain name?

ellie hays
February 8, 2017 at 11:41 pm

BTW For fun I looked up my family's surname on whois.com and the domain is taken 🙁

ellie hays
February 8, 2017 at 11:36 pm

*To be free from 6 figures worth of student loan debt
*To transform blighted neighborhoods into urban oases
*To have the time and resources to take care of my mom
*To earn a living as a real estate investor and leave the 9 to 5 behind

February 8, 2017 at 6:41 pm

This episode was dope. Sumo.com has a way smoother sound to it than SumoMe. Sure you will see great ROI on the change.
Anyway, really want to not have this taco as my icon when I comment on your blog!! Lol but really, I've been debating starting a blog related to fitness. Trying to learn as much as I can before I go through with it

February 8, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Nice Noah!
Thanks for entering the podcast land. Over the years you've given so much value: from smoothie recommendations (unicorn semen), to autoresponder advice, to one of my favourite products you've released: the email template program (have even bought someone a pair of shoes like you).
Here's what I would spend the GoDaddy 100 bucks on: my OWN domain name. When I was 12, I was a kid actor, was in a big blockbuster movie and someone overseas scooped up my name 15 years ago by going through the credits. After listening to this podcast, I'm ready to pull the 'chute and pony up the 3k for my domain name. Not because I need it, but because like you said: "Would I be pissed if someone else had it?"...the answer. A resounding Yes! Cheers!

February 8, 2017 at 3:56 pm


Just kidding. I just wanted to get your attention.
What I really fucking want is for Noah Kagan to actually respond to a comment of mine for once.
Seriously, I comment on so many fucking blog posts and I never get a fucking response.
Noah Kagan is a fake ass bitch. Yo seriously!!
I comment on your youtube videos and everything fucking thing you post and I still don't get a response.
Hey Noah! If you're reading this go fuck yourself!!!!
Also, you really inspired me to start a business and I'm really thankful for that. I used to be a hardcore wantrepreneur. But something clicked after I read the Boron Letters and watched some of your videos on Youtube.

Drew Hudgins
February 8, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Appreciate the transparency behind acquiring that domain. That's huge.

I long for a really rad treehouse for me and my two boys to spend hours in as they grow up. I really want to raise two good men… and I feel like that treehouse is going to be one of the components to seeing that goal.

February 8, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Great episode. Enjoying the new podcast. Thanks for the insights, Noah! I want: a smoothie stand in French Polynesia...and a hawte gal I'm crushin' on in South Pasadena. I would also like a tech business solid enough to purchase a $1.5 mil domain name. I want to master sales so that my music biz (IG: @concerttalent) can hit seven figures gross in the next three years.

February 8, 2017 at 1:42 pm

Hi Noah - loved the podcast. And you're right, follow up pays off, especially these days where the bar is set SO low on customer service, relationship development and follow-up. I'm looking forward to seeing what Sumo.com has in store!

As for me, in 2017 I want to hit my stride at helping small businesses that are feeling left behind finally find their marketing footing by choosing the techniques and tools that are relevant to their business. There are a lot of family-owned companies out there that are struggling to figure out "the cyber" and I aim to help 'em!


PS - As an owner of a ".NET", you now have me considering hitting up the .COM owner of my domain to see if we could make a deal... 🙂

February 8, 2017 at 1:30 pm

I'd like to know how to choose a partner and/or build a team-- early stage. I'm a solopreneur, built a service product and getting organic signups. Tempted to get a virtual assistant, but really need that "business guy (or gal)" who is not a douchebag to help me build a team and scale. Bootstrapping, and without seed/angel/VC capital, it is little challenging. Is there match.com for founders/co-founders out there?

February 8, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Great podcast that resonated with me. Liked the duration too. I bought a four letter domain name about a year ago and I can relate with the part that you talked about the excitement on buying the domain. Even though the business venture did not lead anywhere, I still have the domain and I think it’s a great invest on it’s own too.

What I really want? I want to share value to people. Things that can help in their life. I want to show people that they can start to live the life they truly want. That they can do so much more. That they can tap into the authenticity which makes them who they are. I want to see the world and communicate with people. I want to speak in a language that will go to their heart. I want to start a company where I can work location independently. I want my life to be an adventure rather than aeroplane on autopilot.

