Is the Domain Industry Brain Dead or just Stupid and Foolish? And a Namescon Secret I Have NEVER Revealed Until Now!

Morning Folks!!

Sorry, but maybe it is time to question the mental health of the so-called "Domain Industry". There are very smart people in it. There are also some very dumb and silly people. There are predators too. You can decide which group is biggest.

I have been in dozens of industries in my life. 55 as a matter of fact. Never saw one as bjg as ours and so splintered and messed up. Directionless. The golden goose has been abused and misused and many of you are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet and also justify the time spent. That equation is in real and serious trouble.

I don't sell domains to domainers I BUY domains from domainers. I don't sell you folks anything since TRAFFIC closed in 2014. But just like before, I share. I share what I see and how I think it will unfold and I share why. I will always piss off multiple groups because the truth is sometimes their enemy and I don't carry water for anyone but progress and success!

We are not progressing. We are not even stuck. We are sliding backwards. Long gone are the VC guys of 2006. Long gone are the $12 million domain auctions of 2007. Long gone are the shrimp as big as my fist in 2008. The month of the stock market and housing crash. Long gone is the hope for new GTLD's of 2013. Long gone are so many things. But folks think they can ignore that. You can. But I look at the pattern. The trajectory. The fallout. The differences. The similarities. The ups and downs. The quality of domains and their prices. I only buy domains in a depressed market. This is a depressed market.

However with time, there is also clarity. Even with the dense fog of bullshit and noise. Noise. Noise. Noise. YEARS of it!! But until you realize that registries and registrars MEAN NOTHING to you as domainers the industry will never have direction and meaning. I am so glad you are letting the Division of Drivers Licenses have so much influence when they should have NONE! Who are they to YOU?? They are not your FRIENDS! They are salespeople! And that is fine. I don't blame them one bit. I blame domainers for being ignorant of their true role and value. They facilitate and protect. PERIOD!!

The domain game is changing. It always has and always will. But we had a 5 year detour that is now coming to an ABRUPT end! With the reported bankruptcy of Famous Four, this is the beginning of the end. But it was all predicted RIGHT HERE on this blog. We looked at it from every single angle and it was a loser each and every time.

Most products may have 1 or 2 weak points. GTLD's have 122 weak points! They sold you a bag of shit and you ate it like Filet Mignon! That's the ugly truth, deal with it!

GTLD's took a thriving industry and derailed it. Did not kill it. Derailed it. The motivation of GTLD's was not to make it easier to navigate like the Library and the Dewey Decimal System. It was a money grab by people that were not making money!

One of the biggest reasons I closed TRAFFIC in 2014 is because I did not want to be involved with this pump and dump scheme and promote their NOISE. I would rather walk away than be USED as a TOOL for their agenda! I was even offered a percentage of Namescon. Howard was not interested. I could not do it. I don't sell out. PERIOD! I would not lend MY NAME to give credibility where it was not deserved. So it was easier to leave the scene for a few years and come back when my predictions started to unfold and MOST domainers would stop being BLIND. They are on record, I am on record. GTLD investors got their heads handed to them and the industry got hijacked.

The worst thing, just look at the GTLD CRAP that they register. Most would be worthless as a .com. What are they thinking?

So the industry is now controlled by registrars, registries and GTLD companies. Domain Investors are just a group to be used and abused because they are either brain dead, stupid or foolish. The evidence is overwhelming and it increases every single day. RIP GTLD's. Now run along and make room for the pros again!

Do you know that the difference between a .com and a any of the 1000 GTLD's?? One is recognized universally and is synonymous with the Internet and the other is a total FRAUD brought to market for all the wrong reasons and means nothing to NO ONE on earth but the peddlers of this crap and silly domainers that swallow their shit! (registries, registrars and domainers looking for the second coming). Enjoy driving your Yugo's as they fall apart. I am happy with the Mercedes of extensions. The Rolls Royce of Extensions. The Cadillac of extensions. You GTLD guys are sick of me posting? TFB. Too bad! I had to listen to YEARS of your noise promising this and that and delivering on none of it.

