A Look at Famous Domains Before Popular Companies Snapped Them Up

Shaunacy Ferro

It can be hard to imagine an Internet before Outlook, much less before Facebook, but such a world did exist. Those domains, however, didn’t go unused. Facebook.com was owned by AboutFace, a directory database company, while Outlook.com belonged to a technology consultant named Andrew M. Seybold, who ran a newsletter called “Andrew Seybold’s Outlook on Communications and Computing.”

EssayRoo, an Australian essay-writing service, put together a visual history of famous domains like Dropbox.com, Uber.com, Bing.com, and iCloud.com, with screenshots of what those sites looked like before they were taken over by the companies that made them household names.

Hopefully, the original owners got paid handsomely for their domain investments, considering how much a successful company's can be worth. For instance, Google paid about $6000 to a man that the company accidentally sold its domain to in 2015, so we know that a good URL is worth bank, even if you, like one-time Google.com owner Sanmay Ved, only have it for one minute.

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.