The collapse of 2009. Happy New Year’s!!

Morning folks!!


I started this post as just a Happy Holidays post and then it just kind of evolved.

I almost feel guilty for having such a great 2008. While I am watching so
many sectors suffering and thousands of businesses on the verge of going broke,
I feel a little guilty.

At TRAFFIC in New York City we feasted on delicacies with unlimited lobster, shrimp, sushi, drinks and a spread more grand than anything we have ever done while on the other
side of the river they were in full panic mode. The contrast to the old and new
economy was never more vivid. Ask anyone that was there. It was quite a moment
that night. One I will never forget. One they could write about in the history
books.

2008 for the domain industry was damn good!! Not so good if you chase
registration fees for a living. But if you have a solid portfolio of domains
names, damn good!

I always said 2008 would be challenging and it was. Survival in 2009 is
going to be less about domains and more about lifestyle. If your bills are low
and your income good, you will survive. On the other hand there will be many on
the margins that will be washed away.

I have long said that 2008 will be a breeze to get through even though the news would be very bad but 2009 would prove to be the
most difficult year in several generations. It's going to be ugly. Very ugly.
The foundation of the world's economic system is in crisis. 2008 is like the day
before the hurricane strikes. Some prepare and do what they can to protect
themselves. Yet others say the sun is shining and they doubt it will be as bad
as they say. My take on the hurricane coming known as 2009, it has the potential
to be much worse than they say. We all hope for the best, but the best can't hurt us. The worst is definitely something to be afraid of. The worst has the upper hand.

In the summer there was a glut of goods on the shelves and in the pipeline.
The panic has made many retailers sell for cost and below cost to try to
liquidate as much inventory as possible. The first thing you will see and it has
already begun is shortages. First you have a glut. Then that episode is followed
by shortages. You are seeing factories shut down. Distribution is being
disrupted. Folks and businesses are hoarding cash and afraid to order goods. Their
shelves are about to be empty and it may be some time for those shelves to be
replenished. That becomes the fatal blow. No money, no goods, bye bye.

We are about to see a rash of retailers go under. Some very big ones. I
think one of the the biggest will be Sears. They are already hanging on for dear
life from what it looks like to me. Same with restaurants, jewelry stores, spas etc. Main St and the malls are
about to look a lot different. Malls going out of business? Yup!

The beneficiary to all this will be the Internet in general and domains in
particular. Especially income producing domains as banks and TBills start paying
0% interest.

A domain making $10,000 a year is like having $1 Million in the bank at 1%,
$500k at 2%, $250k at 4%. The safest places to put your money are likely paying
close to 0%! So a domain making just $27.40 a day with a history really is an
attractive investment today and one that should be exploited. Domains ARE a
great long term investment. Something we as an industry have known for many
years. Now others are going to be looking for safety and domain names are in
their direct path.

But no matter how well any of us do, we too will feel the pinch. Our lives
will be affected by this. Your favorite restaurant is going broke. Maybe. But it
will be things like this that will happen and the quality of life may go down no
matter how much money you have or make.

They are throwing trillions and trillions on the fire trying to get it
under control. Not a single expert in the world knows if it will work. Obviously
if it does not work we have created an even bigger problem and that is something
almost too scary to even discuss. When you hear Warren Buffet say it is an
'Economic Pearl Harbor' it is time to pay attention. Time to prepare. Time to
realize this is no drill. 2009 is going to be a year I can't even write what I
believe is about to happen.

Whatever has happened in 2008 really won't even begin to manifest itself
until 2009. The fallout of all this has not hit yet. It will. It is. There is no
hiding from it. Be prepared for as flurry of collapses right after Christmas and
into the first half of next year. An avalanche. Like nothing any of us have
ever seen. Things are tough on Main St. They are fighting for survival. It's all
about buying time and the 1st of each month gives birth to another group that
can't meet their obligations and collapse.

Meanwhile domainers are busy building, expanding, testing and breaking new
ground. Parking is going thru a transformation. The traffic that domainers hold
is moving around at a pace never seen before. The testing has never been more
important. Optimizing each domains has never been more important. The race is
on. Parking companies in a rush to improve their interface and click thrus while
at the same time having to deal with traffic swings and losses that they just
are not accustomed to and some may not be prepared to absorb. Downsizing is
coming. Consolidation is coming. Opportunity is also coming. Those that are
strong may seize opportunity. Those that are weak ARE the opportunity.

