NamesCon is where ideas and domain names intersect and transform into reality. This is what happened when Erik Bergman decided to shop for the perfect domain name for his new venture using the NamesCon domain auction.
We spoke with Erik to find out not only who he is and how his idea was born, but also what Great.com is all about, why this specific domain name was so important, and what the future holds for his exciting new project. This is the story of how an important idea requires a great name. Read our interview with Erik below.
What can we expect from Great.com?
Great.com is going to be my life purpose, that’s the main thing about it. I want to build on something for the rest of my days and feel that it’s really meaningful.
There are several things you can expect from it that are out of the ordinary. The first one is that all the profits will go to charity even though it will be a very commercial product. That’s because I want to make a difference and I would like everyone who gets involved to be able to use their talents in life to make a difference as well.
Secondly, I want to create a unique business environment. I want to build something that is completely transparent, from salaries to business terms. I want to do this because I believe it is the future. If the salary list is transparent it has to be 100% fair and the same goes for the business terms and everything else. There are no shortcuts if you put all info on the table. In my vision of this we will even create a system where the employees set their own salaries. There are already a couple of businesses out there that does this, and I think that’s the epitome of trust. I don’t know how to make that work yet but I know want to see it happen!
On top of those things we will create a fully remote workplace where everyone works whenever and wherever they want, a business with the aim that everyone should want to stay on the project for life and where they health and wellbeing of everyone is of top priority. Even here there are so many things that I have no idea how to solve, but I’m very sure of my intentions.
What would you like people to learn or take away from your project?
To me, nothing brings me better feelings than adding value to people. I believe that this is something deeply ingrained in our DNA. The more we care about others, the better we will feel.
I want to find every way possible to get this message out and hopefully influence people to do the same. We will do everything from blogging about business transparency to helping orphanages in Uganda. The goal is to inspire others to do similar things and from that create a ripple effect.
What's something most people don't know about you?
Something most people don’t know… Well… I love crying. I think crying is something amazing. As most men, or boys for that matter, I used to never cry and if I did I was ashamed of it and hid it the best I could.
About a year ago however I went through a very rough phase in my life and I decided to show my vulnerability to the people around me and tell them how I actually felt. I cried more in front of people in a couple of weeks than I done in all my adult life. It had this magical effect on everyone around me. For the first, I got all this love and support – but it also opened them up a lot and if felt like everyone got more vulnerable and at the same time stronger. Everything became more honest.
Today I feel that every time I cry, I’m showing people around me that it’s OK to be vulnerable and that crying is natural and wonderful. It might be weird, but it makes me proud to be that example.
How did you get your start in the industry?
My friend and I was starting a small web agency right after graduation. I think I was 19 at the time and our business idea was to help small businesses to get websites. We never managed to get the ball really rolling with this and soon realized that it wouldn’t work out. Instead we started buying domains and creating affiliate websites for ourselves and it became much more successful than the consultancy ever way.
What advice can you offer those who are just getting their start in the domain (or related) industry?
I would give them the same advice as I would for pretty much everything else – “Just begin!”. I believe that we overthink pretty much everything in life and the more we think the more reasons about, why not to do it, we will come up with. The idea they have now is probably not the perfect one and the next one won’t be either but if they just get started more and more opportunities will unfold. Start with the absolute smallest step you can come up with. Start today, not tomorrow!
What was one of your biggest "Aha!" moments in life?
I would say that the realization about crying and vulnerability that I mentioned before comes very high up on that list.
Another big “Aha!” was the realization that everyone is too busy worrying what other people think of them to really care about you. Whenever I used to make a mistake I was so worried to be judged by others. However, I’ve now realized that I don’t care at all when someone else make a mistake, I’ve forgotten that 30 seconds later – so why would anyone care about my mistakes?
Nobody really cares what I wear, what I look like or if my dance moves make no sense. With this realization it becomes so much easier to just live my life my way and enjoy it!
If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?
This is a really good question! I’ve been thinking about it for a while, just looking at the screen. My conclusion is that I don’t think I want 15 more minutes every day. I think my day is perfect as it is. I didn’t think this a couple of years ago, but I’ve spent the last few years really figuring out how I want to use my time.