Rick Schwartz



63 thoughts on “Is the Domain Industry Brain Dead or just Stupid and Foolish? And a Namescon Secret I Have NEVER Revealed Until Now!

  1. Jeff

    Nice post Rick, wow I didnt know you were offered a piece of namescon.

    Good overview of things.

    Reply
  2. Robert

    But how long will it take until GTLD’s are Finally extinct???
    Another 2, 5 years?

    Reply
  3. Mark Thorpe

    No new gTLD will ever derail .Com as #1. Most nTLD’s are worthless. Deal with it.

    The only nTLD’s that domain Investors might be able to make money off of is .App and .Web IMO.

    Reply
  4. Snoopy

    Nothing special about .com, it is just the standard. It it like having a steering wheel on a car or having a door on a house. Some may choose to use something else but that is it weird and confusing.

    Domaining is about having the right keyword, but if people can’t even get the extension right (which 99% of the human population knows is .com) then they are in serious trouble.

    Reply
  5. Andrew Hyde

    Totally agree, new gtld’s are the pump and dump stock of this industry. They’ll fade when the cost between running their op is greater than the amount of suckers they’re taking in. Numbers don’t lie and the traffic isn’t there.

    Reply
  6. Sigma

    Rick and Howard Fellman called out the nGTLD money grab in a way newbies could understand. Most domain speculators have a steep learning curve in Year 1, but the nGTLDs added a new layer of difficulty/risk if you entered in 2015-2016; many newbies got wiped out from investing in sugar covered shit nGTLDs. Im grateful to Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Fellman for choosing integrity over earning a quick buck. I hear crickets from the nGTLD propagandists in 2018.The sooner all nGTLD registries file bankruptcy; the sooner a true assessment of the true state of Domains can be determined.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140519231432-92568989-domain-name-train-wreck-ahead-why-the-gtld-program-may-not-succeed/

    Reply
    1. fizz

      Sigma, that Linkedin article by Howard Fellman that you’ve provided the link to at the bottom of your post is amazingly prescient for something penned four years ago.

      Reply
    2. John McCormac

      Unfortunately, the Fellman article is a classic example of the Dunning Kruger effect that permeates the domain industry. Because it reinforces some theories about new gTLDs versus .COM it is seen as a prescient article. It isn’t.

      The new gTLDs were never going to be a .COM killer cumulatively or individually. Most of them were, in reality, niche domain names and not true generic TLDs. There were some attempts at establishing generic TLDs (.XYZ) but it has been a very difficult process for many of the NGTs that tried this.

      The big problem for some of the small NGTs was that the registries launched the gTLDs but the registrations didn’t appear. After .XYZ opened the floodgates with the .INFO Boom and Bust model, many other gTLDs also adopted discounting as a business model. They ended up chasing the next discounting deal with registrars to keep the new registrations ahead of deletions.

      In .COM and some of the other legacy gTLDs in 2015, there was a bubble created by Chinese registrations. This also spread to the NGTs and both the legacy gTLDs. In 2016-2017, that bubble burst and the majority of those speculative registrations were deleted.

      The Chinese market has been a major component of some of the larger new gTLDs. Without it, they would still be struggling to break a million registrations. Some of the registries of the larger NGTs have become dependent on the Chinese market for registrations and those registrations are rarely developed into working websites and have a high non-renewal rate.

      A gTLD market is essentially a small global market and group of country level markets. Once a particular country dominates a market, as in the case of the US with .COM, the gTLD can take on some of the characteristics of that country’s economy. But more importantly for domainers, that’s where the biggest market for domain name sales will exist.

      The change in registrant markets for some of the new gTLDs meant that these NGTs have stopped being global and have become predominantly localised. With the NGTs that have become Chinese market dominant, that means that renewal rates and development rates have dropped and that speculative, one year registrations, have increased. Throw in discounting as a business model and it becomes cheaper for a registrant to register a new domain name rather than renew a previously discounted domain name at full registration fee.