No question about it. We live in interesting times and I think 2009 is
going to be a little too interesting. The numbers paint a picture that scares
the hell out folks that understand those numbers. On my check I have my favorite
self made quote. 'Trust numbers, not people.' which is from the saying I have,
'Numbers I trust, people I don't' or in more blunt terms, 'People lie, Numbers
don't.' In 2009 it will be all about the numbers. No talking will change the
numbers.

Have a very Merry Christmas. A Happy Hanukkah. And the best of New Year's!
Most importantly, I hope you and your families get thru 2009 healthy and
happier!

Rick Schwartz

It’s the SALES, Stupid!


Morning folks!
The Internet is about sales socializing, news, information etc. But it is SALES that
drives everything. Sales!
Sales. Nothing matters more than sales. Not a worker works. Not an assembly line moves. Not a truck rolls down the highway. The world as you can see comes to a grinding halt when sales stop.
So when we go through
economic downturns like this, folks realize it is SALES that drives the world
NOT BRANDING! Branding is a bi-product of sales. Madison Ave FAILED to get that.
Now they are forced to learn or be washed away.
GM won't have a Superbowl ad. Lots of people
won't make the $$$ they were expecting. No commissions. No bonuses. No nothing.
Branding DIED this year. Not all branding. Just the stupid branding that never
led to any additional sales!
Sales, sales, sales. Nothing else matters. THAT is
why this Google change has the potential to be so significant. When sales are
the measuring stick you will see 10 cent visitors turn into $10 visitors and
even $100 visitors. When they pay for sales and not smoke and mirrors the rush
will take a turn and type in traffic will be the biggest beneficiaries of the
next phase of all this. When the universe sees that pure natural traffic can
close at higher rates, big changes will
happen. Google may provide the tools to make those changes a reality.

My favorite example is my CubicZirconia.com. Can you imagine how much
general traffic has to be filtered out to get 10 buyers? 10 actual people looking to buy
a cubic zirconia right now? We are talking millions. Maybe tens of millions. Filtering millions to have
10 or 20 buyers. That could get to be an expensive and difficult task if you don't target well or buy worthless traffic.
Sales is the measuring stick. Branding comes with more sales. You don't grow 'Orange Juice' you grow ORANGES! You don't go out to 'Brand' you just sell more product and the JUICE is branding. Madison Ave has it ass backwards and they are too smart to learn.
All I can say is the Internet is littered with the caucuses of great branding strategies that drove THOUSANDS of companies out of business. Way to go Madison Avenue! Just realize that the next guy that hires you is looking to increase sales or he would not be talking to you to begin with.
Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz


The Look of Priceless and a Chance to Seize Opportunity

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The Look of PRICELESS is absolutely FREE when you register for TRAFFIC today.


We are offering 7 of our keynote speakers including Steve
Forbes, Terry Jones, Barbara Corcoran, Jim McCann, John Reese plus Andrew Miller
and Zappy Zapolin all LIVE as they speak to the domain industry at previous
TRAFFIC shows. This is the first time we are even offering this as we have
filmed and/or recorded their speeches for historical reference. BUT, if you
register by December 31st we will give you a set FREE. Absolutely free and what
we have is priceless. Absolutely priceless.


Howard and I really feel this is the best type perk we can offer folks. If
it was not for us continuously investing back in the industry we would have
never had a reason to invest in these DVD's. We just wanted an historical record
of an emerging industry and at the same time have the TRAFFIC show pay dividends
even after the shows are long over. If you have never been to a TRAFFIC show,
these recordings are so valuable that you can pay for a ticket, not come to the
show and still be ahead of the game. PRICELESS is the value. There is absolutely
no question that when you have the likes of a Steve Forbes talking to one of his
smallest audiences and focusing on a TINY industry, it is going to be jammed up
with more info than any one human could possibly comprehend just being there.
Having this for reference is nothing less than priceless. Especially when you
hear what Forbes says in 2007 and the relation it has to where we are now. He
called it. I could go on to write about John Reese who blew the audience away
back in 2006 and just a few weeks back Barbara Corcoran hit it out of the park.


