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Together, they became a formidable yet quirky team (imagine George Costanza and Jerry Seinfeld with the pioneering spirit of Lewis and Clark).
Two years later, they created a company called smartname.com, which they sold earlier this year.
"Dot-net is worthless."But there's a big divide between thinking of a good name and getting it. The cheapest name they bought at the auction was for 5,000.
There's usually a chase, with Fischer trying to persuade owners to sell the names after he locates the owners unless it's up for auction."He's kind of like a rhinoceros," Goldberger says about Fischer. Other names sold for considerably less like (,000) and (,000).
"Kind of a square peg in a round whole and this lawsuit just kind of changed everything for me."He eventually left the respected Philadelphia law firm where he worked in 1997 and joined a small startup in Manhattan called mail.com, which was buying up domain names.
Goldberger began collaborating with Fischer in 2001, building their portfolio of domain names.
They are bidding furiously at this auction of Internet domain names, with hopes of snagging One name -- -- went for million but paled in comparison to the sale of sex.com, which sold for million last year, according to Cahn, who knew the site's buyer and seller.
When people type the generic names into their Web browser's address field, sites that generate pay-per-click advertising revenue appear. "This industry is like the wild, wild West right now and people have no idea how fast it's growing," said Jerry Nolte, managing partner of Domainer's Magazine, a new trade publication devoted to this little-known world. It's a piece of real estate on the Web that can't be replaced.
"It's not about words," said Monte Cahn, founder and CEO of Moniker.com, a company that specializes in domain asset management and held the Manhattan auction. The auctions were held during a domain conference in June that attracts some of the biggest players in this niche business. The two sides eventually settled and Goldberger, a lawyer, was allowed to keep the name.Bob Parsons, CEO and founder of domain registration company Go Daddy.com, says this type of business is fairly straightforward."They make their money in two ways," Parsons said.