      Domain Tasting had created an artificial scarcity for domain names and Domain Kiting ensured that many good domain names would never get back into the market for registration fee. It was against this artificial scarcity that some of the new gTLDs emerged. Once ICANN introduced the AGP (a five day period where a registrar can delete a mistakenly registered domain name at no cost) “restocking fee”, it changed Domain Tasting from being a zero cost activity for the registrar to one with increasing costs. A lot of the domain names that had been kept out of the market started to drop. In June 2008, 15.7 million .COM domain names were deleted. The majority were tasted domain names deleted within AGP. In April 2009, 2.5 million .COM domain names were deleted. The problem was that the “consultants” and some of the prospective registries didn’t appear to notice. Neither did ICANN. As the momentum built for applying for the new gTLD strings, the market for many of them had disappeared. But worse was to come.

      ICANN seems to be filled with a lot of well-meaning people and most of them don’t seem to have any great understanding of the domain name business. Rather than giving each new gTLD some time to launch, have a land rush (normally a six month long period) and build market share, it forced the registries to launch in a very short timeframe and some of these registries were launching directly competing TLDs (singular and plural terms).

      The registries also were allowed to reserve premium domain names for future auction or sale. This really began with the .MOBI sTLD. Done well, it can boost the profile of a TLD. Get it wrong and it completely kills the land rush period because domainers see that the gold has already been removed and what’s left isn’t paydirt. The Mom and Pop operations that would have developed websites on some of these domain names also ignored some of these pre-speculated NGTs. Without development, there’s no awareness of the TLD. Without awareness, there are no sales.

      But even after all that, some of the new gTLDs are doing well. They have good renewal rates and good web usage rates and operate in economically strong markets. However, they are much smaller than .COM and will remain so. They’ve got niche markets.

      Other new gTLDs have already failed (.WED) and some of the brand NGTs have been dropped. Some of these first time registry operators have had to learn a most important lesson the hard way: Marketing matters. If a registry can’t afford to market its TLD, then it really might as well not exist. The registrars won’t give it shelf space because their customers will not be interested.

      Reply
  7. Donny

    Agree 100%-The market is depressed. Amazing time to buy at depressed prices! It may be negative to say but I hope it gets worse! and it will because owners will be harder to reach.

    Also want to thank GD for coming out with that amazing appraisal tool. You can use that appraisal tool “Against the Sellers” for negotiation.

    This is going to be a great year:) If you invested your $ in new extensions it’s going burn for a while.

    Donny
    Domainpad.com

    Reply
    1. Sigma

      @Fizz Agreed. Fellman and Rick being interviewed on their predictions would be great. They saw what others didn’t and since 2015 they were smeared by the nGTLD propagandists for their brutal honesty. Where are the nGTLD oil salesmen and their marks now?

      Reply
  8. Uknowledge

    Rick,you are the Truth .I love your transparency and also sales motivation .I never see you move with the crowd and that is why other so called “greedy “domainers,sell out .Pushing GTLDs that suck.I see why most people envy you in the industry. They are myopic .Thank you for looking out for the interest of those who want to earn a living from domaining and would listen to the truth.Lots of pump and dump going on .Domainers should invest with their eyes open and not be jealous of you for your honesty.I am inspired.

    Reply
  9. Kevin

    Even if the market was good, the fact is the majority of domain investors are clueless buyers these days.

    All you have to do is look at the “Post Your Best Name For Sale Under $2500” type posts. Most of the names don’t even make sense as word combos and aren’t even worth the $10 reg fee, yet the owners think they’ve got a really marketable asset.

    Reply
  10. BullS

    When all the dot BS GTLDs die , dot com will worth more in value.

    GTLDs are total scam and totally “Bulls” sh*&it

    Reply
  11. Michael Anthony Castello

    Many of you are going to like what I’m about to write here. GTLDs are not the problem. All domain names rise and fall together. Just look at how much .net and .org have depreciated.

    Domain names are not needed if there is a monopoly that directs traffic. 90% of internet advertising is controlled by Google. That’s because they control the traffic. Did everyone forget about the power of Direct Navigation?

