I don't have all the answers and I don't have to. Just a few will do. Like you, I can only guess. Speculate. Put my money on it and see how it all unfolds.
When I was a kid I remember when the Empire State Building was sold for $12 Million and everyone was stunned how anyone can overpay so much. Sex.com sold for more than the Empire State Building. Fast forward and now we are talking many billions. They are even taking the building public to raise a Billion Dollars.
Las Vegas years ago had nothing but sand and a vision. A longshot vision.
I can tell this story 100 ways from 100 views and another 100 paths on each. Here is only ONE of many ways I see what I do and domains in general.
I would describe what my business plan like this as a real world type parallel..
1. My first hurdle was to figure out how to afford to hold and maintain many domain names for 20 years.
2. Buy raw dotcom land in many places throughout the USA with potential for commercial development.
3. Focus on Oceanfront, Riverfront, close to ocean or river.
4. Try and target Times Square for advertising and Las Vegas for sheer people power.
5. Study the development of places like Times Square and Las Vegas.
6. Since I was too late, too young and too broke to participate in that game, I found one that has parallels in a new dimension.
7. So imagine it is 1948 and you are in Las Vegas. There is just SAND! There is nothing else.
8. Build it and they will come and so they do.
9. I see this new thing happening and realize that there may be many ways to capitalize on something like this if it were to work even if gambling is not your business.
10. So the first road is paved and now there is a street.
11. Let’s call this street (Las Vegas Blvd) Dotcom Blvd
12. I have a few extra dollars and decide to buy some land on Dotcom Blvd.
13. I decided it will be many years before it will have any value because right now it is just sand and wind.
14. I think if this idea were to unfold the way they say, millions of people will come to Dotcom Blvd in Las Vegas.
15. But SHIT!!! That will take TWENTY YEARS!!
16. I decide it is now or never. If I don’t buy it somebody else may come and buy it. Act NOW or it’s over!
17. I go have lunch and decide to buy the piece of land I was looking at.
18. SHIT!!! Somebody else bought it within the hour.
19. I better go look for another dotcom property.
20. SHIT!!! That one is already sold! (Maybe I can grab his sand and move it?)
21. The third is a charm. I now have my own dotcom sand.
22. Gee these guys are buying multiple properties. What do they see?
23. Gee, these guys are pretty sharp.
24. I think I am going to buy some more dotcom sand
25. I tell others in business, they just laugh at me for buying sand.
26. I try and explain that in 20 years or less this sand will be very valuable because a lot of people will be passing by everyday.
27. They laugh
28. I buy more sand
29. More people laugh
30. I keep talking about this 20 year plan.
31. They laugh
32. I explain about it being a “Unique opportunity in time”
33. They laugh
34. I explain you MUST get the land first if you are to even have a chance at success.
35. They laugh
36. I explain this was an opportunity that my father and grandfather and their fathers before them never had and they should pay attention.
37. They laughed.
38. I bought a major corner on Dotcom Blvd in Las Vegas
39. They stopped laughing but now thought I was insane.
40. I repeated the process 1000 times
41. Others started repeating the process
42. Sand turned into activity.
43. I stood on my sand. I looked at the hotels being built
44. I put up a few billboards on my sand with no advertising
45. The new casinos in town see the billboards
46. One hotel asks to put his name on my billboard
47. I say ok
48. He gives me $1 Million check
49. People passing buy laughing at me for not building.
50. I put some more billboards up
51. More people give me more money
52. I learn about effective billboards
53. I learn about ineffective billboards
54. I learn where folks are going
55. I learn what folks are looking for
56. I open up a short cut to the hotel via a sidewalk on my sand.
57. It saves the folks time and money
58. Casino is willing to pay me more to be exclusive and have all my sidewalks lead to his casino
59. Next thing ya know they need parking spaces
60. They pay me more for my sand then I can earn selling water in the desert.
61. I abandon idea of opening up lemonade stands and decide to open parking lots instead.
62. Parking lots have low overhead and are cash cows
63. That’s what gets me to New York. San Francisco. It’s been YEARS since I was in San Francisco, at that time the rate was $70/day. Most people on earth don’t even make $70 a day. Go tell those parking lots they don’t have a legitimate business and own the priciest of real estate.
