I was going to post this last week and got a bit derailed.
So now that both Part 1 and Part 2 of Team Schwartz vs Team Schilling it is time to post how I see it.
First, I don't think there is a winner or a loser. I think we just have "On the record, for the record". I think we all presented a brief point, counterpoint and I think it was entertaining, informational and productive and it was very serious because it deals with where you may or may not invest your hard-earned money. In a few years we will look back and then we will see.
Frank and I are friends and we have never had a cross word. That does not mean we have to agree. Berkens and I are friends and we too disagree some times. But we duke it out with thoughtful debate and we let the future sort out things like winners and losers.
I heard arguments that I had not heard before. Some made a lot of sense and of course I was quick to point out when it made no sense. But we all have one thing in common, we are looking for answers. Some have a more vested interest in it than others, but answers are what we seek.
I look at it and while it was really a perfect opening, it was just that, an opening. There is so much more to discuss and understand and to either reject or embrace.
It's not up to me whether their vision becomes a reality. I can only bet on the outcome. Invest in whatever direction I see it going. Like everything else in life, I may bet right, I may bet wrong. But as a businessman and an opportunist, I will look to history and the empirical evidence that has already been gathered to help me decide.
And while many would like to forget about .mobi and .aero like the public has, we can't ignore their outcomes. Their success is not our success. Nobody to blame for that. Just how the chips came down. Same with most of the others.
So out of 700 I am pretty sure that 7 of them will come to challenge .net or other tld. Maybe some country codes. Maybe not. Great and Unique Content and successfully establishing viable businesses will determine the outcome more than any other single thing. Registry success does not translate to investor success. Two different ballgames. I am sure many will find some degree of success.
Monte says .Travel is a successful registry. That may be true. But I would not invest seriously in that tld. Or .aero. I have nothing against them. If they make money or not has ZILCH to do with me. I just don't think it is a wise investment when there are so many better choices. Especially if you flip domains for a living.
But what really is crazy to me is the notion we are running out of .coms or that .coms are going to be old-fashioned. That is just loony tunes to me with all due respect. I don't think crazy talk helps their cause and actually hurts them. I think it turns people off. I may be wrong. I can't speak for everyone but human nature does have a reaction and it is not the one they want. Especially when I can prove it with simple numbers and an example with TopPlumber.com.
There will be opportunity whether this succeeds or fails. Whether there is confusion or not. But you can predict with a pretty good degree of certainty that if they discover their efforts are not being fruitful or their customers are confused that they could care less about anything but stopping the bleeding.
I talk about how I see 700 horses in the starting gate and I don't know how most of them don't get trampled by the others. They disagree among themselves. They each have different self interests so none will be playing from the same sheet of music. That equals chaos. You can see it from here. You don't have to wait a year to see multiple collisions of all sorts. A few scams and an extension could be out of it!
Like I said, we have only touched on some of the issues. And at the end of the day it will be a gtld by gtld race. Some will be viable and some will die on the vine and that is already happening. All forseeable.
There is so much more to debate over. Reality will determine the winner. Not you, me or anyone. We all just make our case. We put our money where are mouths are. Frank certainly has devoted many millions to what he believes and like Lonnie said, if anyone is going to make it, it will be Frank. I like .link but I don't get .tattoo. I have to look over the rest of his list and again, it will be a .whatever by .whatever decision. .tattoo won't be high on my list. But Frank estimates 25,000 registrations.
Each Registry I talk with throw around numbers that may have made sense given the current levels of extensions but I think are a little ambitious given 700 breaking at nearly the same time. So their biggest obstacle may be their own projections.
Either way the landscape could change drastically in the months ahead. As I have said, once these folks start hiring staffs, their sheer numbers will overwhelm us. It will get noisy. So don't be surprised and don't be surprised if I don't win any popularity contests. Anticipate and be ready for what is coming regardless of the success or failure of any individual extension.
My MAIN position is that after the dust settles and we have the carcases of 695 .mobi's lying around, that will be the fuel that finally accelerates .com prices to the levels I believe they are worth. I think we are already seeing that.
It is ok to build on any gtld. But you MUST own the .com at some point to continue your growth. Not doing that is a dereliction of duty. If you are in charge and you make a mistake like that.....you should no longer be in charge. That is why to this day I scoff at that Madison Avenue panel in 2007 that said it was all about "Budgets". Sorry, budgets don't count when you must make a decision for the next 100 years! I don't think budgets matter when your house is burning down. I don't think budgets matter when you have a heart attack. Budgets are guides they are not tablets written in stone! Listen to THE Dumbest answer I have ever heard since I have been in business.