There is so much that I truly want Noah, and I can’t wait than just achieving them, one at a time.

February 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want...I really really really wanna build something great on the domain I just bought... I can also imagine buying another domain from that GoDaddy gift card 🙂

February 8, 2017 at 12:51 pm

This one really struck home with me. Last year I had to stop hosting my website because I was laid off from my job which allowed me to fund any marketing I had planned to do for my website. I'm employed again and was going to continue on my site after getting paid this Friday, my little birthday present to myself. I'm a Digital Marketing Director so I understand the whole process from start to finish and couldn't be more excited to continue this upcoming weekend. It honestly pains me to see a site I put work into last year to now lead to a godaddy page about how someone else can buy my domain for $69.99 + commission....ugh! The irony in all of this is that my job laid me off and I wasn't able to pursue this dream.....but I was following this dream because I wanted to stop working. I know hindsight is 20/20 but I wish I had just budgeted this under my unemployment and just went for it like many other digital entrepreneurs. Thanks and keep up the great work on the podcast!

Ryan Bates
February 8, 2017 at 12:47 pm

What I want more than anyting is to have my own freelance Facebook marketing agency so that I can work from home and spend more time with my fiance. I work for an agency now doing Facebook advertising and I love what I do but my job takes me away from home a lot. I'd like to get to a place where I can go it alone and build up my own clients and be able to manage them in my underwear from my kitchen table.

February 8, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Since finishing the book "built to sell", a week ago, I'm actively looking for a mentor that can help me out structure my marketing agency in order to sell it 2-3 years from now. Being 23 y/o I'm dying for some guidance. I'm probably going to contact all top agencies in the city by the end of the week.. still have to figure out what to tell them.

February 8, 2017 at 12:31 pm

I want to stop talking myself out of pursuing my goals and convincing myself that the timing isn't right.

carlos aguilar
February 8, 2017 at 12:24 pm

hahaha, 1.5m dollars, so happy for you guys. I bought for my company conversiones.com (conversions in spanish) last year for a little more than 1k dollars, for me a steal, but some people still say to me why you spent so much on a domain. Now I can forward them here every time some one ask me that question #becauseIreallyWanted #buildingAnEmpire

February 8, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Love this! A few months ago I opened negotiations on a domain with a $199 offer (they declined and said, "not even close"). Heh, after some back and forth eventually I got it, but was stressing about spending $3,400 for the domain. We can easily afford it, I was just stressing over whether it's "worth it." Kinda silly now that I'm thinking of it considering I've spent more than that on high risk marketing experiments that failed.

Noah Kagan
February 9, 2017 at 10:26 pm

Which one?

February 8, 2017 at 12:20 pm

what I want is to make my app an amazing success and to make US $ 1 million or more through my apps and online products in the next 2-3 years.

Alan Cassinelli
February 8, 2017 at 12:17 pm

I want to diversify my income. I freelance edit for Minimums.com (which has featured Noah, search his name) and I want to create my own sites to generate income so I am no so reliant on my job for financial security

Noah Kagan
February 9, 2017 at 10:26 pm

Love your guys site!

Adrian Beckett
February 8, 2017 at 12:16 pm

I agree with you Eddy; Noah is great at delivering short podcasts with actionable steps. I loved 'the 5am morning challenge' also. How many uniques you got so far? Maybe Noah can give you 1 actionable step for that.

Peter Diaz
February 8, 2017 at 11:55 am

I want to be able to travel anywhere in the world and run an online business that feeds my passions and allows me to feed and serve others

February 8, 2017 at 11:53 am

Oh man, I paid hundreds of pounds for a business domain and thought was a big deal (it was, to me). What I really want is for the business I'm building on it to provide for my family!
Thanks for sharing the story. I hope you see the return on a million and a half!

February 8, 2017 at 11:42 am

I have owned incompatible.com for 20 years. I get approached regularly by people who express an interest.

Unlike you Noah, they NEVER followup. I don't even quote a price, I just suggest we should talk. I would rather speak because, just like you would have considered equity or terms deal, I am totally open to that.

If nothing else, maybe there's a meeting of the minds and a new relationship. But after receiving inquiries for 20 years, I can say conclusively that most people are short-sighted.

