Get your Magnifying Glasses Out! The Numbers Don’t Lie!

Morning Folks!!

So yesterday afternoon my Research Department sent me this graphic below and more. You will notice .tk is the #2 extension. Forgive my ignorance, never heard of it. But that nonsense aside, where is .mobi on the list below? .Biz? .Pro? .travel? .Aero..whatever has a LONG way to go for 700 of them to divide up the tiniest of little slivers. This is not even about domain names. This is about numbers and market share and more numbers and all I can say, is study the chart below and others Verisign has posted on their blog.

Each of the 700 new extensions have to sell you on their vision and then have enough content by end users that is significant enough to warrant mentioning. They can talk about the small guy all they want, but like Lonnie says, they have to sell them on something. Their job now is to sell and show the blue skies on the horizon simply by using their new unproven extension.

Well, take a step into reality and look at what that horizon really looks like. Look at the chart below and look at the SLIVER that says "OTHER TLD's". That is where your losers already reside and they are about to be joined by 700 others. Of which only ONE has a real chance at being meaningful imho. And then we can measure and weigh "Meaningful".

Look, you can fish in an ocean. You can fish in a river. You can fish in a pond. You can fish in a stream. You can fish in a creek. But fishing in puddles is for fools. Again, strictly by the numbers. Strictly as an investment. Strictly by historical facts. Strictly by gut instinct.

I wish them all success. Many are dear and close friends. But for the life of me, I just don't get it and it must be my own shortcomings.

Just yesterday 3 guys I have known for many years came out with the .co.com registry. Huh?? Sorry, I love you guys, but for the life of me, I just don't get it. These guys are all a lot smarter than me. But I just don't get it. I just see more and more confusion and when that happens it is human nature to go back to what it knows and is familiar with. That said I can see just a glimmer of what they may see. A universal country code ending in .com? Instead of co.uk you have co.com? I am not sure. This makes .co confusion seem simple.

So without talking to each registry and trying to see their vision, it is difficult for me to figure out the end game in 5, 10 or 20 years. There are only a handful so far that you look at it and it makes sense and you get. But should I really need to talk to each one? Should it not be evident on the face of things?

So my first question might be when will the first .whatever make the following chart? Study that chart. See how hard or easy it is to have a SHARE of that.

Like Lonnie Borck says, these guys all must sell something to stay in business. Which will explain the flurry of new shows coming to the space. A shrinking space to begin with when we talk about domain investors but one that is exploding when we talk registries and registrars. They each need to sell to survive. They each must convince 3rd parties that theirs is better and the way of the future. Third parties tht have no interest to begin with. Where does that intersect with investing? When? Why is Need, Want and Desire being ignored? The basic building blocks of any good or service.

Over the past months I have articulated as many of the pitfalls as I have time to write about and I could write for another year. This is a TINY industry. The SMALL guy that they always seem to be talking for could give a rats ass and is not in this industry. They are not waking up in the morning looking for a domain name. They have one or don't want one. That is the case in 98% or more. They have one, they don't need another or just don't want one. They use Facebook or eBay or whatever their preferred marketing outlet is. Get over it! That's the reality we are in and what is stunning to me is it applies to the guy in his 60's and in his 20's and 30's.

Ok, so they will focus on startups. Great. Startups using other people's money of which 80% would fail with a .com and now more will fail without it. Again, I focus on numbers and history and human nature. I don't worry if I will offend a friend. This is business and this is our hard-earned money and nobody should do this blindly. They have been trying to reinvent the hula-hoop for 55 years without much success.

We all know what the motivation was for all this. It was not to make a better universe. It was not to make the internet easier to navigate. It was and is a pure hula hoop money play. PERIOD!! A square Hula Hoop full of holes and dead ends that lead to an awful amount of confusion! What is with 2013? Shopped for Medical Insurance Lately?

But the characteristics of the .com are not the same as they are with .whatever. Study the NUMBERS. The numbers. Look below and study them. Then look to history and ask where are all the other great extensions on that list? You can see from that chart below it is nothing more than a sandwich. On one side you have .com. On the other side you have cctld's. Both are key and are important and neither are going away. They co-exist without damaging each other. Now in the middle of that sandwich below is all the other extensions. Six of which are CCtld's as well. Take out the .net and .org that have been around for 20 years.  You will see all the extension now combined don't even equal .info. 700 extensions and 695 of them will be relegated to living and sharing that sliver!

