You Forgot to Ask Them!! Who is Them?

Morning Folks!!

So to find success I often study failure. And when we come to failures on the web, there are more than enough to choose from. And learn from.

“We built the website first and asked our customers about it later” Robin Chase, Co-Founder of Zipcar. Just one of 13 failures written about here and why they failed. You can find stories like that all day long.

I see a win-lose situation and to me that is the recipe for failure before we even get to all those other things.

ICANN, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!

Registries, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!

Registrars, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!

Lawyers, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!

Google, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!

Domainers, Need, Want Desire......CHECK for as many as 25%. Debatable for others. Kiss of death for the unfortunate. None for what seems the majority.

Now the bandwagon stops there. The rest is a crap shoot for a very big reason. There is another side of the equation. Actually hundreds of different variables on the other side of the equation. But here are the big two.

End user, Need, Want Desire......Nobody asked them

Consumer, Need, Want Desire......Nobody asked them

If that is not the cardinal mistake in business, I am not sure what is.

Did they ask any of you before the fact? Can you honestly say these are the very best extensions that they could bring to market? How many extensions would an investor focus on if they wanted to find a degree of success? Are the best extensions available now? What happens if you tie your dollars up with the dogs and a winner comes to market and there are no funds left? Just the most basic of questions. Drill down and see what you find. You drill down by asking the right questions.  Then weighing the quality of the answer.

I have said for many years that failure happens at the beginning of the journey, not the end. The end is just when you realize it and of course it is too late then. “We built the website first and asked our customers about it later”. He figured it out after the failure. Success is finding the answer before you sail. But you must ask the right questions of the right people and you have to accept their answer even when it goes against your beliefs and theory.

Everyone has staked out their positions now. Since the only ones that can buy from the list above are Domainers, you are the focus. ICANN does not buy so they are not the focus. Registries don't buy so they are not the focus. Registrars don't buy so they are not the focus. Lawyers don't buy so they are not the focus. Consumers and End Users can't buy at this time and know nothing of this. So who is left????

Trademark holders and domainers. Your wallets are important. PERIOD! Not whether they get bigger or smaller in a few years. Just your wallets. They have to sell you something to survive. Who else can they sell to in mass?? Here is the aftermath for those readers with short memories. You can all make excuses but there it is.

In a horse race you MUST bet before the race. In this race, you can place your bets for years to come. Reasons like this are the reasons that tell me that waiting to see how this race shakes out is the proper course for me. If not, you and me both risk having a portfolio of worthless .aeros, .mobi's and .crap to add to this list. See that is the one sure bet. There will be less meaningful extensions than .aero and .mobi. Hundreds of them! Hundreds that will never be as important as .Aero. Feeling lucky?

And remember....value and circumstance have yet to weigh in. This is what I would call a "Heavy lift". Plus, how many digits are acceptable on an extension? I think once you are over 5, you are over the cliff. For me, that would probably disqualify those with  more than 3 or 4. But I will always watch one thing first. I will watch the consumer. I will watch the end-user. I will watch and I will follow their lead. I will ignore what domainers do. I will ignore all the other groups and what they want. I will only focus on the consumer and the end-user. They are the the "they" that hold all the cards and all the answers. The rest is all noise.

I always try and follow the money. Except when I see it going down the drain.

bigstock-Money-down-the-drain-8606818

Rick Schwartz



22 thoughts on “You Forgot to Ask Them!! Who is Them?

  1. Max Man

    So true. The picture of money down the drain says it all to me.

    And don’t forget the leakage aspect in which these registrations will actually assist the owner of the .com version.

    Reply
  2. Robbie

    I think the launch of any domain extension had always had the support of the small community of domainers, grabbing terms, and holding, hence paying renewals, and providing registrars operating revenue.

    Suddenly these new gtlds have gone outside, got investment, and have tied up all the big terms in reservations in an already limited term market due to the nature of the gtld endings. So they expect domainers to registar their crap for $23 – $800 per year (yes .luxury)….

    Guess what, it is not happening, maybe you can run a groupon buy one, get one free. Domainers know this is dead money, as the average business owner doesn’t have a clue, nor do they care.