The most anyone ever offered me was $85,000 for it, and for a while I regretted not selling it. Your story makes me feel better about my decision. Even if I never sell it, I could build a terrific brand on this domain in several relevant industries: technology, media, dating, etc. Until then, 9 bucks a year at GoDaddy is a more than acceptable holding cost.

Warren Carlyle
February 8, 2017 at 11:31 am

I want to build the first octopus only aquarium-- started instagram.com/octonation about a year ago and have managed to build a super engaged community of 63K plus people. OctoNation dot com is owned by a digital design company in bulgaria. I havent thought to approach them with an offer-- mainly because i'm scared i'm going to hear the 1.5 million number. lol-- but you're right- I need to contact them ... thank you for this.

PS: I'm in austin ... sup dawg.

Eddy Baller
February 8, 2017 at 11:22 am

Ok, actually enjoyed that podcast. The fact that it was short was really refreshing too. I would have listened to a longer one but cutting it short sort of leaves it 'fresh'.

What Ihe want my media company to hit 100k uniques per month.

That is, after I finished the transition from my current biz.

P.s. not sure if comment was duplicated. Posted and didn't see it up so reposting here.

Brian Brown
February 8, 2017 at 10:50 am

I want FaithBook.com ive been working on this app and its going to help many many people with their struggles and lifes obstacles. They said not interested did not buy for the money.

February 8, 2017 at 10:49 am

I want a small house in Ireland for $100k. Really nice one and to have enough money not to worry about food for the rest of my life. I would write books for the rest of my life. Thanks.

Jimmy Corrigan
February 8, 2017 at 10:00 am

I want to get my graduate degree in data science.

February 8, 2017 at 9:54 am

Interesting. I'm also one of those that think spending a lot of money on a domain is not worth it. I'm not sure if this podcast was able to change that mindset, but one thing I do learn from this podcast is that I can always get what I want I persist enough and there is nothing like "this item is not for sale". Just gat to figure out what the current own want. That is "an offer they can't refuse".

Congrats on your purchase.

By the way, I'm still trying to digest this: "it takes as much effort to do something big as it does to do something small". :-/

Adrian Beckett
February 8, 2017 at 12:04 pm

Recommended: 'Bold' by Peter Diamandis. I felt like superman after reading that.

Bryan Gierse
February 8, 2017 at 9:31 am

Never been a big fan of comments but I really appreciate the shared experience. That is gold. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to hear about how deals manifest thru creativity thinking (and persistence). So many people out there can learn from this artistic example of how to overcome challenges and obstacles. Feel like I just got a 1.5 million dollar life experience for FREE. Other people's experiences are the best. All pleasure, NO pain. In my humble opinion, FEAR of mistakes is what paralyzes most business owners or wantrapreneurs. Love to hear stories that show how companies or entrepreneurs overcome their challenges. Thanks for the behind the scenes look and sharing your thought processes and experience. Great job... Good luck with the podcast. Keep it up!

Noah Kagan
February 9, 2017 at 10:30 pm

You won the $100 GoDaddy gift card. You didn't say what you wanted but I genuinely appreciated your reply 🙂

February 8, 2017 at 9:26 am

Man 'o Man, Noah, you have SUMO sized balls. I can only wish you a Sumo sized goodluck! ?

Adrian Beckett
February 8, 2017 at 11:59 am

You sumod it up nicely. Definition: when you sum up something in a huge way.

February 8, 2017 at 9:21 am

I want a big Instagram account to use for social media influencing and driving traffic!

J Cleveland Payne
February 8, 2017 at 9:07 am

This. Was. AWESOME! Thank you for explaining your change of heart.

What I really want is some traction in me writing/coaching/presonal development 'business.' I'm been spinning my wheels for a while now stuck in the world of trying to make what was the path to a dream job into just a bearable job at this point.

February 8, 2017 at 9:04 am

What I really want is to win this gift card.

And because nobody else wants it that much to comment about it, I have to be the winner.

February 8, 2017 at 8:52 am

I love your podcast and used to watch all the videos you featured in on YouTube. Seriously your tips are awesome and possible to execute - could listen all day and it is so motivating. Anyways thanks for doing this and please don't stop! 🙂

Michael Crider
February 8, 2017 at 8:47 am

What's the RSS for your podcast? I can't get the "subscribe on android" link to work.

