Is it Over for .CO? Big Fanfare Turns Embarrassing and Costly with O.co CONFUSION!

Morning Folks!!


As was reported yesterday, the grand experiment of O.co has crashed and burned to put it bluntly. After a huge advertisng budget they found out the hard way that overpowering .com is going to be no easy task.


I think this just verify's what I saw and said back in January. 'A failure here and you can expect the value of .com to rise once again along with skepticism with any and all other new extensions.'


This was a very costly experiment and it obviously did not go well. The only ones surprised are the folks at Overstock.com. The canary DIED!


A crash this early is pretty spectacular. It is not good news for the .co registry and may be a turning point. Between this and the numerous decsions going against the .co owners, it may be safe to say that their best days are behind them and .co for domain speculators may be over. This is VERY bad news for .co domains and the viability without owning the .com counterpart. It also means that .whatever MUST have the .com version if they want to brand ANY other extension.


A big day for .com and a possible funeral for .co.


.Com is now the undisputed champion of the world and now there is PROOF beyond doubt. RIP .Whatever before you are even BORN! The value of .com went up EXPONENTIALLY today. Dot com REMAINS King and 1000 challengers will all need the same thing. The .com counterpart or BUST!


There are new FACTS in town and these facts stand while speculation collapses. What you thought you knew now has to be re-evaluated because of what they said:


'Mr. Johnson said customers responded well to the O.co advertising, but after watching the spots, 'a good portion' of those who sought out the website went to O.com, instead of O.co.'


FACT! Right from the horses mouth. Only idiots ignore FACTS once they are no longer ignorant of them. New facts, new outcome and new results.


Rick Schwartz




29 thoughts on “Is it Over for .CO? Big Fanfare Turns Embarrassing and Costly with O.co CONFUSION!

  1. em

    Rick,
    If you read through the piece from Overstock, they said they weren’t removing anything. They were”refocusing”. They were only slowing the pace somewhat. Obviously they found that moving to O.co so quickly, in the United States, was not a good idea. And so? Hardly means the end of anything. They are not changing O.co overseas or changing the name of the Coliseum.
    I’m sure you were laughing all the way to the bank with your $150000 for selling Meet.me. Yet if .com is the only king, as you say, is that not hypocritical of you to take that money? Are you willing to sell something like meet.me to someone, in this case meetme.com, even though you don’t believe in it? Why didn’t you just tell them to forget about .me? It’s funny that your business colleague, Mike Berkens, is all over the right of the dot.
    IMO, if you have taken to informing the masses, which appears you have, it might be a good thing to come clean over how you feel about the right of the dot generation. You buy .co, yet you don’t believe in them. You say .com is king yet you sell .me for a hefty sum. .co has a bit of news, which isn’t that earth-shattering, IMO, and you claim something is dead.
    I will gladly buy some .co from you at a very cheap price if you don’t want them anymore.
    I’m just looking for a bit of clarity here, that’s all.

    Reply
  2. Poor Uncle

    I am still a little bit lost. Is it because its rebranding effort failed, or the fact that they didn’t have the .com extension cause its rebranding effort to fail?
    Is Overstock a successful company before it was rebrand? Is there an example of a successful company purposely reband from abc to xyz?
    The only company that immediately come to mind that try this recently is Netflix.

    Reply
  3. Rick Schwartz

    You MUST have the .com version of ANY extension IF you are going to advertise and promote. Meet.me folks ALSO OWN Meetme.com. Therefore they can SAFELY advertise Meet.me and not worry about what happens if the consumer mistakenly goes to meetme.com.
    Em, Something is PROVED and it came right from the horses mouth. It did not work! They lost business! They confused their customers. You assertions are ridiculous. The EXPERIMENT now has FACTS.
    I know you are out to save the world from the likes of me and Berkens, but being emotional is not a good thing to do IF you are an investor. Investors INVEST. PERIOD!
    I have 350 .co domain names. Do I believe they have more value today than yesterday? No! I would be a moron to think that way! NEW FACTS have emerged and if you don’t know how to put a FACT inside an equation, then you can never adjust.
    Come clean?? Are you for real?? Go READ my post from January. I said THEN what it would mean EITHER WAY. Now we have a way. Now we have facts. How that translates to other extensions is UNKNOWN. But, it did not help ANY new extension.
    I don’t have to believe in SHIT to make money. Go to a Church or Synagogue for that. This is BUSINESS!