    Domainers loved Google Adsense and Google Anaylitics. They ate our traffic because of these free inventions. Nothing is ever free. If you can’t make money from advertising using the power of a domain name, what is left? You have a new master called Google that controls the audience that you need. Pay up or it’s algorithm will teach you who’s boss.

    This domain industry’s premise of “holding names” was built upon the hope that businesses would be needing those names in the future for commerce. Google in my opinion is killing that commerce for small businesses.

    We can only hope that a powerful company like Google is broken up or relinquishes some of its control. We need a technological revolution but that is not going to happen as long as we have an analog world to cradle our liberties. We are not totally dependent to survive in the Internet yet. As consumers, most are fine using the web as an app or Rolodex to search for “things”. Google’s control is only bothersome to those trying to make a living from the Internet.

    Everyone wants to control the gateway or platform. That’s were the power and money lie. But I would rather have the US government protecting the platform then a monopoly. We would get a lot more balance. After all, it was the US that gave us the platform called the Internet. There was direct navigation using domain names which had a natural balance with search.

    In time that balance will be restored. Destiny can not be diverted, only delayed.

    Reply
    1. Logical

      You are correct.
      The world does not revolve around domains or domainers.
      Only domainers think they world resolves around their speculative investments.

      Reply
    2. John

      Well Michael, I don’t know where to begin. Who knew it was possible for someone like you to render it unnecessary for an anonymous nobody like me to fight the good fight against all odds?

      You have addressed the *main* 8,000 ton gorilla in the room. This is what the main truth and the main problem is. This transcends and overshadows all the squabbling and dysfunction of our “industry” itself just as dark clouds of hurricane and storm loom high above the earth and block out the light.

      This inescapable reality and truth transcends economics, money and profit, and extends to pure domination, power and control. These entities do not merely act in their own economic interests, but are squarely in bed with the so-called “powers that be.”

      Herein lies “the problem” for “them,” the “PTB”: you can’t have what the Internet originally meant and represented; you can’t have any unpredictable control of media and information in the hands of the common citizen. You can’t have such a far too dangerous great “equalizer” truly in line with true American principles, that which domain names and life *before* the dominance and hegemony of monopoly search represented. Media and information must be controlled as much as possible, or else you might wind up with unpredictable, uncontrolled, and unwanted outcomes. Can anyone name a recent example of that? I’ll give you one guess.

      This too is why, for example, .US has been kept under a rock since day one for all intents and purposes, with the American public scarcely even having the slightest idea to this day since 2002 that it even exists, when only the slightest word at no cost of marketing at all from the top would have encouraged and brought about the opposite. And for those still stuck at the ground level below the 8,000 ton gorilla in the sky – stop thinking the “top” means the registry.

      It’s not for nothing that it’s called the “MSM.” And it’s not for nothing that the only two flavors of blueberry and raspberry allowed in the United States are really two sides of the exact same coin. Think about it, folks.

      And as I have posted numerous times recently – do make sure to read this article and view this video, folks…

      “Google – One of the Largest Monopolies in the World”

      https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/06/16/google-one-of-the-largest-monopolies.aspx

      Reply
    3. Mark Thorpe

      Balance will be restored, it has already started with GDPR.

      Like you mentioned before Michael, GDPR is a push back against monopolies Google and Facebook.

      Although GDPR effects domain whois in a negative way IMO.

      Reply
      1. Michael Anthony Castello

        “Although GDPR effects domain whois in a negative way IMO.”

        Then everyone should post their own whois on their website or point parked domains to a global whois page.

        Why let registries and registrars do it for you? Create the habit for those looking for information to go to your domain name to find it. Let’s take advantage of GDPR.

        Reply
    4. Rick Schwartz

      I can see what you are saying and agree.
      However Google is out of our control. Our domains, sites and traffic are in our control. The industry needs to make a stand and a statement. But will never happen. Can’t get domainers to agree on anything. A powerful industry with no power and no real voice.

      Reply
    5. SLD.TLD

      @MichaelAC Very true. however, and technically speaking, a domain is the only mechanism that provides an unique address within the DNS system. This enables email. It also enables blockchain.
      Domains are not going anywhere, IMHO -or are you saying the DNS system is next ?