I heard this quote from the YouTuber Jay Shetty:
The bad news is - time flies,
The good news is - you are the pilot.
I think it’s so brilliant! It is spot on. We own our time and we chose how to spend it.
A big part of what changed my perspective on time was the book Essentialism, by Greg McKeown. It is basically about how to focus on only doing the things you really like in life and cut out the crap.
One of my key takeaways from the book was “The 90-point rule”, a rule that I apply more or less every day. In short, it’s a rule to help you make decisions. Whenever you are faced with a decision of how to use your time, you should ask yourself: “On a scale from 0-100, how important is this to me?”. I your answer is anywhere below 90, you should walk away. If it is above 90, you should always do it! This means that you are following your heart and doing what you really value.
It’s easy to think that we should say yes to everything that is 51+, but it’s not. We face so many decisions that would be 51+ that we would end up doing nothing but things that are 50-60 points, leaving us no time to do our find the things that are 90+.
When I first found out about this rule my life was filled with 50-60-point stuff. Today, everything is 90+.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
“The biggest influence” is very hard to say. I got a question about my role models some time back and I’ve answered it similar to how I would answer this.
My father has been a big role model when it comes to my values in life. Growing up I always thought of him as a cheap guy because he never wanted to buy fun stuff from himself or the family. Growing up I realized that the reason he didn’t want to do that was because he would rather give that money away to people who needed it more than we do. So, rather the opposite of being cheap.
My close friend Emil has been another very big role model. He has taught me so much about emotions and how to actually be in touch with yourself. How to feel what it is that you want from the inside and love whatever arises. He is passionately curious about more or less everything in the world and he is always eager to teach while I’ve been a happy student.
The third one I mentioned was the family of my fiancée. Their family is always hugging, always saying how much they love each other and always support any crazy idea some family member might have. Everything is joyful and caring. I had a great upbringing myself, but it was very different from this. It’s truly inspiring to be a part of both worlds and I’ve learned how to pick the best parts of both into my own life.
Describe a recent challenge, at work or in your personal life, that you overcame.
A challenge in my personal life has always been to keep up with exercising. I’ve always been very binary when it comes to workout. I’m either “all in” or “all out." Either working out every day and pushing myself to the limits or not working out at all.
The reason for this is simply that I want to be an over achiever. I push and push for a while, then I miss a few workouts and it feels like I failed, so my motivation crashes. Then I don’t work out for a while, before I start over and do the same thing all over again. My exercise has been driven by a feeling of “I want to impress people” and “I don’t want to fail” rather than “I want to be healthy” and “I just want to have fun."
The big shift with this has come in the last six months. I’ve changed my logic about what “a good exercise” is. From “it’s good when I push myself to almost throwing up” to “every exercise is good, even if I don’t sweat”. By making it so much easier to succeed it’s also much easier to keep going.
I don’t need quick impressive results because I have found a way where I can keep exercising regularly every week. My only focus is to actually do something, focus on what’s fun and keeping the routine. Whenever I do something, it counts as an exercise and I feel good about myself for taking care of my body.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
Once again, it’s very hard to pick “the best” advice, however I’ll give you a very good one. If I could go back in time and visit 18-year-old me, this is what I would tell him.
“Your life is like a movie, you are the star in it and everyone else are just extras. This goes for everyone else as well. They are the stars of their movies and you are just an extra in theirs.
What’s really amazing about this is that no one really bothers about the extras, what the extras wear, how they look or if they fail. Everyone is busy thinking about the star. You don’t care much if an extra is making a fool out of themselves, you forget that a minute later. The same goes for all the movies that you are just an extra in. They don’t really care if you screw up, they don’t care what you do or how you live your life.”
This advice was given to me some year or two ago and I just loved it. Nobody will remember if I stutter on stage or have a big stain on my shirt. It might mean the world to me, but I would care at all if it was someone else who did the same thing. With this realization I’ve been much better at living my life for me, not really caring about what I think that other people might think of me.
Where can we find out more about you?
I will start publishing things regularly on Great.com moving forward and I also have a personal info with some general info on erikbergman.se. If you have any questions or you are curious about whatever, just send me an email and I’m happy to be of service!