    Reply
  4. Rick Schwartz

    “Mr. Johnson said customers responded well to the O.co advertising, but after watching the spots,”a good portion” of those who sought out the website went to O.com, instead of O.co.”
    My translation of”A good portion” indicates a MINIMUM of 25% leakage and could be as much as 50% or even more. I even made the mistake on of my last posts. Go look at the embedded title. it was O.com before I changed it to O.co
    This is the FIRST TIME we have EVER had real information from a company advertising a different extension and spending a BOATLOAD of dollars. This is very important data as a theory changes to a FACT. You can’t minimize this.
    You MUST have the .com version of a domain if you plan to advertise or have word of mouth advertising. If a company FAILS to do that, they FAIL!
    I have Rick.tv and Rick.co. I don’t own Rick.com. That LIMITS my ability. To put 100% effort in these 2 domains even tho I would like to would be bad marketing. That does not mean I won’t try. I probably will. But I won’t fool myself into believing it does not matter. It does matter and TODAY we have PROOF!
    Now we can still ask is it because the .co and the .com are so close and there is no distinction? That question still has a little life in it, but we will soon see with.xxx. But I will say the same thing here. If you ADVERTISE .xxx without owning the .com counterpart, you can KNOW that you are going to have some major leakage. The ONLY variable is how much? If it is 25% then it is like spending 25% extra every time you advertise.

    Reply
  5. Rick Schwartz

    This is my January Post. I want to enter it HERE so there is no confusion on what this means because I stated what it would mean and now with new information, it can be applied. FACTS vs Theory.
    Morning Folks!!
    There’s a problem on the way to the wedding of new extensions and reality of profit making business. Branding costs a lot of money. Branding a new extension is harder than branding your product or company. It is a monumental undertaking.
    I purposely did not read Sahar’s blog post on the subject until after I wrote this just to see how we each came at it. He has much more facts supporting his position but we are not so far apart at all.
    O.com I mean O.co or Overstock.com has done one thing so far, caused confusion and they are likely pissing away a lot of money by not owning O.com which of course is associated with Oprah not Overstock. And right now neither of them has it. It does not resolve.
    My point is this is a test. This is a canary in the mines. I don’t know which way it will go. But I do have a hunch it will be more difficult than they expect with a lot of blow back. So far, the winner on this one is the ad exec putting this grand experiment together. There will be a lot to learn here. Some you may want to copy and some you may want to avoid.
    Is confusing your customer a good thing? I guess we will find out. The unknown is how many folks will go to O.com to find nothing and then just say what a bunch of idiots never to return. A real risk.
    Now on to the other new extensions. They include .xxx , .me, .food and likely hundreds if not thousands of others. This is going to be fun. New ways to print old money. But knowing what we know now is the best way to exploit all the new extensions be investing in them or in an other capacity?
    An extension could easily smother themselves with a wrong move. Could lose time thinking their premiums will go up. Probably won’t happen with .mobi. Timing IS everything.
    You can’t play the new phase exactly like the past phase and expect to do well. It requires a fresh set of eyes and a fresh look. Forget what you know. Examine it like you never knew what a domain was. You just know what you know. Would you do it the same? Could you do it the same?
    .travel has not exactly done well. Why would folks expect other extensions to do all that much better? Last count there were 28 choices of extensions at Direcnic.com. How many do you think the average guy on the street even knows about?? Hey I don’t have the answer. I just have the questions. .travel made some fatal mistakes early on and never recovered. Other have dome even worse.
    .co made all the right moves early on and they have a shot. The best shot. But still nothing more than a canary in the mines. We’ll know more in a few weeks after the Superbowl. That will determine many things that will happen this year. This is a grand experiment. We’ll see. I will pay attention to that more than anything else in the first 6 weeks of the year. And it may end up meaningless. Just confusion and if that is the grand plan, bring it on, they will always default to what they know. What is familiar. .Com will still rule except the value will be much more as many learn the lessons the hard way. Some will learn and move on and some will die in their tracks with little fanfare.
    Will it cause confusion? It would have to do well to even get to the state of confusion. In my eyes, still a long shot. UDRP cases have not been kind to .co. So any .co that has a successful .com counterpart and you can expect to be challenged on that domain name. And be prepared to lose.
    Been there, done that. Got the T-Shirt. Enjoy the parade. Participate in it if you like. There are still fortunes to be made in failure. Just make sure it is the others guys failure and not your own and you will do well. A failure here and you can expect the value of .com to rise once again along with skepticism with any and all other new extensions.
    Have a GREAT Day!
    Rick Schwartz

