How Steve Jobs Got The AppStore.com Domain and Trademark For Free
I’m sure you’ve all heard about Steve Jobs resigning as CEO of Apple. Today, I read a post that stood out among the sea of farewells and Apple nostalgia. I really didn’t think I would be writing a post about Steve Jobs myself, but this is a great look at the impact domains, especially generic brands, can have on business.
The Next Web shared the interesting story of how Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, gave a very special gift to Steve Jobs as thanks for his influence and sage advice.
In 2003, Benioff brought a few members of his executive team to visit Steve Jobs. The words of wisdom he would receive turned out to have profound implications for both Salesforce and Apple.
“You have a fantastic enterprise application here, but you’ve got to build an ecosystem.”
The Salesforce.com team took the advice to heart and developed a new technology called “App Store”, where users could buy enterprise applications and run them within Salesforce.
The project ended up launching under a different name, “App Exchange.” But, Benioff liked the App Store name so much that he purchased the domain name AppStore.com and corresponding trademark.
Years later, in 2008, Benioff was in the audience when Steve Jobs announced his own App Store. After the announcement, Benioff went up to Steve Jobs and offered the AppStore.com domain and the trademark rights as a gift, in appreciation of his help in 2003.
Apple now defends the trademark in court and uses the powerful generic brand to reign-supreme over other application platforms. Now that is a domain that is truly priceless.