T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Gives Bang for the Buck!

Morning Folks!!


Expensive is relative. If you spend $100 for an
advertisement and get no return, that is expensive. If you spend $5000 and get
a $100,000 return, that is cheap! So the definition changes as the rewards
change. By that standard T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is not only cheap, it is life
changing. We aim for the moon, yet we have delivered over and over again. But
hey, why listen to me? Listen to a guy that travels over 50 hours to get to
TRAFFIC and the story behind why he comes. Michael Gilmour, who writes the
popular 'Whizzbang's
Blog
,' shares the reasons he would get on a 25 hour flight each
way and do it 3 times a year. He joins a growing group coming from 'Down
under' as well as from 15 other countries who make their way to TRAFFIC
show after show after show. Coming to TRAFFIC once is a novelty, twice means
that it was so worthwhile that you want more. But when you come to show after
show after show and invest time, energy and substantial funds just to get
there, then there is something very valuable going on because we would all rather
be sitting in our homes in front of the computer with our families.


So I ask you to read
Michael's story. Then if you still think no big deal, go read similar stories
from our page of unsolicited testimonials; and I have some yet to post there.
48 people took time to write a note expressing the value they got from
attending TRAFFIC. And when you look at the names saying it, quite a compliment
and the reason we are committed to keep making each show better than the last.


We have a formula for
TRAFFIC. A recipe. Others have tried to copy that recipe but they will always
miss one key ingredient. Just like Coca Cola has their secret formula, we have
ours and it is called 'Gut instinct.' Instinct that has proven to be
right on target over and over again year after year after year. Many parts of
TRAFFIC can be simulated, but without the secret formula, it will never taste
or be as good as the original. Going forward, folks will be much more conscious
of where they spend their time and money and the return they get. No where else
do the biggest and the best get together in such a meaningful way. You have to
ask yourself how does a show that is by invitation only, that screens every
attendee, that takes place at expensive and high end hotels, is also the most
attended, most meaningful and consistently sets the tone, the stride, the pace
and the agenda of the industry? It seems like an impossible FORMULA. But this
formula has a track record of great success and when we bring in speakers like
Steve Forbes it says to the attendees that they are worth bringing in the
sharpest minds to discuss who we are and what we do. It says to the outside
world that this is a serious industry wanting to hear from the most influential
business people of the day. It says we have something valuable to discuss. It
also shows we are willing to take profits out of our pockets to elevate our
industry. We won't sell extra tickets because of Steve Forbes, but there is a
sense of some seriousness when you have someone of his stature coming to spend
some time with a small group of serious investors even if he is getting paid to
do it.


One of the hidden
benefits of TRAFFIC is that we are in the domain business; we are investors.
The combined total investment represented by the attendees of TRAFFIC is
measured in the tens of billions of dollars. Think of the value represented by
that audience. Yes, we own domains and that is the investment that fuels all of
our other investments. We also own stocks, bonds, hedge funds, real estate,
restaurants, businesses from every walk of life. Some of us are in the funeral
business, some in the flag business. We cover every aspect of every corner of
investments on a global basis. We are an interesting group of entrepreneurs! We
are decision makers! While corporate America has meeting after meeting to
decide how to make a decision without losing their jobs, we make deals. We move
mountains. While they look for others to finance their ideas, we are self
financing. We write a check to see if our idea works. We don't need to BURN
other people's money to build a flawed business that returns no profits. That
gives us a certain independence that only fuels our growth. That makes us
unique. That makes us interesting. That makes us different from the rest of the
universe. To this day nobody can really get their heads around the FACT that
only a few hundred, (Maybe even a thousand or two) figured out the greatest
opportunity in our lifetimes, our father's lifetime or our fathers before them.
The last time the 'Common man' had an equal shot at such a big
'Find' would have been the gold rush. But even in the gold rush it
was a place you had to get to. It was difficult. Many died. In this gold rush
the playing field was much more comfortable and the risk of dying had little to
do with domain names. Truly, never have so many had such access to great
success with such a low entry fee. The historians will write about these days
as they did about those days. So never ever doubt that you are in an historic
time on an historic path. The most surprising thing that they will write is
about how many missed the greatest opportunity in any of our lifetimes and how
a few hundred or a few thousand changed the face of the new century. How the
ones that got PAID not to miss these things, missed them, continue to miss them
and continue to fail their companies and investors.


So there is much more to
TRAFFIC than a domain trade show. We are writing history. It's more than just
the world's largest live domain auctions presented by Moniker.com. It's more
than the $25 million in sales during the last 3 auctions. It's more than having
some 60 speakers that actually know what they are talking about. It's more than
being fed steak and lobster. It's more than hearing from Steve Forbes. It's a
launching pad for folks with resources and a track record of success to network
in the best environment and to do it in a way that is conducive to meeting as
many folks as possible and doing deals that can become life changing. We have
one thread in common that brings us all together. That thread has turned into a
steel reinforced rope that binds as together as we trail blaze the future.


Some think that with the
great success that we achieved in the New York City show, there is no new
horizon. The TRUTH of the matter is that whatever we accomplished in New York
won't become evident until the Florida show. It will be in Florida that the
DIVIDENDS of those efforts will germinate. Make no mistake; we are not talking
about a small 'Dividend.' We are talking about an avalanche of things
unfolding. I am usually pretty good at predicting what will happen. However in
this instance, I can't even begin to articulate how that show will effect you,
your portfolio and your future as a Domain investor.
Now let me be clear. I usually make VERY bold predictions before the shows.
Look at my words before each show and then look at the reality of how the
industry was affected by each show. Stating a goal publicly in front of all
your peers is a risky thing to do. But if it were not for those predictions
becoming reality, there would be no reason for anyone to pay attention.