We literally have hundreds of
thousands of dollars in expenses in bringing these folks to engage the domain
industry and hundreds of thousands more to make these recordings over the years.
So plan early and get rewarded many times over. We have made 100 sets so only
the first 100 registrations are eligible. Some may express interest in buying
these, however we have decided not to make these available for sale at any price making this 7 DVD
set even more valuable. A reason to make a decision now. Everyone wins when good
decisions are made.


Our dates for our 2 domestic T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows for 2009 have been posted on our brand
new website. Silicon Valley April 27-30 (Just 15 minutes from the Google campus
and directly across the street from Yahoo) and New York City October 26 - 29. In 2009.


Our early bird special of $1495 for Silicon Valley runs thru January 15th.
But if you are in a position to plan ahead we reward you by offering you
something that we feel will has real value and may be worth the price of
admission itself.


http://www.targetedtraffic.com/NewSite2009/registration/nextTraffic.php


We had just 10 weeks to plan the Silicon Valley show in 2006. It changed the course
of the domain industry. The show in 2009 will be much more important as current
events unfold. We have been working on it for months already and hope to have a
major announcement very soon. With all the changes the industry faces this is one TRAFFIC you can't afford to miss
. There are times for parties and there are times to do business. 2009 will be the single most challenging year many will have lived through and 2010 can go either way. So make sure if you leave the comfort of your home and family next year that you come back with something to show for it that makes the storm we are about to go through a little easier to survive.


As you know we offer certain incentives when you plan early. I want to make
it clear that the incentives we offer never get better. They may be different,
but the overall price rises and the best deals are offered early.
Our incentives may be in different forms, but the lowest prices and best
perks are based on how early you register. Register now and get the $1495 Early
bird plus these collector DVD's to enjoy over and over again! Anyone that has
already registered and paid for the Silicon Valley show (other than transfers)
will automatically receive these DVD's. I can't think of anything we can give back with more meaning and long term benefits than this. I hope you think so too.
That's it for now folks. Have a Safe
and Joyous Holiday Season.
Note: Date on Disc One is actually 2005 not 2006 and will be updated accordingly.


Parking2009.com


Morning folks!!

The move by Google is potentially the most sweeping change to come to
domainers since the inception of the industry. Earlier this year I believed and
was told directly that there would be a major shakeup by Google. Abuses in the
industry were so bad and our 'Partners' were putting the entire industry at
risk. I was told directly that if the domain industry did not clean things up,
Google would. Of course I had no idea in what form that 'Clean up' would come in
but it was clear that the industry was not focused on cleaning it up
themselves.

We may have the economy to thank for saving us because Google did what I
believed they would do, just did it to the parking companies which they too must
have believed was a big part of the problem. They did this in spite of the
relationships with the ppc companies. (Maybe some of those relationships were strained) This showed that business trumps those
relationships with the parking companies. That was an overwhelming move.

The real reality is the MOTIVE behind Google's move. If besides cleaning things up it is to have a
more direct relationship with domain owners? Than we are big winners. If it is
to stop the abuses going on by some parking companies, then domainers are the
big winners. If it is to get rid of the TM traffic, domainers are the big
winners. If it is to get rid of the CRAP traffic that parking companies have
mixed in with our PURE traffic then domainers are the big winners.

Now if you are a conspiracy type guy than there is a host of issues where
domainers could be losers. That would take quite some time to fully explore. I
have yet to even go down that road in my mind yet. I am still wrapping my head around what this move means. There are so many facets on so many fronts. It will take all of 2009 to see the full impact.

Right now the big losers seem to be the parking companies IF they continue
their present formula. Parking companies provide a service. I am willing to pay
for that service and continue using it, but transparency comes in many forms and the curtain on this
has been pulled, exposed and all are about to see things they never saw before.