Whether a registry makes his annual nut or goes broke has nothing to do with what we do. Building anything on a foundation of sand and you better have a plan "B" ready to go.

verisign

For a clearer graphic: Source: http://blogs.verisigninc.com/blog/entry/verisign_to_issue_new_domain

Rick Schwartz


 



19 thoughts on “Get your Magnifying Glasses Out! The Numbers Don’t Lie!

  1. Red

    Back in the mid 90s many businesses used aol addresses – then it was .coms then it was facebook addresses and now it’s hashtags # – of course .coms have always been around promoting businesses…but for the past several years every commercial I see has been facebook (dumb I know…should promote your own web site – not facebook) but now facebook is gone from tv commercials and everyone uses #whatever why?

    Reply
  2. Tony

    Much respect for those that tell it like it is regardless of whose feelings might get hurt.

    The truth is more important.

    Reply
  3. postman7

    gtlds=square hula hoop. YES!

    I agree with you that .whatevers ain’t going anywhere but the graveyard. They can then share space with .biz, .mobi, .coop and the others. I am fascinated by the number of suckers who actually believe this stupid idea has even a snowball’s chance of success. Their failure and demise shouldn’t take long. I anticipate that most will declare bankruptcy or shut down for lack of enrollment (.tattoo? c’mon!) within the first year.

    After the first one goes down and takes the websites of its small user base with it, the others will all immediately suffer from a lack of credibility and quickly join them in folding. I see this coming from miles away.

    At least with .mobi and the other previous tld failures, we didn’t need to be concerned about the underlying financial backing of the sponsor. This time, it’s much worse; and, if it failed before, what is different now? (Other than the fact that .com is much more solidified in society.)

    Keep up the great work

    Reply
  4. Robbie

    The only money to be made is in the auctions for the gtlds, there will be a few who stick around, but the common business person doesn’t have a clue, they are more concerned about staying in business, rather than thinking of the next .crap to register.

    Reply
  5. Robbie

    If .us was being offered people would be gossiping over it like flies on pigeon shit, knowing what we know now, you can pretty much get any solid keyword in the aftermarket for $xxx valuation, most are starting to drop, two keyword brandables are easy to hand register, anyone know what ,kiwi is besides a fruit?

    Reply
  6. DrDomainer

    The gloves are off!! You can see this
    volcano is about to erupt.

    .net is going to be the Titanic
    of extensions.

    .tv will be in the top 5 in
    the next 5 years

    Connected tv boom is going to increase
    .tv and .com registrations. Buying domains via Internet connected tv
    will plant the seed in people’s brains
    to buy .tv

    Reply
  7. Little Engine

    The simple fact is that 99.9% of the new gtlds are silly and long. Many are just plain dumb. I do not see widespread acceptance either from domainers, investors, businesses or consumers.

    Reply
  8. michael berkens

    Hey Rick

    More info from your research department. So .TK has been the second largest domain extension for over a year now, in terms of registrations.

    .TK basically they offer FREE domain names.

    I meet the founder back in March 2012 and did a post on the founders and business model behind .TK:

    http://www.thedomains.com/2012/03/17/the-inside-story-of-the-fastest-growing-tld-tk-adding-1m-registrations-per-month-its-free-soon-1/

    As far as .co.com its all about confusion but in that business model confusion is good for that business.

    Its basically the CentralNic model who has been selling third level registrations or subdomains on domains like us.com for year. People may not know what they are buying, but the products (domains) sell.

    The company just went public this year in London and shares have already doubled.

    Reply
  9. UFO

    I think there are too many arguments that are at cross purposes.

    For the average domainer a gTLD or ccTLD success is the adoption and growth which reflects in the resale market.

    However the REAL acid test is whether registries make money on their gTLDs and ccTLDs. How many to date have gone bust? Given that its None? Then you would expect more and more new gTLDs until at some point they do start going bust, however the marginal run costs are quite low so couple that with an obvious cost learning curve then I see more and more coming to market.

    Would Rick when he was first starting off the PIZZA business advertise as RicksPizza.com or Ricks.Pizza? My guess is that LOTS of small businesses would rather go for the better branding of Ricks.Pizza and save the 2k etc that they’d have to spend in the secondary market to buy the .com and use the money instead to grow their business in other ways.

