You can go back to my writings in 1996 to see that I always compared a great domain name with a billboard or even a storefront in Times Square. I always saw physical stores as limited in their reach and thus limited in their sales. Domain names are limitless. You can attract customers from the 4 corners of the world. Expansion is limitless. Limitless. In the real world when you have to expand the costs are going to be huge and in most cases you will have to change your location.
See the way I look at life and where we are going is that when the price of Times Square is par with domain name leases, that is the starting point for ME. Go look at the cost of retail space in Times Square. Do the math. Look at the cost of a modest 2500 ft. Retail store in the mall. Pick the nearest city near you, find a decent retail spot of 2500 feet and post the monthly cost just for the rental. What's the monthly $$$ outlay? $1000, $2500, $5000, $10,000, $25,000?? More!!?? (Update, see below)
Then add up the costs. The costs after you walk into the space with cement floors and no walls. The cost of manning that business. The electric, the garbage pickup, the insurance. How about cleaning and maintenance. Don't forget to wash your windows every week.
So when you list everything and even in Times Square you are limited to your audience. THAT is my case and rationale for leasing domains. Land ho!! I can see it from here. After 17 years the parallels will begin to form and take shape.
Nobody has to agree with me. But that was what I saw in 1996 and that is what I see today only more vividly and much more evidence at my disposal. It's the reason I won't do long term leases. Some want 10, 20 and 30 year terms. Sorry, ain't gonna happen because I see what I see and we are right on schedule to arrive in 20 years. (2016 and before)
The power of a GREAT domain name is superior to the best location in Times Square and someday soon they will intersect in value. When? Between now and 3 years. In 3 years there will be no doubt what I have been saying and waiting for all these years. Why sell when you can lease for the $$$ you can sell at and get it back over and over again.
The single clearest vision I have ever had about domains and their proper place in the business world is what I describe here. It's the basis for everything. How do you buy 2 decades of time to watch something bloom and produce fruit? How do you resist the temptations along the way? How do you stay true to a belief?
Have a GREAT Day!
UPDATE: Released just hours after my post I think this says it all. Which begs the question....If a company had to close up shop on Fifth Avenue or relinquish their domain name, which would they choose?
- Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay, rent $2,630 a square foot per year
- Fifth Avenue, $2,500 a square foot per year
- Times Square, $2,100
- Hong Kong, Central $1,856
- Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui, $1,547
- Paris, Avenue de Champs-Elysees, $1,129
- New York, East 57th Street, $1,100
- New York, Madison Avenue, $1,100
- Tokyo, Ginza $1,057
- Tokyo, Omotesando, $972