      Reply
  12. John

    Okay people – this may be Rick’s excellent post, but listen up and read what Michael Castello just wrote or you’re going to hear from this anonymous Internet troll (me). ;)

    Reply
  13. Logical

    NamesCon was the best domain industry conference over the last many years. The fact that Richard Lau and the team were able to build such a great conference and sell it speaks for itself. Last couple namesCon shows were bigger than any TRAFFIC conference ever put together.

    Reply
    1. Nick M

      Bigger is not necessarily better. The bar is so low for anyone to attend that the quality of the attendees is bad …. just like new gTLDs :)

      Reply
    2. Kevin

      OMG, You’re kidding right? I was at the last three Namescon conferences – $300 and they host the conference at the Tropicana of all the places? Seriously?

      The blockchain round table was classic – those “experts” were a joke.

      While a few Actual domain investors probably show up (mostly because it’s an excuse to go to Vegas), a majority of the people I interacted with were highly over excited about idiotic GTLD’s like .penis, .law and .club…

      Reply
    1. Snoopy

      Of course the good names are taken. Much like all the good land plots are taken. If its available it is probably because it is worthless. Picking up stuff at reg fee is mostly a fools game. Solution is clear.

      Reply
    2. Panama Wilson

      Start saving money for a good .com, buy it, and go make your mark with it.

      Reply
  14. Bill Kara

    What happens to these strings when the parent company goes under?

    I assume that if you have the base infrastructure in place and got them for pennies on the dollar there will still be winners in the space. Like donuts?

    Main question though. What happens to the actually domains themselves? How bad do things get or what steps happen before an entirely gtld goes dark?

    I think most have some value. Keep in mind that even scrap metal has value… so even a string with a few thousand might work to a company that just added those sales to their already fixed costs.

    But what happens if/when no buyers step up?

    Reply
    1. Snoopy

      An EBERO steps in (emergency back end registry operator). I don’t think there is a scope for a lot of downtimes as Icann has contracts with Nominet and other to take things over in a short timeframe when a registry goes dark.

      Reply
  15. Steve

    I believe it will take a few years for the domain industry to recover after the GTLD debacle and total money grab engineered and promoted by charlatans.

    What happened to all the GTLD “consultants” who popped up on the domain blogs and forums?

    What happened to the GTLD evangelists who promoted the new extensions as something better and more vibrant than that old nearly “obsolete” .com, which was now so “uncool”? Did they cash out? Go belly up? Follow the GTLD lemmings off cliffs?

    Any estimate on how much money was “lost” by those who invested in the GTLD extensions? Millions, Hundreds of millions? Billions?

    The savvy ones per registries were the ones who bailed out of auctions for certain strings and received cash for their forfeitures.

    I believe the industry will recover by 2020. But then again, I’m an optimist.

    Reply
    1. Sigma

      @Steve The industry will boom in 2020. think about it (1) nGtLDs have proven a failure; maybe 50% will be wiped away by registry bankruptcies (2) GDR (3) retail apocalypse revolution (4) crypto/Bitcoin wiping out many would be aftermarket players (5) and the strong likelihood of a 2019 recession cleaning the clocks of the over leveraged will all bring premium dot-Com to the forefront.

      Reply
  16. smartwebby

    Surely billions! They were/are optimists and blue eyed… but they didn’t fool anyone who understood domains. Really pity the ones who got fooled :( and Rick refused to be part of it knowing clearly it will happen. Rick protected most of us who didn’t step into the murk. Pretty sure he’s not waiting for a thank you but I think he made himself a legend by just sticking to his guns.

    Reply
  17. Leonard Britt

    I have three different Kindle tablets. On the newer models Google search generally does not show the domain. But when I get those search results WITHOUT the .COM there is a sense of concern -not so much if I am visiting a domain forum or blog but definitely when I am trying to log in to my bank account or Godaddy account. Presumably the first result should be the right one but there is a little discomfort without seeing that .Com on the screen. Note also that the Google app on those newer tablets do not allow direct navigation. However occasionally the Google app will get hung up or stuck on a prior website I visited. I might then use the Amazon Silk browser which does allow direct navigation and also shows the domain names. So perhaps with Amazon’s growth in e-commerce they might be an equalizer for the domain industry.