People LIE......NUMBERS don't. Parking companies have long thought of
themselves as our 'Partners' and they got their 'Partner' share. Today the
equation changed and now they are folks that provide a SERVICE. How much is
their service worth? 50%?? NO! 35%? NO! 25%? NO! We all know what a reasonable
number is and the parking companies that choose the right number will survive
and maybe even thrive while the others are SURE to collapse. Here is what I said
in a DNJournal.com interview in August:


'Here is the bottom line. There is going to
be a new solution come to domainers that will knock PPC out of the box
unless things change. I am going to do everything I can to make that
happen until our “Partners” act like partners. Until then, they have REAL REASON
to be concerned. PPC companies provide a service, but without our traffic
they have nothing
. Is that service really worth 50% of our revenue?
35%? Until now we have seen huge growth in the PPC companies. It is the
domainer fueling their growth while sacrificing our
own.'


Parking will survive, many of the players won't. See there is
only one way for parking companies to survive and that
is to assume their proper role in all this. The
companies that do not embrace the new reality are doomed. Not because I say so,
doomed because no company can make the wrong choice on this one and survive.
Parking companies provide a 'Service.' How much is that Service worth? Today,
less than yesterday and those parking companies that don't figure this out I
believe will collapse.

I think Google may have realized that it may be easier to deal with 20
parking companies, but in the long run they have little or no control and no
real relationship with their 'Clients' that are the ones they are actually doing
business with that provide the TRAFFIC. If they don't develop and nurture that
relationship it leaves the door wide open for a challenge. This takes the domain
channel out of play to a large extent or at least strengthens their position against any upcoming challenge. This prevents a parking company from
jumping ship and moving millions of daily visitors from going to a potential
competitor. This move is so big and so bold that it may be months before we know
the full extent of the impact. This has the potential to be the single biggest
game changer in the history of the domain industry. Never been a better time to
shake things up.

Google has changed the game and in a dramatic way with this bold move. It
was long overdue. I really never thought they would do something so drastic and
domainer friendly. I won't deny I was concerned about Google cutting off the
entire domain channel given the depth of the abuses. I think they have been
wrestling with how to handle this all year. Google sent enough warnings that if
the domain industry would not clean house, they would. Well, they did just that.
But the change they made is so sweeping I really never thought it would
happen. They have embraced good domain traffic in a very big and dramatic way
while planting the seeds of cleaning up the unproductive traffic that hurts
everyone. For now, domainers have gotten a great Christmas gift. I think this
may be just one step in a series of steps to shake out the crap and reward the
gold. That said, I still think parking companies have their role and we will
just have to see what exactly this shake up leaves in its' wake.

One thing for sure, the entire impact of this can not be articulated in one
post or even a series of posts. This opens things up in a way that creates
competition and competition will create opportunity. But it will take a long
time to get our heads around this and to see the impact it will have. As I
stated in the DNJournal article last week, 'I think the numbers will tell
the real story.'

Have a GREAT day!

Boycott Kentucky! Kentucky”Guv” Gone Wild…..

Good evening folks!!
If I said we live in interesting times I would be minimizing the period we
are in and the storm we are about to go thru. Things will no doubt get much
worse before they get better. But I am happy to report that with all the
challenges, the domain industry remains strong and domains remain a very safe
investment.
To keep it that way I am sure most of you are aware of the 141 domains that
the governor of Kentucky has taken on himself to seize.
I think you may be interested in knowing that there is an effort online now
to boycott the state of Kentucky and blocking commercial Internet traffic from
flowing to the state in an effort to make the citizens revolt against the
governors position. This really puts the entire net at risk and every citizen
that owns their own domain name and associated business.
The ramifications of what the Governor of Kentucky has done, if allowed to stand, would set a
precedent that any municipality anywhere in the world can seize your domain
for whatever reason they deem appropriate. The very essence of the Internet is
under siege by a governor in a small state that thinks he has jurisdiction
throughout the world.
Jeffrey Reynolds Ph.D, owner of AmericanFlags.com and many others has set up a site at http://www.boycottkentucky.com in
which he is bringing attention to the 'Guv' and the companies and people in
Kentucky that are going to be directly affected by this abuse of power.
Please understand the seriousness of this issue. Make others
aware. This is a situation where a win here by the Governor could
forever change the landscape of the Internet. It would set a precedent
that completely flies in the face of free enterprise and due process.
If you are not aware of this situation, please read dnjournal.com & thedomains.com as both have been following this case along with many
others for the past 30 days.
Thanks for your time!
Rick Schwartz



October 25th 2008 update
Just Karma? Florida Gators DESTROY Kentucky 63-5 in college football. Gov, give it up bro! Isn't one embarrassment enough?


