Did you know that Xaicode is a play on my last name? My name is Abdul Zainos; I'm the founder and wearer of many hats at Xaicode, my web design agency. Back in the day, my uncle used to own an internet cafe in Los Angeles. This was before access to a home computer was as ubiquitous and cheap as it is today.
The internet cafe my uncle ran was called Zainet (zai-net). My last name wasn't and isn't very common here in the United States. There are very few of us around here. It's a little different story back home (Mexico: bet you didn't see that one coming).
Seeing my uncle run and operate a business that had our (my) last name in it was the most incredible thing I'd ever seen in my life. People were having all kinds of fun in the shop playing MMORPGs. LAN parties were a big hit in those days.
Anyway, seeing that business name like that filled me with an overwhelming amount of wonder and curiosity. Could I do something like this?
Fast forward a few years later, and boom! Zainos Designs was born. Ugh, what a disaster. The problem was I tried to tackle this industry without practical experience. At times I bit off more than I could chew and had little to no process.
Two failed web design businesses and 7 years later. I finally got my bearings. The experience was there, and I was finally able to produce and deliver results consistently. My experience had been validated, and projects stopped scaring me.
Thus Xaicode was born or "Zaicode," as I first wrote it. It was an exciting moment. Before I made any moves on searching for a domain, I tried creating a few logos using different typefaces. They all looked terrible. The Z was really messing up the aesthetic of my logo. Then I just swapped out the Z for an X.
Xaicode? Could I really make this happen? No… that's so weird. Yes… it's my business; who cares?
A few hours later, I just went with it and never looked back.
After deciding on the name, I quickly went to get my domain registered. I eagerly typed in xaicode.com. It was taken. It was for sale for $3,000. I was definitely in no position to afford that. After all, I made it my mission to bootstrap my business without debt and with only $500. It was literally all I had at the time. Bummed out is probably an understatement. Instead, I ended up selecting xaicode.io.
It wasn't all bad, but I found myself facing awkward situations over the phone or in person. Places where I may not have chat functionality or a business card on hand. Spelling out my domain raised eyebrows, caused confusion, or added churn to my communications. These inconveniences were tiny, but over the years, they added up. I recently did a search again and found the domain was still for sale. I looked at my bank account, looked at the price tag, reflected on the years that had gone by and my experience as a web professional. It just made sense to go for it.
After a bit of back and forth, a deal was struck, and the transfer began. A few days later, it was official. The domain, xaicode.com, was under my account, and I could update its records.
Making this change to me was a huge milestone. When I told my family and friends about it, I felt stupid finishing the story. I thought they were going to be like, "cool story, bro.. next!" It turned out that people were genuinely happy for me, and some could even relate.
I end this blog post filled with gratitude. I'm thankful for the support of my loving friends and family. I'm grateful for the overwhelming support of my clients and for allowing me the privilege to serve and contribute to their businesses in the best way I know how. I don't think my clients know how much I've been able to do in and for my business. My team thanks you, my family thanks you, and I thank you.
To your continued success!