    Reply
  10. Lucky One

    @UFO

    Ok, so you save some cash with your new gtld versus getting a preowned .com from Mike Berkins but here are some flaws in your argument:

    1. You assume Ricks.Pizza is available for the reg fee. It, too, will most like be unavailable in a few months.

    2. Let’s say you get Ricks.Pizza for $200 instead of $2,000. Congratulations, you now get to make up the difference in advertising. But don’t do radio cuz you’ll have problems. Even if you are careful, your well intended visitors will accidentally go to RicksPizza.Com and Google will probably not be kind to you. Bad move. You now have no credibility and are going to encounter a ton of puzzled people when you give your domain name.

    3. Let’s say you survive all of the pitfalls, don’t care about failing the radio test and don’t care about losing traffic to the .com guy.

    Now, the sponsoring .pizza entity announces that due to “unforseen” low registrations, they are forced to shut down. Now what?

    Nah, the whole concept is a bad one. Would have worked great 18 years ago, but at this point, the horse has already left the barn. Closing the barn door now is a waste of time and effort.

    Reply
  11. tcr

    I agree with frank you will see a lot of the .com space marginalized over time 3 word and avg. type names. the cream of the crop .com will still increase in value.
    to me its simple if .com was the only extension today. No country codes or .net .org ect. No other extensions. Would .com be more valuable today across the board then they currently are? would they be worth less? or would they be worth the same? there is no question in my mind they would be worth more.

    Reply
  12. Whatever

    You conveniently gloss over the .Web gTLD along with the city TLDs. DOT.Com has first mover advantage. That’s it. There’s no mystical force that’s going to keep that domain as the ONLY choice going forward. PERIOD.

    Reply
  13. NEIL

    I would want to ask you please, which is nicer and with more click-appeal, iAustralia.me, or iAustralia.NYC, or iAustralia.tkevenfree?
    Just one man’s opinion, the older extensions are aged like a good whisky…sealed for years in barrels.
    Kind regards, N

    Reply
  14. NEIL

    TKs guys are very tricky. Like ICANN.
    They charge a lot for premium domain names.
    Only China, Peru, Vietnam and Russia will click on Diamond.TK, without buying anything, just window surfing…

    Reply
  15. Kassey

    “I agree with frank you will see a lot of the .com space marginalized over time 3 word and avg. type names” Exactly, tcr.

    Reply
  16. J Kanbi

    Hi,

    Have a look at the following link (http://www.londonandpartners.com/dotlondon) how .london is going to promoted. The mayor Boris Johnson is really behind this and reckons quite a few london companies and london organisations will switch to using .london

    Is this the kind of backing needed to make some of these new gtlds work or this more a case of the gtld being a geo gtld.

    Reply
  17. J Kanbi

    Whilst .Web and city TLDs may work reasonably ok, DOT.com not only has first mover advantage it also has a force that is not mystical. That force is called momentum.

    Whilst majority of my domains are .COMs even though I reside in the UK, I am open to the fact that new gTLDs may actually work. The best example is the creation of Dubai and Las Vegas etc. Cities made pretty much artificially and in the middle of nowhere.

    Nothing has stopped London or New York from being top world cities, however there was still room for Dubai and Las Vegas. So in similar manner there is probably enough space for a few more well marketed gTLDs.

    You cannot really slow down .COM because that would require enormous force to counteract the momentum is currently has. It would be like trying to stop a runaway train with a small car. It can be done but requires considerable time, and time we know is in short supply.

    Your thoughts are welcome, I hope this post did not take away too much of your time, and if it did, I hope it was worth it! ;-)

    Reply
  18. UFO

    @Lucky One / Rick?

    Unfortunately the flaw in the counter argument is that a small business like Ricks Pizza actually won’t get hardly any net based traffic, because it has only so many customers and they are geographically focused in the locality. Ricks.Pizza is not going to lose customers because they will always look for the real Ricks Pizza in their locality.

    You say that customers might be confused on ricks.pizza and rockspizza.com Well, all the plebs managed to use google to find things, its just remembering the brand. Users in the marketplace magnaged to learn that @ means email, that # means photo so they will learn that ‘.’ means internet. They will learn far quicker than domainers give them credit for.

    If I was a small pizza shop owner I would go for Ricks.Pizza EVEN if rickspizza.com existed and simply point the rickspizza.com back to Ricks.Pizza

    See, it is very easy to advertise you brand and URL in one go. In small height characters you could have RICKS.and in bigger Characters underneath have PIZZA. Thats you boardwalk adevert and URL in one go.

    I still think all this is a decade away, but marketing and advertising wants to get as close as possible to customers and make it as seemless as possible so its obvious that these .segments will become used by those businesses in that segement.

    Reply

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