    Reply
  6. adam

    Its interesting reading this post particularly that you registered about 2500 .co`s just year ago and dropped about 2000.
    You are often not right. I am not saying just about flowers.mobi for 200,000 or when you tried to sell .co and those guy wanted to sue you but many other things…
    Yes Mr Rick Schwartz you had some part of meet.me but I really personally believe this domain was only sold thanks to Michael Berken great negotiation skills.

    Reply
  7. Scott Alliy

    Sage advice
    Getting the dotcom and as many other related dotcoms related to your as you can afford is good for traffic and profits and don’t underestimate their power as defensive business tools and valuable business assets at time of sale for the reasons stated above.

    Reply
  8. Coder

    Name that next Overstock press release title for their shareholders
    10. O.What??!
    9. O.MyBad
    8. O.COnfusion
    7. O.Paaaaaalease
    6. O.Crap
    5. O.My.God!
    4. O.Vey
    3. O.My
    2. O.No
    1. O.OPS

    Reply
  9. JJ

    Rick, it made absolute sense in January and it makes absolute sense today. Com rules. Will it rule in 50 years? Who the heck knows, but as an investor I couldn’t care less. O.co reminded me of bac.mobi … really BAC??!! We all know what happened with that. ‘EM’ above is a fool and anyone with half a brain can see that. Rick you are a visionary and I dont use that word lightly. Love your work, please continue writing your thoughts!!

    Reply
  10. Bill Roy

    Rick, ‘Thank You’.
    I have a united portfolio of circa. 2k US geo-domains in the .info, I have a smaller portfolio (just over a dozen) in a specific domain name in gTLD’s and ccTLD’s led by the ‘hack’ of the domain. This is all for one major development project, but I was until a couple of months ago without the .com.
    It is only because of you arguing the point in various posts, indeed your ability to take into account different arguments from various view points on a subject, and your ability to cut to the chase that I was convinced a few months ago that I needed the .com. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted the .com obviously, but there is a big difference between wanting something and needing something – and you made me realise I didn’t just want it but that I NEEDED it.
    The news about o.co just goes to show how right you were, if they couldn’t do it then I stood absolutely no chance. Now though, by using the .com as my ‘home’ site my project will succeed or fail on the quality of the development of my site and whether I produce what the visitor wants. If I had tried to develop the site without the .com I would have been just sending traffic to the .com at my expense in both time and money – and significantly reduced the likelihood of overall failure.
    Oh yes, and the .com cost me just a little over $1k, a snip when compared to the benefits it brings to my portfolio.
    So once again, thank you Rick.

    Reply
  11. Bill Roy

    Re: my above post.
    “and significantly reduced the likelihood of overall failure.”
    That of course should read:
    “and significantly reduced the likelihood of overall success.”