    The domainers don’t want to carry your operational expenses, nor cover your debts, straight up, your shit out of luck!

    Rip

    Reply
  3. Pat w

    Totally great report and story Rick — from Start to Finish.
    Need – Want & Desire…
    Thanks Much and Have a Super 2014 New Year !!!

    Reply
  4. @domains

    I think there is much ‘land rush fatigue’ among domainers from previous new extensions that didn’t work out, so you can’t count on them to keep new gtlds afloat.

    Reply
  5. Owen Frager

    On GoDaddy they are featuring new names on a billboard that looks like the ones in airports, that keeps changing cities and arrival times like a slot machine. Difference is that in an airport your KNOW the one you are looking for. And that again falls on never asking the consumer upfront, What’s more, in a store of thousands of SKU’s coke pays for the featured space, the ads in circulars, coupons and incentives. Tens of thousands of other skis are buried deep and will rely on customer discovery which never happens because psychology of supermarket retailing is you throw eaters and implies items in front of them and they fill up the wagon without actually shopping and comparing. It’s going to be a tough challenge to the registries to do these justice. Unlike when .CO was GoDaddy’s singular focus. I guess the ones that get to market first with less competition may have a chance. But it will take outbound selling- a human to call on the clubs and tattoo parlors to get their cooperation because they have the customers with needs, wants, desires unlike the registry. Am I making any sense?

    Reply
  6. Owen Frager

    Another issue is has tag culture which is being widely embraced 1. Because it solves the ICANN problem of not enough available names and 2) it solves the google problem that there is only room for a few at the top until you cease a new has tag string and own the top. New domains can’t solve this and NamesCon itself is an example of this where every communication #namescon will get viewed 4-5x a day by 600 insiders and 10s of thousands of outsiders, as a thread bigger than the domaining one and even those who don’t attend the event can use the hasttag to reach its constituents (was I often do during #dreamforce)

    Reply
  7. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,

    The key missing piece to the puzzle, is already in plain view for those who care to take the blinders off. We will be exposing many fundamental underpinnings, that will ultimately lead to this Key, being found by the masses down the road. Keep plugged in both here and on Domain Kings Joint Venture Group LinkedIn.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

    Reply
  8. JBS

    Here is what the average consumer will do; He sees a billboard, ad, or commercial with all the interesting new extensions. He rushes to his computer and tries to register the obvious best names and then… – crap, taken! He tries again – crap, taken!, etc. Damn, I guess I missed the boat again. He gives up in 3 minutes never to be bothered again. With only a handful of obvious good phrase domains available, this is what you will see with all the new keyword gTLDs… There won’t be a million registrations combined on new keyword gTLD the first year, but there will be millions of dissatisfied consumers who have their hopes for finding gold quickly ended in a minute or two. The new generic gTLDs are a different story but then again, what great business are you planning to build on a dot biz?

    Reply
  9. Domenclature.com

    Excellent post.

    I go one step beyond Rick on this one; it’s not even up to the Consumer, or end-User.

    This time it’s in the realm, and hands of HUMAN NATURE.

    We all have what is often called ‘common human experience’.

    The release of hundreds of new gTLDs is absolutely strange. Think about it. In our very eyes, ICANN transformed into an unstoppable CARTEL, similar to OPEC (Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries: an organization formed in 1961 to administer a common policy for the sale of petroleum).

    How can we live in a world where a group of people planned, and actually introduced hundreds of worthless extensions, without an input from our government, our businesses, or our Courts?

    The onus rests wildly on the head of ICANN. Not the greedy Registries.

    The CONSUMER gets CONFUSION. Period.

    I have had my say on this topic. I have debated them. I have stamped my disapproval.

    Now I’m done. I wish them luck.

    Reply
  10. Rick Schwartz

    How can they handle the “Human Nature” card when they are still in denial about the things that come before and after that?

    Here is an interesting comment about the subject from “domo sapiens”

    “The New gTLD program has brought a lot of non-sense noise and baseless foretelling from other quasi-bloggers ( aka Big new gTLD players’ ARSE kissers)…
    The harder they try to sell the “Snake Oil” the more evident their desperation has become…Can you smell it?”

