I can't even describe the high as I began to read the Forbes.com article last night. Then without notice I got sucker punched when I was referred to as a "Domain Squatter". I was more than outraged. I was body slammed but I was not knocked out.
I thought we had passed that point of jealousy. But I got thrown back right into 1996 and that forum about mobile home and real estate flipping. They removed my comments as fast as I could write them. My crime? Showing a new type of real estate that would provide them with more money and a quicker way to do business.
But the biggest surprise of all is that this was coming from Forbes.com. The leading Capitaistic publication in the world. Outragreous! I am reading this and wondering whose agenda is this? What would motivate this? The contradictions make no sense. They did not just present 2 sides, they presented something that did not add up.
So while we have not come as far as I would have thought, hoped, dreamed, it is still 2 years 1 month and 3 days until that 20 year mark. The time I believed it would take to change how this medium is viewed and why the .com address would increase in value faster than any other asset class in the history of mankind. A bold premise! A crazy timeline. But it would take all those years to change the thinking. And as you see with that article, we still have work to do. And while we are on the threshold of 20 years, we are not there yet. The landing gear is not down. But we are in contact with the control tower. We are in the gravitational pull of where this is all heading.
The gTLD "Booster Rocket" is just that. A Booster Rocket. What that means is that it propels the main ship (.com) to the destination while the booster rocket part falls back to earth as we have seen over the past 50 years on TV with every launch.
But I invested many millions of dollars into an uproven medium called the Internet and I am NOT a “Domain Squatter”! I may be a homesteader, a risk taker, a gambler, but not a squatter and you should update your article accordingly.
Is Donald Trump a land squatter?
Bet you call him that and you would hear from his people pretty fast.
It is called CAPITALISM and that is something that Forbes is supposed to champion!
When I bought Porno.com for $42,000 people thought I was insane. That is not squatting. That is pure capitalism.
Squatter: a person who unlawfully occupies an uninhabited building or unused land.
So PLEASE update your story as you are implying I have done something unlawful and that is damaging to my reputation. And it is not accurate!
Occupy Wall Street, THAT is what a squatter is. I am a capitalist. An opportunist. Something that I should not have to defend on FORBES.COM of all places!!
And when Steve Forbes himself came to talk to the DOMAIN INDUSTRY at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. domain conference I co-produce in 2007, he thought those that thought we were squatters were ignorant of what being an entrepreneur is all about.
btw, when I sold candy.com you failed to mention I still retain 10% of the company and get a 1.5% royalty for every item that goes out the door. That might be important information for your readers to know.
And yes I am a college dropout. That does not make me stupid. Last time I looked, I was in pretty good company. I even know what a squatter is and what a squatter isn’t.
I paid $750,000 for Property.com, how does that make me a squatter? That is outrageous coming from Forbes.com
I paid MANY millions for the domains I OWN! I outbid others just like some did last night. You just called them all squatters!
If I had domains with infringing trademarks that I was profiting from, then you would be on the right track. Generic domains like Candy.com, property.com and the 5998 others I own do not infringe on anyone.
I just saw the author is a a lawyer and journalist. And you would think she would know better than to refer to me in this disparaging and negative manner in an international publication like Forbes.com: “Domain name squatters like Schwartz”
I bought domains LEGALLY, open to anyone and no other person on the planet wanted them out of 7 BILLION and it paid off. And will pay off for the rest of my life. Or I was the highest bidder. Neither of which would in any way, shape or form make me any more of a squatter than Donald Trump or any other property owner in the USA.
Ms. Jacobs, I am no squatter! I think you must correct and update the story and set the record straight.
Your entire article is based on false information you are giving your readers that the value of domain names are going down. Sorry, they are more like Manhattan Real Estate. Up, up, up.
Why don’t you tell them that the aftermarket on domains in 2013 broke ALL previous years sales records and we still have what may be the #1 month of the year to go?
Tell them that while the housing market was crashing that generic dotcom domain names were going up or fairly stable. That everyday many people are making loads of money by buying and selling domains like they flip real estate and are not squatters nor are they squatting. They are doing what has been done for HUNDREDS of years.
Tell them how all the hotel chains missed Hotels.com and how they have to pay millions a year to get reservations that they could have had first and FREE had they or anyone in their employment had the foresight to figure it out. They failed!
Thank you for taking out the reference about me being a squatter from your article.
I would like to point out one last fact.
According to Escrow.com at last Months T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Domain Industry Event, at least 2/3 of ALL domain sales are not reported by DNJournal.com. Most high value deals are never reported because of non-disclosure agreement.
Agreements that I have refused to sign over the years so that the REAL story about domain name investing could and would be told.
So the larger the sale, the less chance it would be public unless they are a public company and even then there are easy ways to hide what was paid.
In 2003 when I sold men.com for $1.3MM it made the news around the world. Was on CNN. Was everywhere. Fast forward to today and my $1.35 Million sale last month was hardly mentioned. Million dollar sales are common place with domains reported or not.
Today it is the $15MM-$20MM that would get the focus but again, according to Escrow.com just last month, those sales this year have not been made public. However since Escrow.com handles the transactions for many large deals, they do know and with some arm twisting, they shared with our audience.