    Reply
  18. James Kite

    I’ll stick with my gtlds thanks.

    as an end user, they are perfect for my future plans and useful for my current endeavours.

    Reply
    1. Rick Schwartz

      As an end user what number do you put on your business for confusion and leakage?
      My biggest point, NEVER EVER ignore that number. It’s not zero and never can or will be.

      Guess as and end user you have to decide if you want to cap your growth. Whether you want to be local or global.

      What’s your best 2 names? I can give you an idea of how much traffic you might leak.
      See, to me, ignoring lost traffic is like a restaurant kitchen being dirty or water leaks in a roof or a boat. You don’t ever ignore these things cuz they can bring you down. They can sink a boat. They can inundate a house. The rats and roaches will scare your customers away. They may seem small. They may start small, but as your success grows, if it does, it has the power to destroy.

      So when ANY businessman ignores these things, I can never ever take them too seriously. Understand where I am coming from Captain? Just don’t ignore. Understand, embrace, counter.

      There is a company called 1-800-MATTRESS. It has one extra digit. It may confuse SOME people. It’s a percentage. In their commercials they go out of their way to say leave off the last “S” because it is for savings! If O.co had done something similar they would not have lost 61% of their traffic. They could have minimized the impact.

      Ignoring this is the kiss of death the way I view advertising and how it intermingles with sales, growth, longevity, credibility and the Internet.

      I wish you the best. But don’t ignore the leaks. Fix them if you can. Minimize them if you can’t.

      But I would really like to see your end user domains that you are willing to bet your future on.

      Reply
  19. Scott

    I can’t speak too much on the domain industry as I am only a partial domainer and my real love is to develop domain names. With that said, I will never register a gtld as a valuable asset. However, from a website developer point of view, yes gtld can be valuable. One word with a extension that makes sense together is valuable for websites because its easy to remember. “Gift.cards” “Play.games” or “Gulf.club” can be extremely valuable for a website.

    And example of this is I use Tinypng.com to compress most images. The 2nd one I use the most is “Compress.photos” mainly because it is easy to remember. Even if someone chose to develop CompressPhotos.com, Compress.photos is just easier to remember so I would still go to them.

    Last thing I wanted to say is that gtlds are good for cool software or something data driven, not for business. I would never buy from a gtld website, i prefer a .com , .net or .org (preferably .com) but it does depend on the actually site design, navigation, professionalism etc.

    Just my 2 cents

    Reply
    1. domaineed

      Easy to remember??? The name or the tld… or both. What an incredible memory you must have.

      Reply
  20. Alan Dunn

    This post is pretty much spot on. For the most part nGTLD’s are nothing but lottery tickets to domain name investors – lotto tickets with really poor odds.

    However, almost every industry tries innovation at one point and some of these new extensions did certainly have potential such as .news and .blog but the key to any of these is (and always has been) user adoption. For the most part this never came, and it wasn’t because all the good nGTLD’s were gone or the prices were too high – its just that brands don’t need them and small business is not big enough to warrant mass speculation for investors.

    The domain name industry is, let’s get real, an industry only a few hundred people really understand and 99.9% of the world doesn’t care about. It’s not an industry meant to expand for domain name investors. It’s really no different than many other industries. Investors only make up a small portion of total volume in most industries – however to be successful the industry has to have the other 90% of participants which include consumers. New GTLD’s do not have enough. Period.

    Don’t get me wrong – I like some of the nGTLDs very much. I like them to use and I like some of them from a business perspective. But that doesn’t mean I want to invest in them as a domainer.

    Ask me if I want to sell them for $59.99 a pop to investors and sure, I think all of us know how we would answer that question. There is no harm in registries being registries, or registrars being registrars. Their business model is to make money and not to cater to domain investors. And that’s fine.

    After all, those that have been around long enough will understand that many registries and registrars realize there is almost no money to be made off domainers and rightfully so. They didn’t start companies to allow a domainer to register 5,000 names at 50 cents above cost or get free privacy every time. Features like privacy cost money to provide.