Branding vs Branding vs Domainer


Morning Folks!!
What if I told you that this single post can make
you a millionaire many times over? Well it will if you read carefully and fully
get your head around this simple message. That's exactly what can happen.
I have made a lot of posts in my time, but none are more important than the
one you are about to read. So close the door and give me a focused 10 minutes
and I think I can share something that will make your journey just a little
sweeter and more rewarding. To me
it is the difference between a domain being worth $750 and $750,000 or $7.5M.
The domain can be the same but the customers needs is different. Tapping into
THAT need is the key. So if you focus on selling domains that is exactly what
you will do. You will do what everyone else does. Buy for $100 and sell for
$200. Sell for $300, Sell for $500. But how do you buy for $100 and sell for
$1M?


I heard the following phrase when I was 19 years old and it probably took
me about 15 years to finally figure out what the hell it really meant. '
When you see John Jones thru John Jones eyes, you will sell John
Jones what John Jones buys.' That is the first principle. This is the most
important one as well. But this is only an add on to the purpose of this post.
Just a bonus to make it more understandable.


So how do you put this in effect? You have to look at
an end user thru an end users eyes. At TRAFFIC in late September, Brad Geisen
did exactly that. As an end user he shared his John Jones story of obtaining
foreclosure.com and Property.com. He originally was the guy on the other side of
the email telling folks they were crazy to ask $5000 for something they registered
for $7. We all know the type. Well here is how this guy evolved from a mindset like that to paying tens of millions for a domain name.


When you see the end user thru the end users eyes, you
will sell the end user the domain he buys. So the story starts. It's so damn
simple! It's so natural. It's untapped because until now it was difficult to
articulate in a simple form WHY they would want the category killer domain. It
took an end user to explain it and that is what he did.


Funny thing.....been into domains very early. Approaching 13 years. It took
an end user to simplify what a great domain really means. If you missed TRAFFIC
you missed some real words of wisdom from Brad Geisen of Foreclosure.com and the
buyer of my Property.com domain name. He told us HIS story from the other side.
How it cost him millions to brand a domain name with no end in sight to that
branding. Here is his key thought about domains. The 1 over 2 simple theory.



NATURAL BRANDING


or


BUILD and CREATE BRANDING


This alone is worth the price of admission. Brad told us his story of
spending millions and millions to advertise and brand with his original 3 word
creative domain name. When he switched and used a fraction of those ad dollars
to buy a category killer domain name, he transformed his business. The dollars
he was using to brand was now freed up to do other acquisitions and grow his
business in a more dramatic way. NATURAL BRANDING may be the simplest way to
describe what a great domain brings to the table.


So it took an end user to make this old dog figure a way to articulate what
a domain name does in a very quick manner and have folks understand. Have END
USERS understand.


So a category killer domains gives you instant gravitas. Gives you instant
recognition. And gives you something that saves many millions. in 'Natural
Branding.' The elements and benefits associated with a natural branding domain
name overwhelm anything that advertising can do. But it is when you do both that
the result is something that can not be obtained with most creative domain
names.


I have never sold a stick of candy in my life. I know nothing about the
business. What I do know is elbowing my way to the table with Candy.com is going
to be easier than with chewonmycandy.net. Advertising Candy.com is easier than
the alternative. Match it with good content and you have a winner before you
start. How much does it cost that first day for chewonmycandy.net to get his
1500 targeted folks looking for candy? So one way you pay up front for an asset
that returns dividends in the form of natural visitors and appreciates in value
at the same time. Folks, this is really the ultimate no brainer for business and
what it proves is obvious.


My friend Warren Royal knew nothing about bobbleheads, but it seems that it
is easier to learn their business owning bobbleheads.com than folks in the
bobble head business who don't understand it and now will pay a penalty for them
not getting it with a new competitor to contend with and what could be a giant
new competitor. Oh you don't think so?