.Com is the largest, most important and most powerful franchise the world has ever known. That is what should be covered. That a few letters with a .com tells folks anywhere in the world exactly how to contact you in various forms. It is the lifeline of most every business on the planet today. I have watched it grow from less than 5% to critical mass.
The ignorance by Madison Ave and Corp America during this time has been stunning! The misinformation even more so.
When I was born 60 years ago all the land was bought and I had no money. 500 years of squatters I guess! But the Internet gave real estate an entire new dimension. An entire new chance. I saw that parallel and I acted on it.
There is still plenty of opportunity in domain investing and I buy domains nearly every day of the week. Maybe I should go register IamNotaSquatter.com
The one thing I would hope comes from this….a real article about the important of domains based on facts that allows your readers to see what Steve Forbes himself saw when he spoke to our small but blossoming industry in 2007.
His video is somewhere on the targetedtraffic.com site so you can see EXACTLY what Steve Forbes himself believes about the legitimacy of what we do. And my 1999 erealestate.com is still in tact so you can measure just how many things I got right all those years ago.
Here is a short clip of Steve Forbes talking to or industry in 2007 along with a few others like Tom Gardner of the Motley Fool. Terry Jones of Travelocity.com and Kayak.
“A pleasure to be around REAL entrepreneurs.”
A Direct quote from Steve Forbes as he addressed the Domain Industry during T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2007 at the Westin Hotel in Hollywood, Florida.
And if the value of .com domains is going down, please explain how Procter and Gamble was CONVICTED of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking as indicated on HallofShame.com.
Take a look how these companies would RISK their reputations to STEAL a domain and not PAY for a domain.
“Investors need to understand the huge risks of buying this highly illiquid asset.”
The house I own next door has been on the market since 2010. How liquid is that? 177 feet direct Intracoastal and 4500 ft. house, $2.18MM. Where is my buyer? The appraisal is higher than my asking price. Matter of fact, my asking price is land only and the remodeled house is free. So where is my liquidity there? Since I don’t NEED to sell, I can wait for the market to come to me. But liquid??
Folks that NEED to be liquid should have cash and stock. You don’t by real estate to be liquid. You don’t buy domains to be liquid. You buy to develop in the future or to hold until you want. It’s an investment and as a rule investments are less than liquid. If I invest in a start-up, how liquid is that?? Is there a cashier I can cash in whenever I want?
I am sorry, but your misconceotions of our industry is stunning. Mike Berkens left a comment with a very in depth article he wrote about this article on TheDomains.com. You really need to read it. I don’t agree with all of what he says, but there is no disagreement with over $1 Billion be invested in expanding this channel right now before we even get to advertising.
I would like to invite you to be my guest at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. in May at the Bellagio. I want you to see first hand what this industry is about. Talk to the men and women who range from age from 20-75. They come from over a dozen different countries and come from all types of different backgrounds.
You will find rag to riches stories that will make you cry.
If you wrote about the “Land Barons” you would look and treat us differently. Take a look at Forbes.com own article on land barons and then justify how you write about us.
Respect for one group, but you can’t see we are the land baron’s of this century? Really?
And the reason I bought so many millions of dollars of REAL real estate was that without concrete examples to point to, few would believe the success many have enjoyed.
This IS the real estate of the future and so may have flunked when it comes to understanding that.
Just name me one item in the history of mankind that increased in value faster than the domain name asset? PLEASE, name me one! Been asking for 18 years. Nobody has been able to answer that.
Gold took THOUSANDS of years to reach $1000/ounce.
Here is the link to the article I cited above from TheDomains.
@Deborah, he took you to the wood shed. He did it with facts. It is hard to believe you read that and did not change how you view things. Or all these pretty respectful comments. Each making very strong points that will go unanswered.
This is not new to us. We have been subjected to this type of thing for many years. But I think it is you and Forbes.com that NOW has an opportunity to change that.
With your editors, please go read and research the comments left. Factual comments. Not on emotion. Fact. And to be honest, that seems what reporting is coming down to Fact based vs emotion based. Personally I am guilty of both. But I am not a professional journalist either.
I do want to thank you for not censoring any of the comments. BRAVO!
I made a list yesterday of the 9 comments I left here in response.
And while we may joust, we do appreciate your article. Your readers and investors will decide. Thank you!!
Excuse me, I was the HARASSEE in that Saveme.com case. A 3rd party tried to STEAL my domain name by ABUSING the system and they got CAUGHT!
So today, these folks have to live with the consequences of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking and being caught and labeled by a 3 member panel.
Otherwise known as stealing. They were convicted of that by the presiding panel on the link you provided. There have only been a few dozen such cases EVER on the Internet.
And from that, you get this:
And you get this:
The “law firm” seems like it knowingly engaged in the reverse domain hijacking and they get to share the honor in their actions. All factual. Let the next law firm know that if they engage in this and drive the GETAWAY CAR, that they too get listed on HallofShame.com.
And tell why they should not? I am listening. Did the law firm ever disavow their actions? Apologize for their actions? Explain what they did wrong so they won’t do it again?
They never said a word in how many YEARS?? Not a single one of them have. That would take this thing called “Courage” and that is in short supply.
I always look at these events as an opportunity. An opportunity to circulate the truth and facts about what we do and the things we have learned that few know. This could be our biggest opportunity yet and our job is to speak out and hope it hits the ears of the informed. But first we have to set the record straight!