    Over the years the industry has had some great blogs, most which are gone now, and the noise in this space is sad to be frank. Whether it’s constant negative posts or ridiculous threads to showcase horrible domains for sale we have never really collectively been able to move ahead much. Why, who knows, but I said this years ago and still say it today. We are our own worst enemy.

    My guess is many of the nGTLDs will be acquired by companies like GoDaddy and Donuts and will survive. Stupid ones (such as .horse imo) may also be acquired but only as part of a package because stand alone so many of these will likely operate at a loss for a new owner, even with shared resources. I know ICAAN has a backup plan for any extension that fails but I’m not entirely sure of the process.

    The only advice I have is that if you are investing in nGTLD’s and expect good returns than at least make sure you have a plan. There are many investors who have a dozen (or hundreds) of domains and can afford to wait (let’s call this affordable gambling), but those who are upside down on renewal fees and keep cheering for the cause then take a moment and step back. All the money you have spent so far is gone – it doesn’t mean anything. Have your odds of getting a return increased? Have you sold anything? What’s your five-year strategy – renew, renew and wait? (not really a strategy). My bet is you don’t have a plan.

    The .com market is still full of incredible deals – both aftermarket and expired inventory. Put your energy into finding these deals and don’t be that lazy investor who scans keywords into a bulk search tool for nGTLD’s and think they found a winner. You didn’t. Smarter people are ahead of you – way ahead of you. Go back to .com and make your mark, focus on names that already have demand and built a portfolio that way.

    As with almost every other negative decision people are often faced to make in life – bankruptcy, divorce, seeing a doctor – almost all typically happen too late. Ask almost anyone about getting divorced and they will likely say they should have divorced years ago, same with BK (should have filed sooner) etc…

    However, when investing you can make the changes needed before it’s too late. The key is understanding your plan.

    However, you need a plan to understand it.

    Reply
  21. Anunt

    Great post Rick. I agree with everything.
    But in your previous post somewhere, i read that you like .web and .app
    I think if it’s not .com, it’s shiitt and will leak traffic.
    I wouldn’t grow a successful business on .web nor .app if i don’t own the dot com.
    Google ads are overpriced…would rather advertise on Facebook and Instagram.

    Reply
  22. Steve

    So to sum up:
    GTLD cons:
    a) leakage
    b) confusion in the marketplace
    c) low chance for aftermarket sales
    d) pending bankruptcies of major players in the GTLD experiment
    GTLD pros:
    ?

    After most of the GTLD strings crash, and various registries go belly up, the domain industry will get back on track.

    Rick predicted the whole GTLD experiment would be a fiasco. I thought so as well, but not nearly to this extent.

    Again, where did all the GTLD “consultants” go?

    Radio silence

    Reply
    1. John

      With emphasis on the word “cons” there, Steve. Pun intended. ;)

      Say Rick – when are you going to whitelist me so that all my comments don’t always go into moderation? :) You had me whitelisted already before so not sure why now.

      Reply
  23. owen frager

    The only domain billionaire is Bob Parsons. He did it without buying or carrying a single domain. 90% of people who call themselves “domainers” had a better economic idea. Instead of putting your money in a 401K and the bank gives you 12% a year, you put your money in these “I can get rich quick because if Rick sold Candy.com for $3 million, I can get at least half of that for CandyStore79.com” domain names- buy them on a credit card expecting to sell them when the bill comes and millions of domains, 20 years later and an endless revolving door of lawful prey.. that’s the domain industry. Rick predicted this 28 years ago! I recently found and reposted: https://fragerfactor.blogspot.com/2018/06/rick-schwartz-gems-opining-on-dot-tv-28.html

    Reply
  24. domaineed

    Good post, Rick. I think that if you can tolerate/ignore some negativity, your participation on NamePros would be very fruitful. Thanks.

    Reply
  25. Suresh Raghavan

    So many newbies were tricked into this, ran into someone this year who spent all or most of their retirement money on new gtlds. That was just one person, wonder how many more are out there.