64. Gee, that sounds like a good way to do it while I pass the 20 years.
65. Gee look at etoys
66. Gee look at Pets.com
67. Gee, I think it is smarter to wait and learn from their mistakes than pissing away billions of investor dollars on a bag of smoke.
68. Gee impression based advertising is stupid.
69. Gee impression based advertising was like a parking lot stealing all the cars
70. Gee how come that model collapsed and took many down with it?
71. Impression based advertising was like driving a bus down dotcom blvd and simply pointing out the casino. The casino paid to get pointed out but could not have a benefit because the bus and customers were long gone along with the money the casino or all other businesses paid. The bus never stopped to be=ring them the damn customer!
72. Gee that was dumb.
73. Gee, I talked about it constantly in 1998 and 1999.
74. Gee that was what collapsed things in 2000. It had to collapse using that model and it did. It was a flawed and worthless model but they all bought into it.
75. Many walk away
76. I just shrug it off as a learning experience for the totally ignorant and a rip off of epic proportions from those providing those worthless impressions that were not aimed at making sales.
77. Why do I just laugh and shrug it off?
78. I have a 20 year plan.
79. Many laugh
80. Many can’t plan 20 seconds ahead let alone 20 minutes, 20 hours, 20 days, 20 weeks, 20 months, 20 years.
81. Why get educated if you can’t think 20 years in advance.
82. When you look at things like that, everything is merely a blip and the important things are easy to pick out.
83. Those that work real hard and went broke get pissed
84. Those that did not see what was coming get pissed
85. Those that laughed are now pissed and they know the difference between our 2 plans.
86. I will start my projects as sand turns into concrete
87. I don’t even have to open a casino in Las Vegas to make money.
88. Where there are people there are always ways to make money
89. When you understand traffic on Dotcom Blvd. that gives you power and insight that very few have.
90. When you watch and understand that traffic for 20 years you learn things others have never even thought of or questioned.
91. That leads me to buy more sand in more places.
92. See I think developing for the sake of developing is not something I ever wanted to pursue even though I tried numerous times throughout the years.
93. I plan develop by NEED and audience size matched with a profitable good or service.
94. But the dust on the Internet has yet to settle although it is now taking on direction and shape.
95. Something that I envisioned would take 20 years because of the enormous size of the change of habit and it would be worldwide in a way that nobody can really understand. Never in the history of mankind have so many adapted to something new so quick. Yes 20 years is a FLASH. Nothing ever became so universal so fast. Not electric, not phones, not TV, not even the computer itself.
96. How long do you think it would take for the Internet to evolve back in 1996 when less than 1% of the world’s population was online?
97. So the way I see things is very different than perhaps anyone else as I am sure your visions may be unique to you and what you want and the lifestyle you are striving for.
98. While I saw domains being something that would bring many people together, I don’t ever think I saw that just selling the picks and shovels could be such a multi billion dollar business and still expanding.
99. While I thought domains would parallel real estate, it did so faster, deeper and more mainstream than I thought would happen.
100. I think social media only enhances this in an exponential way.
101. So I still believe we are in our adolescence. But it won’t be much longer that adolescence begins the journey of maturity.
102. So just like a boy or a girl takes 20 years to mature and THEN blossom, so was my approach to Dotcom Blvd.
103. Graduation day is not the day you reach your full potential. It’s the day you start your journey.
104. It’s the day you mark when things really begin
105. It’s the day that starts life as we know it.
106. So I have this 20 year plan and folks still laugh.
107. But I have the “Luxury of time” to decide which parking lots are turned into Skyscrapers or Department Stores or just keeping as a parking lot until there are no more cars to service.