    See more at: http://domainnamewire.com/2014/01/10/new-tlds-come-out-with-a-whimper/#comments

    Reply
  11. s. mugavero

    What is the reason for the premium on registration and renewal? I understand Goodwill is a factor in valuations… Whats the good will of a .whatever? Do we have to question the goodwill of one of the most used extensions in verbal communication .com How many people say that a day… Now that’s Goodwill. That’s value. In addition, Most things that are not easily duplicatable have exponential value.

    A .whatever is not going to have the impact of a .com for “some time” in my opinion, being generous.

    Comparables is another factor in valuation. We can compare the lackluster success of the majority of the last gtlds. .biz .info etc. Whats the difference between a .mobi and a .mobile? (other than gtld and mtld) Or as I asked Frank Schilling, Whats the difference between a .biz and a .shop? In all sincerity. The .com has long standing sales comparable date.

    Theres several avenues and millions of available ways to invest, market and brand with domains in the proven .com, .net and .org extensions. Take a look at these examples I put together in 10 minutes. It could be done with most the new gtlds in my opinion.

    rentalcar.directory $24.95 anually, possible auction. More upfront if you want priority service.

    RentalCarsDirectory.com I can buy it now for $350 and $10 annually.

    personalinjurylawyer.directory $24.95 anually, possible auction. More upfront if you want priority service.

    PersonalInjuryLawyerDirectory.com I can buy it now for $300 and $10 annually.

    motorcycles.directory $39.99 annually, possible auction. More upfront if you want priority service.

    MotorcyclesDirectory.com I can buy it now for $199 and $10 annually.

    arcade.directory $24.99 annually, possible auction. More upfront if you want priority service.

    ArcadeDirectory.com I can buy it now for $199 and $10 annually.

    The list could go on and on forever comparing every .whatever to what works.

    For the investor and end user (the little guy too) alike there’s proven success formulas in place.

    Sorry for the ramble Rick! Just saying.

    Theres more I can say, I’ve been domaining full time since 98, I’ll post more thoughts somewhere.

    Reply
    1. Rick Schwartz

      We need more rambling because you see them all jumping on the gravy train mirage. It’s sad but i guess that is what it takes for them to look cool.

      Reply
  12. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,

    We are all witnessing not just the gTLDS but all competing extensions challenging the Strategic .COM Business World Model. The gTLDs are bit players far behind all current in place extensions.

    The biggest paper tiger, that has a drone cruise missile locked in on it is the .co.com savior, the top minded .COM knockoff. If there was ever a Titanic leaving port this is it. Be sure you settle all your affairs before you board this ship of fools.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

    Reply
  13. s. mugavero

    They may say .com is your fathers extension or whatever… :)

    but

    The new gtlds look like sub domains that have the extension mistakenly left out.

    and

    I’ll prob. be expired before the last person doesn’t think the same.

    Reply
  14. Edwin Hayward (@uk_domain_names)

    The interesting thing is that the new gTLD ad on Godaddy’s front page has a huge “Search Now” button, but even if you click that button, the search box at the top of the landing page only displays the “regular” extensions. To register (ok, pre-register) a new gTLD it looks like you have to disregard the search box completely and dig into the links underneath (which will be near-invisible on a mobile or lower resolution tablet)

    Reply
  15. john zhou

    Below is the point!

    JBS
    January 11th, 2014
    Here is what the average consumer will do; He sees a billboard, ad, or commercial with all the interesting new extensions. He rushes to his computer and tries to register the obvious best names and then… – crap, taken! He tries again – crap, taken!, etc. Damn, I guess I missed the boat again. He gives up in 3 minutes never to be bothered again. With only a handful of obvious good phrase domains available, this is what you will see with all the new keyword gTLDs… There won’t be a million registrations combined on new keyword gTLD the first year, but there will be millions of dissatisfied consumers who have their hopes for finding gold quickly ended in a minute or two. The new generic gTLDs are a different story but then again, what great business are you planning to build on a dot biz?

    Reply

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