Short URL Gets Shorted

  • JJ Hornblass
  • December 15, 2015
  • 0

canstockphoto0131268To most marketers, short URLs are cool. For example, last year, GMO Internet Inc., a Japanese ISP, paid about $6.8 million for

Here’s why GMO paid up for is one of only three single-character domain names currently existing in the .com space — is highly memorable and offers unparalleled marketing opportunity.

Only six one-letter .coms exist:,,,,, and Elon Musk famously started PayPal in 1999 with the domain. The URL is still owned by PayPal, although it is not in use.

However, it seems that the short URL does not hold the same attraction at Wells Fargo & Co.

Wells Fargo has until recently housed its mobile website at, a domain the bank has owned since 1993 and which is not scheduled to expire until 2018. That changed recently to

OK, so this is not exactly groundbreaking news, but it led us to wonder, What should Wells do with the URL? We plugged the domain into one of those free domain appraisal tools, and, lo and behold, is apparently worth exactly $291,616.34. Maybe someone at Wells should call Elon Musk?

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at or 212-564-8972.

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