108. Real Estate, Oil wells, Mineral Rights, Parking Lots, Store Fronts, Billboards, Message Boards, Gold Mines, Diamonds, name your poison. Name your path. Name your trail. Never has any single item had so many faces and possibilities and parallels as a domain name.
109. So we can be condemned for seeing things early but that won’t change the facts of acting on a hunch and taking a huge risk when the next guy with the same opportunity passed on that great risk
110. Great risk receives great rewards when the risk you take just happens to unfold as you saw years ago.
111. So what would you call somebody that bought in the desert when nobody else on the entire planet wanted it and everyone laughed at him? What do you call the guy today with an acre of sand on Las Vegas Blvd that is just a parking lot? Some old fat guy at the gate with a cigar hanging from his mouth. Each night he collects $20 each for the 5000 cars that fit in his garage. Oh didn’t I tell you, he decided to focus and build on that parking lot a 12 story garage capable of holding 5000 cars at $20 each and turns the spaces an average of 2.5 times a day. Gets $50 on special event days.
112. The fat guy at the gate just keeps laughing as each car hands him $20. Another puff on the cigar, another laugh. $250,000/day business and he did damn well for his $100 investment. The garage he built that was a simple skeleton paid itself off in just 4 weeks so there is no mortgage.
113. They told the old guy he no longer had to collect the cash. That now they had machines to do the same thing and he could go to Florida and just lay on the beach.
114. I heard he declined the move. He just loved laughing his ass off. Every 5th car would pay off that original $100 mortgage.
115. Ok, so that is one path. One parallel. Now let’s talk about the oil well parallels.
116. Then the Gold Rush Parallel.
- And to be fair, don’t forget the tulips. The greatest BUST in history and to some, domaining is exactly like that. Don’t know about the tulips? Look it up!
- There is also the collectible parallel.
- The TV parallel
- The Hollywood Parallel
- The stock market Parallel
- The Location, Location, Location, parallel
- The Monopoly Game Parallel.
- The Game of Life Parallel
- The Radio, Newpaper, Magazine Parallel
- More parallels in one commodity than all others combined and I have barely scratched the surface!
There has never been anything quite as universal and VALUABLE as a meaningful domain name and 2012 marks the year that the cat is out of the bag. Predators from every corner will come out like cockroaches at night trying to undermine your efforts in any way possible. Some of my friends are way too nice and find themselves on the short end. My only suggestion is to grow some balls and learn how to tell people to shove it up their ass with a 2 x 4.
See there are efforts by scammers that don’t take 20 years. They can fake out the system in 2 or 3 years or less and then just walk away with your property. Folks it is time to stop being naive. The next jackass that contacts you that you never heard of that wants one of your domains is likely not who they say they are and likely have an agenda. Why pay for a domain when they can PLAY the domainer?
Good luck and go grab your share of the pie! But don’t be a victim of those predators. They play with an empty hand, don’t play with an empty offense. You don't need a lawyer all the time, but you do need balls every moment from this day forward.
As investors in domain names we have done nothing wrong and worked within the system to capitalize on something just as they have done for hundreds of years on millions of items. Buy a $10 piece of art at a garage sale and a Picasso is behind it, well it’s yours and nothing will change it unless it had been stolen to begin with.
That brings me to my last point. Even if you lose a domain, track it!!! If you lose a domain because of wrong doing and it is years later, learn from the sex.com case. I believe in the years ahead we will see domain returned to their original owner and whatever business has been built will collapse overnight.
If you pay your annual fees, and don't do infringe or do anything intentionally wrong with your domain, then don't be intimidated by companies large or small. The smallest guy can defeat the biggest guy with WORDS and THOUGHTS and IDEAS as well as public opinion.
Your only limit is your 'Life Expectancy'. So something maturing in 100 years won't do you a whole lot of good in life. You'll be long dead. Depending on your age, you may have 20-40 year horizon to accomplish what you want. Life is not as long as you may think.
Have a GREAT Day!