By Danny Welsh
Most domainers have all tried self-development and most failed to get much traction.
Don't even get me started on so-called ideas for "scaled mini-development" or "automated" development or "outsourced development". The problems with these are too numerous to mention.
It's SO obvious for a guy like me to see, who was an
to this thing called domaining until 2 years ago.
When you look at the VALUE of a domain name at it’s HIGHEST possible value…It’s NOT about the “website” you build on a domain property (and it never has been).
Domainers have tried WAY too hard to “fake” a business with smoke and mirrors, CPA, CPM, CPC bunch of BS you do not find as part of the “money-making plan” of a real CATEGORY.com business run by a real CATEGORY leading end user corporation (or a start-up company with plans and aspirations to use the domain as a launch pad to BECOME a real category-leading business).
Exceptions like you see with an AmericanFlags.com, PalmSprings.com, Bobbleheads.com or CreditCards.com etc where a great domain name was developed into a great business through the sweat and persistence and passion of a dedicated domain name owner operating as a domainer second and an entrepreneur FIRST are the stuff legends are made of, aren’t they?
But why are these exceptions? I’ve said it before and it bears saying as many times in as many ways as is necessary to reach John Jones, CEO, with the message.
Because for the most part, the most
valuable domain names aren't
in the hands of a company dedicated to making that domain name alone a part
of a great business. They're "parked" in rows of hundreds of BEAUTIFIL CARS sitting on the
showroom floor “for sale”, and no one who’s interested can even get a test drive!
The internet of the future I believe will merge great companies that have great ideas with domains owned by about 500 people currently. These marriages will provide Harvard Case studies for a century or more in MBA classes.
Because the experience of many domain investors attempting to develop their best quality properties themselves often looks MUCH different when a Candy.com quality domain name ends up in the hands of a passionate end user business capable of exploiting more of that domain's advantages than a domain investor ever could.
Through focus, resources, relationships, existing products and services, and so much more among intangibles…in 100% of the cases a Melville Candy Company is a better steward of a Candy.com property than ANY domain name owner.
Rick Schwartz has been saying this for years.
Some heard, most didn’t.
It’s not about SELLING a domain name.
It’s not about PARKING for pennies.
It’s not about DEVELOPING a website.
It’s about what’s the highest and best use development of any given property in any given area.
And the “domainer” will NEVER add the other inputs into the equation for the output to be the highest and best use of the domain name without being a BUSINESS OWNER FIRST.
Sell, park, develop? That’s all? Shhh
What would you call it when the domain is of obvious value such as JointVentures.com but unused with little income and has untapped beneath the surface the potential for millions when paired with the right ideas and monetization strategy SPECIFIC to that domain itself?
What about licensing like the Castellos with Acapulco.com? Or direct sales of highly targeted advertising in the 7 figure per year with great destination sites/businesses they sweat to build as END USERS like PalmSprings.com? I don’t know those guys yet but I hope to meet them soon, having devoured their writings when Rick asked me to immerse myself in your all’s world. They provide GREAT value in the marketplace and the companies that pay them to advertise on those sites get a BARGAIN.
What happens when a company leases a domain simply to use it on their TV commercial and redirect to their own lead capture page because the direct response % of Rings.com will out-pull BrandJewelry.com to grab a higher number of eyeballs you can turn into customers?
[[ASIDE: If you own a chain of retail jewelry stores that sell rings among other jewelry products, is that a bet you’d be willing to make me? You can find my email address pretty easily. We’ll split-test it and bet real money on the results. Your existing TV commercial. ONE tiny change = more money in your pocket every damn time you run that commercial. If you win the bet, you walk with the cash having tried something DIFFERENT to increase SALES. If I win, we can talk about maybe rolling your cash from the bet into a deal for the Rings.com domain.]]
What happens when you sell @baseball.com email addresses for $10/year and then you make a success of it with 100,000 fans becoming customers? Could you thereby create a market segment and a windfall that allows you to use the SAME infrastructure and head-start also then in a JV to offer email addresses for @rockies.com and @yankees.com to tens of millions of MLB fans WITH the MLB’s blessing since they’ll be getting a cut for you to license a dormant resource within THEIR domain names?