Well then take my buddy Jeff Reynolds. A few weeks after 9/11 he bought a
domain name, AmericanFlags.com. That was a life changing purchase both for him
and everyone else in the flag business. Jeff took the ball and from what I
understand, he is the largest or one of the largest flag distributors in the
country and beyond. So here is another real world example of an industry not
figuring out and a domain investor coming along and being an uninvited player in
their industry. Taking market share only because they have THE domain in that
category. The invisible cost of not understanding your own business. Your own
space as it relates to domain names.


These stories can be repeated all day long. Sahar with FuneralHomes.com. He
never intended to be in the funeral business but had an idea and a natural
branding domain name and has made his mark.


How many more stories are like that? The most famous one of course is by
Barry Diller who bought Hotels.com and forever changed the landscape of that
industry.


A great domain name allows you to suck and still stay in business. I equate
it to the pizza stand on the boardwalk by the ocean. Each day a new group of
people come and each day you serve your crummy pizza. The pizza sucks, but you
are always busy. Busy because nobody knows it sucks cuz they are tourists and
are not coming back and the only reason they came to you in the first place was
that you had LOCATION! Location, location, location. So that sucky pizza guy
will always make money because of his location. On the other hand if he had a
good product he would not only tap into the tourist, but his pizza place would
become a destination and he could grow and expand and open new locations. So
while the sucky pizza guy will always make great money, he will never be able to
do what the guy with the great pizza does. So when you marry a great domain with
a great marketing plan and a great base idea, you have something that will grow
and expand and that is what it is all about. Catching that lightening in a
bottle. Impossible to do unless you know what to search for and capture.



Brad started with the next phrase. One I myself know well. One I decided in
my 20's I would not have to use in life. He started his speech with the words
and I will close my post with them, 'If I knew then what I know now?' Then ask
some questions. If Marriott or Hyatt or any other hotel chain knew then what
they know now would they buy hotels.com? Would they all bid on it? What is the
loss or gain that domain represents? There are still more questions than
answers, but I hope this claws away at things just a little bit more. Gets us
one step closer. Gets one more business to understand what the hell we are
talking about and why it matters more to them than it does to
us.

Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz
PS: For those that really want an in depth understanding of the entire domain name channel and a great understanding of what it means to YOUR business, you can view a report authored by the folks at Fabulous.com, a public company in Australia. It is the most objective report ever produced for the industry.



TRAFFIC New York in PRIME TIME!

Good Afternoon again folks!!

The vision came out to be a reality. Something good was cooking and the
result was better than even I expected. Thanks everyone for making
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York 2008 perhaps the most memorable TRAFFIC ever. Ask
anyone that attended TRAFFIC. It was quite the tale of two cities. Two
economies. Two eras. Across the river they were in panic mode. They were in
turmoil. All scratching their heads and wringing their hands. On the other side
were 350 renegade domainers. Investors in this new century real estate partying
like New Year's eve and feasting on delicacies many have never seen before. The
spread we had was unparalleled at any wedding or Bar Mitzvah. Nobody has ever
seen anything quite like it. There were reasons we did this.
When folks
arrived many were very unsure of their futures. They were concerned. They were
questioning this and that. We decided that we needed to FIX that FUNK. So we
pulled out every stop. We had more lobster than one could eat. I promised shrimp
the size of your fist and we had them even bigger. King crab legs nearly the
length of your arm. Sushi stations, Just ask around what the opening night
cocktail party looked like. Then we continued that level right thru the entire
show. This changed the entire mind set of the industry. We stood there and
realized how lucky we all were to be in this business. We counted our blessings
and then things got in the proper perspective. The word was shhhhh, hush, don't
tell anyone how well we are doing. But we are. That does not mean that our
earnings may not have declined, but compared to the rest of the universe, we
have no business having our minds not focused on domains and not the doom and
gloom.

The auctions were solid and here is the secret formula. If auction houses
want to sell a lot of domains, just have good domains at good prices and they
will sell. That is exactly what occurred at TRAFFIC. The good domains with
reasonable reserves sold. The others did not not. In a true recession, not
even the good sell. But there was no question as bidding was lively on any
domain of substance with a reserve targeted at domainers.

