Workforce.com: The danger of not owning the “best” domain for your company

Confusion when someone buys the better domain.

Logos for Workforce.com and Workforce Software

Workforce Software provides workforce management software using the domain name WorkforceSoftware.com.

For decades, the shorter Workforce.com domain was used by Workforce Magazine to deliver human resources news.

But last year, a competitor to Workforce Software acquired the publisher of Workforce Magazine. It then changed the use of Workforce.com from human resources news to promoting its own workforce management software, rebranded as Workforce.com.

Suddenly, Workforce Software had a big problem: confusion.

It didn’t have the best domain for its business, and now a competitor was using the best domain.

Workforce Software filed a cybersquatting complaint under UDRP against Workforce.com and lost.

The confusion is real. For about a minute while researching this case, I wondered if Workforce Software had acquired Workforce.com at the last minute. Take a look at their logos in the image. They both have lowercase logos with a blue icon in them. The icons are fairly similar but flipped.

This is not a case of cybersquatting, though. It’s another example of not owning the best domain for your company and having it come back to haunt you.

I usually tell people that if the better domain is currently in use in a non-confusing way, you’ll be OK registering the second-best domain. I urge caution when the best domain is just a parked page that might be sold to someone else.

But in this case, even though Workforce.com was being used in a non-infringing way, it was sold.

It reminds me of a similar issue a friend ran into. He registered a domain in the form exampleSoftware .com, just like this domain. Then someone bought example .com to market a sex toy. His friends called him up, saying they didn’t realize he had gotten into that business.

It will be interesting to see if Workforce Software takes this issue to the courts. While it’s not cybersquatting under UDRP, there might be a trademark issue. Then again, Workforce is a very generic word to use as a brand for workforce management software.

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How does a board and shareholders usually feel about a founder owning other businesses?

This is all hypothetical.

Suppose that I create a startup and it becomes a success over several years. I also happen to be the CEO. Eventually, I decide to create other types of businesses separate from the original one. There is also a strong possibility that I might bootstrap them with the money made from the first company. What could be the reaction from the board and shareholders?

Take Elon Musk for example. He's involved in multiple companies. Does he have a distinct set of shareholders for each business? Is he bootstrapping some?

One day, I want to become a serial entrepreneur, but I need some insight as to how I can go about doing this. Do I need to give up control of each company to be allowed to work on new ones? Also, let's assume the businesses won't be competing against each other.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Apple is selling faulty MacBooks and they are not owning up

I was a bit reluctant to write this article until I came across people with similar experience as mine. I am not making a tall claim, but this is something a decent number of users are experiencing. Let me be the voice of those few.

MacBook Pro 2016

I bought my first Macbook in early 2017, The 2016 model. For two years, it worked like a charm — super fast boot-up, insanely smooth, and responsive touch pad, no overheating, no lag. Insanely perfect!

If there is one thing I’m really good at is having a sound memory of how I destroyed my devices, whether it’s installing a new software or dropping it from a three foot tall table.

On one fine day, while working, my MacBook shuts down unexpectedly. I turn it ON again, and a warning message pops up stating it made a sudden shut down due to kernel panic. At that moment, I knew very little about kernel panic and what causes it. So, I had to put my fingers to work and Googled. I did my little research and came across an article that said

“kernel panics are very rare these days and when they do occur, restarting your Mac may be all you need to do to never see one again.”

This was my first encounter with kernel panic, and it didn’t succeed in panicking me. I dismissed the sudden shutdown for being a one in a thousand bad chance I may have come in contact with.

My better instinct made me believe this is a rare incident, and I should just continue watching that Silicon Valley Episode. And just when I went in to do something remarkable on my MacBook, it happens again. Actually, It started to repeat too many times.

I remember the warning from the article.

“If you suffer repeated kernel panics, however, you’ll need to investigate the cause and solve the problem — it could be a conflict between poorly written apps or services, or a problem with hardware.”

It was getting frustrating to work on the machine. I was losing productivity. Someone suggested me updating the OS will fix the problem. So, I went with it. Everything seems to work fine after updating the OS and I was giving myself pats on my back for making such a great investment.

My happiness short-lived when the sudden shutdowns commenced again.

When these panic attacks were occurring, I was subconsciously under the impression that I was running some heavy applications, and my beautiful MacBook Pro wasn’t able to handle it. Although, its tall claim of being a powerful machine is meant to do just that!

Luckily, I got a chance to apprehend my MacBook panic attack issue with no application running, Zilth. Nada. In an attempt to get rid of assumptions, I took it to the apple store, and they proposed a solution to do Factory settings and install a new OS. I addressed apple genius that the problem may be something bigger than just quick update, but they downplayed my concern. I went with their advice. And, the same old issue rolled back in after a few days.

I couldn’t get a chance to set up another appointment with the Apple store, and had to travel to Greece for some work and took my laptop with me, despite knowing that it has the uncanny ability to give up on me whenever it wants with the excuse of a Panic attack.

I had an important task to deliver and my laptop refuses to start up. I was already putting up with the sudden shutdown all this while, and now it just won’t even care to say Hello to me.

I tried to search for an answer online with my mobile and found a couple of possible solutions, but none worked for me. Greece doesn’t have any apple stores, so I took it to one of the authorized service centers. They requested some time to diagnose the problem and get back to me. All this time, I always assumed it is a software problem. I received a call a few days back telling me the Logic Board got fried and needs replacement. I asked for the cost and they quoted me $ 800 for the fix. Wait! What?!? I went to a sudden emotional shock. I started imagining what all the good things I can buy with that $ 800.

Obviously, I decided to not go ahead with the fix. I presume I am one of the few unlucky customer who happen to face such a rare problem with MacBook. In the pursuit to find cheaper fix online, I started to see more and more people discussing the same problem as mine.

I still wasn’t in a mood to talk about it until an answer from a prominent Quora user spoke about it; Deepak Mehta. His issue and story with MacBook is so similar to mine that I copied some of his words from the answer. I apologies if it is not the right thing to do but I felt he articulated better.

I am really disappointed with Apple and now contemplating on if I should ever buy any of their products including the iPhone. They gave up on a very loyal customer. I own air-pods, Apple watch, Apple TV, iPad, and just about anything apple releases.

I am a reasonable guy. I take accountability when it is time to take accountability.

Earlier, I mentioned how I remember about all the tech devices I have destroyed. I made my iPhone X unusable by dropping it in water; I take full responsibility for that. I made the left side of my headphones inaudible by accidentally dropping it from a good height, I have no one to blame but myself. But this one! This one I refuse to take any responsibility cause I used it as my little baby.

The next Macbook Pro is due to be launched in the next few months and apple claims to fix most of the issues. But, Apple should not ignore the mess it made with the previous MacBooks. We deserve our hard earned money to be compensated with a cheaper fix.


Stories by Sharjeel Siddique on Medium