    Reply
  12. John

    Rick,
    “A big day for .com and a possible funeral for .co.” LOL!
    Please, please, please sell me all your .CO’s now that you’re no longer a fan. I’ll pay you whatever it’s cost you to own then since day 1.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  13. Rick Schwartz

    Just call it as I see it
    Nothing more, nothing less
    Some investments don’t work out as well as others
    I deal with reality and facts. .co is not as attractive after this news.
    Wishful thinking does not change that

    Reply
  14. Gazzip

    “I think this just verify’s what I saw and said back in January.”
    Compete.com shows a climb in (estimated) visitors to O.COM since january 2011,
    42,000 to 137,000 to now
    O.CO shows a sharp peak of 3000 on compete.com
    All that money in advertising but .COM is the Daddy
    Pitty they didn’t own it ;)

    Reply
  15. Juan Valdez

    If after decades, when you say blablabla.net to someone and they repeat back blablabla.com? to you, how did overstock expect that they could get people to understand .co????
    .co is Colombia, it’s new, and it’s confusing.
    .com is commerce and it is established.
    Ad execs are beyond hope.
    Enough said.

    Reply
  16. Acro

    A business decision is based on metrics. Overstock trademarked O.co (and zero dot co). Business decisions are just that, not an indication about an overall failure of the .co TLD. Not convinced? Google”Mike Mann dot co sales”.

    Reply
  17. Bill Roy

    I am not a believer that .com has some inalienable right to be regarded as ‘king’, indeed I have constantly argued that other suffixes could replace .com to some degree or in certain instances, but as Rick says the results of the o.co experiment are in!
    One thing ‘some’ domainers do not seem to be willing to accept is that the public are not seeing suffixes they are seeing ‘.com’ – and we are in a service industry where we have to take into account what the public (our end user visitors/customers/clients) want and how they behave. I am a late convert, but thank goodness I am in time.
    Facts are facts, and whether domainers like it or not, if you ignore the facts then the very foundations of your business model is flawed from the start.

    Reply
  18. Uzoma

    I don’t think twitter is having the same problem with T.CO
    Not many people twitting to t.com
    So, hold on to your .CO and .COM is still king. Both statements are true.

    Reply
  19. Rick Schwartz

    “Mr. Johnson said customers responded well to the O.co advertising, but after watching the spots,”a good portion” of those who sought out the website went to O.com, instead of O.co.”
    Had he not said that, this would all be speculation and Acro may be right. But he did say it and it is universal to ANY .co and possibly any .whatever as many believe.. As for Mike Mann, those sales were BEFORE this announcement when it was ALL speculation. Now there are FACTS to go with it. BIG difference!

    Reply
  20. Koll

    It aint over til its over. And RS would be nothing had he not known this way back when. The onslaught of new gtlds will influence future perception and use of the internet. Not all will .fail. And .Co, with some fighting spirit of the .co team, has à fighting chance to make a dent. Rome wasn’t built in….

    Reply
  21. Altaf

    Rick,
    Hi,
    I cannot bet you on type ins from .com. However, I saw so many other ccLTD were developed for business are doing well in eComm solution.
    Under that circumstances, why .Co will not perform one day? if business developed.
    respectfully,

    Reply
  22. The Other Adam

    @adam”You are often not right.”
    You gotta step up to the plate and take a few strikes, balls and even an bean-ball once in awhile before hitting a homer. Nobody can be right all the time.
    “Yes Mr Rick Schwartz you had some part of meet.me but I really personally believe this domain was only sold thanks to Michael Berken great negotiation skills.”
    Who cares if Berkens sold it or if Ammar did. Rick got in on the deal and scored. Berken’s may have got the RBI but Rick and Ammar were on base by investing and taking a swing. Rick’s had enough of his own personal home runs to match this.
    You can’t be a success without failing.
    I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan
    I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.
    Michael Jordan
    Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.
    Michael Jordan

    Reply
  23. Ken

    Rick – thank you for your gracious posts.
    In regards to the .CO argument I have two words”Muscle Memory”
    Even if all the other arguments fail – and they don’t, we as humans are PROGRAMMED to type the M after typing the CO.

    Reply

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