Joshua Davis
February 8, 2017 at 8:41 am

I hear over and over from companies are reluctant to buy expensive domains, but the ones that do never regret it. "It takes the same amount of effort to something big as it does something small." - So true!

February 8, 2017 at 8:40 am

What I want is to figure out the creative work I'm willing to give up in order to continue to grow, I love what I do and enjoy doing the work but I run a small advertising agency and have worked with the same group of clients for 13 years. I've acquired a few new clients (all without a website at my main domain name 🙂 or without spending thousands on ads! However, finding the right talent at a rate I'm willing to pay has been tough. My clients refer me business and it's working but a bit of growth has me working 12-18 hours a day. I love the hustle but I want to incrementally grow with the right talent without doing my existing clients a disservice.

March 10, 2017 at 6:54 pm

I'm replying to my own post as I realized what I posted previously is not that relevant 🙂 I want whynot.com for my agency since it matches my brand but I'd have to drop $250,000. Bit over budget. Maybe someday?

Ron Mahon
February 8, 2017 at 8:39 am

You spent 1.5 million, no spent a couple hundred Dollars a good microphone. You sound like your in the bottom of a barrel. Not a quality pretension.

Adrian Beckett
February 8, 2017 at 11:29 am

Noah is validating a podcast. Content is king - especially at this early stage. I'm sure he appreciates your feedback. Personally, I've found that they are getting better and better. Haven't even noticed sound issues.

February 8, 2017 at 8:35 am

We just bought a domain yesterday for $2,500 at my job. We didn't have any buyers remorse, but after this morning, I definitely feel like we make the right choice. Thanks for the very relevant podcast today. And what I really want... to do this very thing on my own. Make a bold financial decision and feel immediately it was the right choice.

February 8, 2017 at 8:33 am

1.5 Million Dollar? I don't believe a word. The Sumo-Website doesn't look like a big business, and overall there is a huge gap in a section below. Not professionell, I'm sorry.

February 8, 2017 at 8:31 am

What I really want is to want.

Justin Marks
February 8, 2017 at 8:21 am

I want to be financially free and eliminate all of my debt within 18 months.

February 8, 2017 at 8:21 am

I really want a podcast transcript!

February 8, 2017 at 7:45 am

I was listening to your episode with Jason Calacanis and I was thinking the same thing. Congrats on the purchase, man!

John Sousa
February 8, 2017 at 7:34 am

Great episode. I've had similar reservations on buying expensive domain names. Maybe it's time to reconsider. Thanks for putting out these podcasts, BTW, short and sweet. Keep up the awesome work.

February 8, 2017 at 6:14 am

What I really want is to live in Asia while operating my own profitable business remotely. I think about it constantly. Asia has been calling me for years. I currently live in Chicago and work a full-time desk job.

February 8, 2017 at 9:11 am

I want to go back in time and buy couple of hundreds of these domains.. I know John Reese sold Income.com for a 1Mn back around 2000... seriously though, this episode is great and I was wondering the reasons of these huge purchases, and now it makes sense. I want Noah to share these inside news/ reasoning - it is of immense value otherwise most of the other information is somehow available online.

February 8, 2017 at 8:27 pm

I did have the same thought haha

David Lee
February 9, 2017 at 3:47 am

I can swap with you for 1, 2 years while I try to improve my English in U.S. 🙂 I am not sure if I want to stay there long term. But I really want to have a job that have no location restriction so that I can travel around the world while still paying my billls!

February 12, 2017 at 12:45 am

Same situation, same dream. But not Asia, but travelling the world. Working on it

February 8, 2017 at 5:01 am

What I really want is the courage to just go out and do it.
It's all well and good reading every piece of writing on entrepreneurship, but, I just want to not be scared to execute and then have to face the fact that maybe I am wrong.

February 9, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Yes, yes and more yes to this!!

Lifa Nati
February 9, 2017 at 3:56 pm

We've all been there. There's absolutely no secret formulae to it. It's called procrastination. And the only way to overcome it is taking that first baby step of what ever it is that you are thinking of doing. Even the bible , dare do I say it teaches man "Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. For anyone who hears the word but does not carry it out is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror, and after observing himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.