In total, over $4 million of domains changed hands. Not bad for an economy
in meltdown mode. Domains once again will show their resilience in the face of
collapse. Their safety when folks are looking for places to invest. Category
killer domain names are as solid an investment as I can think of.
So
congratulations to Moniker, who retained their crown. In the face of challenge Monte just refined what they did and the outcome was good for everyone. Congratulations to Rick Latona and his crew for entering
the business with a BANG and putting it together in WEEKS! And Aftermarket.com which was just the first event of
Thought Convergence's 'Afternoon and evening' which consisted of the auction,
cocktail party, dinner and wild after party. You all did a great job and we will
build it from here. You did the industry proud! The competition created great
energy and it was obvious throughout the show. Winners winners, all winners!

Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz

Another whale of a deal. This time Widgets.com

Good Afternoon folks!

I'll have a huge announcement about Widgets.com in the next few
days/week.
Kevin at BigTicketDomains.com has bagged another GIGANTIC
Corporate 'End
User' deal and the next piece for my long term
strategy is about to be revealed.


This deal came about rather quickly and has the potential to evolve into something very powerful. It will become another milestone on what you can do with a powerful category killer domain name. Another 'Ceiling' is about to be obliterated.


Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz


Something Really Good is Cooking

Morning folks!!

 

As a businessman you have a vision of how something will unfold and then
put things in place to make that idea, a reality. An artist paints a picture
with a brush, I am no artist. But I do create a picture of a recipe to create a
certain energy that translates into something very special.

 

It's like being a cook in a kitchen. You can taste it, you can see it, you
can smell it, but can you have it come out of the oven just at the right time
and just at the right moment and just using the exactly right ingredients and
everything else for it to come out right. So many variables. So many
considerations. So many moving parts. So many pitfalls. So many cooks in the
kitchen. lol

 

When Howard and I decided to do multiple auctions it was likely one of the
hardest decisions we have made. But then again, it was the right decision. It
was the right time. It was the right place. So there were too many things
aligned to just ignore the aroma and let's face it, domainers wanted more out of
the auctions. They wanted many things and the only way to achieve that was to
have the best compete and let the MARKET decide the outcome.

 

As we get closer, more things have fallen in place. There is competition.
There is a fierce battle for great domains at great prices. We saw yesterday
that all three auction houses were out there strongly promoting their lists and
what they hope to accomplish. I have never seen such good domains with no
reserves. These are folks that are now trusting the market to bring them the
right deal.

 

It's about creating a phenomenon at a time where a little magic would serve
the industry well. Look around,economic times are TOUGH and going to get much
worse. But we must be the luckiest people on earth to do what we do. To have the
opportunity we have. To still control our destiny without fear.

 

In the next days many folks will be analyzing the lists and reserves from
Moniker.com, RickLatona.com (Auction already in progress) and Aftermarket.com.
There will be much talk. That creates excitement and folks, excitement is the
key ingredient if this grand experiment is to work. On the eve of these ground
breaking auctions I don't know the dollar amount it will do but I do know that a
great percentage of those domains will sell because they are good and priced
right. What I do know is what I tried to create is right on track and the
competition is forcing them to all row in one direction whether they want to or
not. That is what is creating this momentum. The excitement level is going to be
off the charts. Every eye in the industry will be watching each and every
auction and the outcomes and the way they are done. Ground breaking things are
about to happen. History in the making. It is what i enjoy the most. Watching
this unfold with all of you. All I know is we used the best ingredients, we
created a level of anticipation that we have not seen before and so many other
things will play out as we get closer to these events. Three cheers for the
auction houses!! They are creating the engine in this experiment. The drive. The
energy.