If someone thinks that somehow pre-JointVentures.com the options to monetize a great domain name were “to sell” or “to park” or “to develop” and now are also “to lease” or whatever, that’s baloney.
Not a single person reading this in 2013 will live long enough to see ALL the creative and lucrative options to monetize a great domain name. Even “domain leasing”, which people are trying to say is somehow revolutionary is NOT. It’s evolutionary, and many domain owners have been doing it for years.
THIS is the year, however, that Rick Schwartz and I have teamed up to show the model to Corporate America with enough wind at the back and empirical examples to show ANYONE doing their due diligence on domains to know WITHOUT DOUBT that if money was no object and your business is in “category” then CATEGORY.com is the game you want to play online in the 21st century going forward.
Sell, park, develop…or lease?
Which one of those simplistic monetization models is Rick’s deal for Candy.com?
Rick told me this was risky…that some people who are domainers would read this and think we’re belittling them, and many domainers try to hide the facts to business owners about what they paid for that great domain name as an investment you want to buy as a real tool.
If we can help the early .com domain name investor “SEE IT” that it is perfectly OK not to have the resources or knowledge to develop even one great domain name into a great business, then that’s a WIN. If we can help the ambitious business owner who already has a good business and is looking for an EDGE to make it a GREAT business “SEE IT” that it is perfectly OK not to have realized 20 years ago that the asset you want today was once available for $100, then that’s a WIN.
WIN-WIN joint ventures that put a great domain name in the hands of a business that is or wants to become GREAT is what we are all about with JointVentures.com—through WHATEVER creative joint venture deal that got the parties together, whether it be lease, license, equity share, cash with royalties, or other.
My role in what’s coming down the pike is to make it IMPOSSIBLE for the end user entrepreneur in ANY business category to ignore the fact that CATEGORY.com is available, and present a UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY for a limited time to ONE COMPANY to grab that strategic advantage…before their competitor wises up first and takes a test drive on the Ferrari available only for lease instead of buying the skateboard in the window.
RIGHT NOW there is an entrepreneur business owner seeking to use and own a CATEGORY.com that’s no longer for sale for cash alone AT ANY PRICE, and he’s researching and reading the Candy.com story -- and many like it-- for the first time in 2013…
RIGHT NOW there is an entrepreneur who is in an entirely different business than anyone reading this except maybe his competition…and he’s doing his due diligence on branded domains online vs generics online, doing his due diligence on .whatever vs .com, talking to people he trusts, getting in his marketing team’s face and demanding answers for how to increase SALES...
RIGHT NOW he has followed the yellow brick road of research and been ATTRACTED from the world wide ocean of commerce somewhere on the globe and he ends up RIGHT HERE.
JointVentures.com, a river.
Then RicksBlog.com, the pond.
And once he realizes the IRREFUTABLE TRUTH of what Rick Schwartz already knew in 1995 that guy will write an affordable check every month for 10 years if need be to get that kind of growth advantage that is not offered for sale, but lease only to a qualified company that may buy later with ongoing royalties to the previous domain owner.
That business owner will hand the a great domain name off to his marketing team and his web development team with a high-level plan to increase sales of the products and services they already have using little more than the notes he made while reading JointVentures.com and an existing infrastructure that is fully capable of MAGNIFYING and MULTIPLYING every benefit of a great domain name once it’s paired with a GREAT business instead of lying unused or underutlized…
That guy will say “GET IT DONE”. And that CEO will succeed to grow his company like gangbusters, in multiples of millions and will likely never read this blog again.
All while so many “domainers” squander the same advantages that guy has on ONE domain and they have dozens just as good and they’re parking for pennies to monetize the trickle of traffic coming in without any effort or trying to build a website in a category niche to sell products where they don’t already have a business or infrastructure.
The best domain names are not just about websites and never have been.
Think highest and best use.
Think real business.
Think “I don’t have to do everything myself” because the other guy is there…and he needs me to profit more than he is now, just like I need him too.
Think Joint Ventures and never look back.