    All the gurus and speakers at conferences (were just pitching new gtlds) for the most part.

    Appreciate your bold predictions from the get go. There is not much of a substitute for real experience. People don’t change their habits that easily and end users are a huge part of what TLDs succeed or not.

    The real TLD winners have already carved their space out , .com and cctlds (real countries)

    Reply
  26. Ovi

    I have Yugo.us Mr.Rick :P ..you know that car maker that is awesome
    No seriously you have absolute right about newGTLD Mr. Rick & i think need at least 10 year for market to be stabilized for this newGTLD

    Reply
  27. Mark

    Rick, your are so on target saying most domainers are idiots. I’d say that at about 99% of them are. They’re just wasting their money. I watch the auctions and marvel at what people are paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for. They will NEVER resell them because most of the names have no use in business. Period.

    I particularly enjoy reading the emails I get from other domainers trying to sell their crappy names. Like, “I see you own MensShirts.com, perhaps you might want ShirtsMens123.com.” LOL. Are these just non-English speaking domainers without a grasp of the language, or just plain dumb. I say plain dumb.

    Regarding the slump in domains, I’m not seeing it with my portfolio. I’m having a record year. HOWEVER, my names are mostly .coms in the $500 – $10,000 range–still an impulse buy for businesses.

    BUT, I am no longer buying new names. I think it’s a losing game for the future. Because “perfect” domain names are becoming less and less critical, with 1) search becoming more intelligent, and 2) apps replacing websites. As a believer in future technology that I cannot yet predict or envision, I’m sure that domain names will become less important as new technologies surprise us.

    On top of all this is the collapse of the keyword domain / Adsense site. They just don’t work any more. Millions of domain names are of no use any longer.

    I’m happy now just selling my inventory to end users, while not spending any of that money on new domain names.

    But your main point is 100% correct: the vast majority of domainers are some of the stupidest, naive, unrealistic people on Earth.

    Reply
  28. Robert McLean

    hear hear ! Mr. Schwartz

    Right on the mark about new gtlds, as always.

    Predatory registries and registrars are domainers playing both sides of the fence.

    Google has fucked search and it’s monopoly must be broken up.

    Reply
  29. jose

    you can see the running train coming at all of us, full speed. we just don’t want to see it.

    like the rest of the society, we are mind bogged with easy money. we don’t take time to think, to plan for the long run, to see where we are going neither how our own (in)actions contribute to the big fate.

    we just want to “connect”, to get access to the riches, to the promised land. and fast. very fast.

    Registrars and ICANN have been f*cking us all big time for years and years. and we just play along, hoping to have a place at the table.

    another washout is already in action. it is just a matter of the world economy via the other shinny pretty think that makes us all rich fast, the stock market, to lead us all the way down. all the excesses have to been clean. bad blood needs to go out. rinse and restart.

    ngTLDs, cryptocurrencies, stock market, real estate… all polluted, all inflated, all destined to fail. again.

    back-off while you can. there will be plenty of low hanging fruits soon for the grabs if you manage to save your money for when the right time comes. it will come again. it has always come and it always will, if you stay sharp.

    the pond is draining, and fishes are eating each other. connect and you will be part of the feast, selling your crap to others, and buying crap from others.

    google, facebook, all other giants, sooner or later will have their spine cut. it happened with oil tycoons. it happened with telco tycoons. it will happen with bank and tech tycoons.

    good domains will still be there, because in the end, this is still a mosquito industry, understood only by a few, after more than 2 decades. a full generation. and where there is lack of knowledge there lays opportunity.

    just stay sharp and think outside of the box.

    Reply
  30. Peter Nilsson

    Agree. The industry has been sick. but hopes it turns for better. Dot com is always King.
    But why shold only you and for example Marc Ostrofsky have
    right to sell domains for $8million usd?
    Should not still the value of for example domains like Great.com be millions of dollars?

    Reply
  31. JOHN COLASCIONE

    The only practical chance that nGTLDs have is that the giant, Google is using some of them. That’s really it. Google is the one company which can thrive, build entire industries, or crush companies, while defying all logic.

    Reply

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