Great.com is the brainchild of Erik Bergman, serial entrepreneur, social influencer, and environmental philanthropist. In early 2018, Erik started a new company on a new domain “Great.com” with the aim to build the next generation of charity by making as much money as possible and giving it all away. In this interview, we talk with Erik about his entrepreneurial journey.
When and how was the idea for Great born?
The idea of Great.com came to me after talking to the Swedish philanthropist Niklas Adalbarth, he told me about “effective altruism” and one way of making the most good in the world is to use your talents to make as much money as possible - with the purpose of giving it away to charity. That if you are good at marketing, like I am, it’s better to build a successful marketing company and donate the profits, than it would be to try and for example build a school (which I was currently doing).
I realised that I would make a bigger impact if I focused on my skill sets and then donated to someone else who knew how to build schools for example, than if I tried to run school projects myself.
When did you start thinking about your brand name and how did you settle on Great?
I wanted a name that would work in any country and that everyone had a positive association to. I was considering Play.com, Best.com and Brave.com as well - but Great.com became my favourite. It’s almost impossible to use the word “great” without making it into a positive sentence. When it came up on an auction I seized the opportunity.
How did you get the domain name Great.com for your brand? Why did you select that one exactly?
I wanted a name that could be combined with any kind of product. From online casino to charity. You can say “Great casinos” just as well as you can say “Great charities”. Very few words would work with both those categories.
As mentioned above, I got the name through an auction. I was bidding on an unstable wifi connection, currently in a small hotel in the countryside of Iceland. Nothing really worked in the online auction, but the story ended happily for me anyway.
Who is the target audience for Great? How do you reach them?
Great.com will make money by comparing online products. Over time we will compare all kinds of things, but we will be starting out with online casinos because that is my background. We will mainly reach our audience by ranking in Google and reaching top results when people search for phrases like “online casinos New Jersey” or “how good is borgata casino support” etc. My previous business has been very focused on how to rank in Google with guides so that’s what we are attempting to do again.
Can you briefly explain how Great works?
You can think of Great.com as you can think of Tripadvisor. Tripadvisor gives you all answers about traveling, where to eat, where to stay, how was the service, etc. Great.com will be the same thing but for the online casino experience to start with. How have players been treated, how generous have the offers been, etc.
Great.com will earn money on commission based on the visitors that we are then sending on to the casino brands and we will collaborate closely with them to make sure the visitors get the best experience.
What has been the toughest thing in the process of developing Great as a brand so far? How do you overcome it?
We are trying to reinvent a lot of things. We want to build an organization that focuses on being the best it can be by the year 2070 rather than building something that will grow as fast as possible. It’s a big shift in focus and it often means having long term discussions about values rather than getting your hands dirty with the product straight away. My firm belief is that this focus will pay off big time in the long run, but it’s definitely challenging early on.
I wouldn’t say that we have overcome these challenges yet. We are currently running on a big loss and it makes me question these decisions every day. Hopefully, once we reach breakeven on a monthly basis it will be easier to relax into this decision and keep heading towards the company it can be with a 50-year horizont.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the team that we have created. The culture we are building. There are some magical powers within Great.com and we attract some very talented people who want to make a big difference in the world.
You say Great will change the way people think about charity, how so, in what way?
Well, when someone says the words “casino” and “charity” in the same sentence, it doesn’t really add up. These two things are rarely being combined. I’m hoping that Great.com will inspire lots of people doing business in “non charitable” industries and be inspired to use their skill sets and their contacts to start doing something that is good for the world.
What is your advice to entrepreneurs when it comes to building a new brand online?
Make sure to have fun. Make fun a top priority. Everything in business is about consistency and patience. If you keep doing good things for a long time you will be rewarded. It's hard to be consistent if you are not having fun, it’s easy to be consistent if you love what you do. This is easy to forget and it’s rarely spoken about.
What is next for Great?
Right now we are very focused on getting our online casino products live and hopefully we will get closer to making breakeven. I’m excited to see where things are headed! It’s still very long to 2070, so I will make sure to enjoy the ride.
We are also very focused on building our social presence around the brand. I believe a big part about the future is to have top talents finding you instead of you finding them. That’s why I’m being very active on Instagram, Twitter, my personal website, and our podcast Becoming Great.com. I believe all of these assets will be crucial in building a very long term successful business.
We hope this will be of use to you in the process of getting your perfect domain name. If you have any questions, need any help or just want to chat to someone about the process, book a free consultation using the form below. We are always happy to hear from you.
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