 

If it does not meet expectations I will take the responsibility. But from
where I sit, it is unfolding like a perfect rose and the intense aroma is
something I can't describe until after this all plays out. Literally sitting
within view of Wall Street we will witness the tale of two universes. Two worlds
so different and so much the same. One on the way up, the other in turmoil. An
incredible moment in time. And with that moment will also unveil great
opportunity. NEVER has there been this type opportunity whether in domains or
real estate or business. This is a time where all things are in flux and it is
your #1 job to come away with a great prize in whatever form it is. You will
point to this time as a defining moment when you look back in 5 years. Your job
is to make your mark and grab an opportunity either online or offline. But
something you can point back to and say you got such and such during the darkest
economic times of our generation. This is without doubt the greatest deal making
environment I have ever seen. 2008 is tough. 2009 is going to be tougher. But
tougher only if you look at things the way 6 billion others do. Get in the same
checkout line they do, and it will be tough. The last time I looked, most of
those 6 billion missed the incredible opportunity domains have had to transform
so many lives. So best not to get stuck on that line. Best to remember what got
you to this point in life and be steady on the throttle. Anyone can make it
during good times, but when you navigate conditions like this, that is when your
true value comes to light. So take advantage of that gift you have and let
nothing interfere with it.

 

If you are coming to TRAFFIC, travel safe and look forward to greeting you.
If you will be following the action from home, it will be a week full of news
and rumors and sales and deals and all types of things. Talk about timing, WOW!
Every eye on the planet will be focused on New York and Wall Street and the
events to come. I can't write a script like this. Just amazing.

 

Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz

ICA Resignation Announcement

Good morning folks,
I write this blog post only because I have asked for your support on
something for over such a long period of time. I have begged you for that support in some cases. Just read some of the posts about the ICA I did over the years. I owe it to the readers and the
'Industry' to make this statement. Something that is not easy to do but
something I am more than compelled to do.

I want to announce that as a founding member of the ICA I have resigned
and will no longer be involved with this organization.
While the ICA has
done some good things, it has missed too many opportunities to be more relevant.
Too many opportunities to look out for domainers and the best interests of the industry IMHO. Too many opportunities to take
a strong position on what is important to domainers. Not to mention the lack of
communication to the industry. I can no longer in good conscience advise
domainers to support the ICA.
It is sad to say but the ICA only supports
domainer concerns when it dove tails with ppc and registrar agendas. In other
words, domainers are the last to be considered and I think it sucks. I am no
shrinking violet and I have argued with all the passion I had within me and it
was to no avail on issue after issue after issue. That more than demonstrates
and reinforces my decision. Maybe going forward the fallout from this will force
them to change. But from the inside, I doubt it or I would have fought on. Folks know I don't give up easily. But when I see something going in the wrong direction I can't be part of it. I
don't see the ICA governed for the better good. That is not their compass and I
can't fault them for that but I certainly expected better.
Not happy to
make this post but I have little choice. It's a sad day. I have long asked you
to support this organization because what was the alternative? There always is
an alternative but even if there is not, this alternative is no longer palatable
to me and these blog posts will be online for many, many, years. I had to set
the record straight and let folks know that my position has evolved and the
reasons for it. I thnk the folks serving on the ICA are good folks, but the direction that has been set is way off the mark.This is all my personal opinion and when you hold true to what you believe, then you have to do what you have to do. I hope going forward the ICA will be more sensitive to domainers. Time and only time will tell. The bottom line is I had very little influence inside and sitting at the table. I am hoping I can do more to shape things from the outside. So it is up to the ICA if they want to represent domainers or just want their funds for support.


Rick Schwartz
And since half the money we have donated to the ICA comes from Howard, I think it only fitting that he shares his views on where we are and how we go there:

'It is difficult for the ICA to represent Domainers, when domainers have
not financially supported the ICA.  That is why the Board of Directors is
comprised almost entirely of PPC and monetizing companies and registrars.  THEY
are the ones who have put up the funds for ICA so it is primarily their voice
that is heard.  Rick and I have, from experience , found that it is impossible
to get domainers to get up off their wallets to support an organization that is
essentially meant to look out for their best interests in Washington, D.C. and
ICANN.  Additionally, we have found that the Board is very slow to act when
action is required to respond to an immediate situation.  Staff says that they
cannot act without Board direction and the Board cannot act without staff
direction.  This tends to make the entire organization ineffective.

Finally, the ICA has made no concerted effort to bring in to its fold
domainers of all financial strata.  They have not communicated effectively with
domainers to keep them up-to-date on ICA activities and have exhibited no
ability to raise funds in a meaningful manner except from the PPC companies,
monetizers and registrars.  I believe that this is why Rick feels frustrated by
the direction that ICA has chosen.'

Howard Neu