Do the research. See
what I said publicly and in this blog before the New York show, then read the
independent reviews after the show. See what I said 10 years ago about the
industry, and then see how it has unfolded today. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is the serious
show for serious people looking for serious networking and surrounded by lots
of serious fun and serious food.


I rest my case. See you
in South Florida.


Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz


Is the CADNA a Sham? What is CADNA’s REAL agenda??

Last week I blogged about domain tasting and
contacted the CADNA directly in my official position as President and CEO of
the 'World Association of Domain Name Developers Inc.' about how
professional domainers and this new organization could be able to work
together. While there may be areas in which we disagree, when it comes to
'tasting' we have something in common. That email has so far gone unanswered. In the meantime I have had many discussions with folks and have seen some
posts here which warned that CADNA is not to be trusted. They believe their
TRUE agenda is to 'Reverse Hijack' valuable domain names that are
legitimately owned by painting everyone as a cybersquatter. Needless to say I was stunned to hear this.


I have also learned that the organization
itself would be a cybersquatter under its own definitions of
cybersquatting. Yup, you heard me right. There are folks saying they are guilty
of what they are accusing others of. Some very large companies may be
embarrassed to learn this.  It seems that they chose a domain name that
already has a trademark!! Their domain is CADNA.ORG, but there is a
company that has a trademark on CADNA and operates from CADNA.COM!!
Does this cause confusion? It did with me. In my blog I mistakenly linked
the post on the 16th to CADNA.COM and it was only on Sunday the 19th that
somebody emailed me that I made a mistake and that it was a .ORG not a .COM at
the end of CADNA.


So will we see the anti-cybersquatting CADNA.ORG get
swept into court for violating the mark of CADNA.COM?? Did they not do any
research? How SLOPPY can this new association be and how IGNORANT can the
companies putting their names behind them be?


So either CADNA needs to change its domain
name or it is just as guilty as the people they are pointing fingers at and
calling cybersquatters. Then again, maybe this shows that nothing is black and
white. Maybe CADNA.ORG needs to look at these differences. Not everything
is a TM infringement. Not everything causes confusion in the marketplace. Not
every trademark is the same or there would be no need for so many different
trademark classifications. So we will wait and see if CADNA.COM files a WIPO or
UDRP against this new coalition that may be violating their trademark by folks
that say they are concerned about the abuse of Intellectual Property. So what
say you CADNA.ORG? Are you the newest cybersquatter in town?


And how is the sale of Pharmacy.com going?
It seems to be brokered by Fairwinds LLC which is one of the companies
backing CADNA. An asking price of $50 million big ones would set a new record
for the sale of an individual domain name. So who is CADNA.ORG? What is their
real mission and REAL motive? Is it possible they know that great domains have
value in the tens of millions and this is the foundation to legally take
our domains to which they have no rights? Like the railroads took peoples land
back in the 1800's?


CADNA.ORG seems as guilty as those that they
accuse  of cybersquatting and CADNA.COM should file suit if they were to
follow what CADNA.ORG intends to make legal. So either CADNA.ORG
needs to take a deep breath before they RECKLESSLY call folks cybersquatters or
they have another agenda.


Stay tuned. Let's see how this plays out and see
if this organization will admit that they should not paint all domainers as
cybersquatters. If they do, then they themselves ARE cybersquatters by their
own definition and the charter members that include AIG, Dell, Eli Lilly,
Hilton, HSBC, Marriott, Richemont, Verizon, Wyndham, and Yahoo! may end up with
some egg on their collective faces. How uninformed can they be? Did ANYONE at
these supporting companies look into this? Did their board approve this move that may end up backfiring right in their faces? Did they do their due diligence or
have they swallowed something that will prove to be very embarrassing?



Rick’s Time Capsule 1997. Ten years later.

Here IS my EARLIEST writing on my own website about domains in 1997
with a couple 1998 updates copied and pasted directly from the original website. Been looking for this for YEARS! I started
posting about the value of domain names in 1996, but this is the first official public commentary on my own site and you can
see at this point I am still selling the concept and the value of the
Internet which 10 years ago was NOT embraced by the majority of
businesses. My thoughts TEN YEARS ago. See if they match what I say and
believe today.
DomainSeller.com represents what maybe the most extensive collection of domain property's in the world. Our focus was on property for adult sites, however our business collection is equally impressive. They may have laughed when somebody wasted $24 to buy Manhattan way back when. Today you would have to struggle to buy lunch there for that same $24.It's all about Vision!! That's right VISION! What will it do to the value of the property when the rest of the world gets on the net?
       
Yes it is true that these domains were free, then just $100 each. But that was yesterday and just  like Manhattan, you can't buy at yesterdays prices. Value is all relative.
Some of these domains cost us more
than $100,000 each and others are escalating at thousands a month!! While they laughed at us for
'Wasting' time and money in 1996 and 1997 as we put this collection together, the truth is: Electronic Real Estate (erealestate) in cyberspace, is destined to be some of the most valued property EVER known to
man!
Time is of the essence!


The power of an electronic address can only be imagined by examples such asDell Computer announcing that they do a $1 million a day in sales on the internet as of March 1997! (Increasing 6x that as of May 1998!!)  Would anyone have believed them if they announced that in 1996? Not only are they doing sales at a rate in excess of $2 billion a year, I would venture to say it is their most profitable because their overhead may only be a fraction of a conventional sale. Plus those figures are escalating daily.


And folks....That ain't nothing......This next little tidbit will floor you! Late in April 1997,Chrysler announced something so incredible that they are still clamoring. Remember, it was not but a few years ago that Chrysler had losses of $400 and $500 million. They released a statement and it basically   stated that because of the internet and being able to streamline their operations to take advantage of the net's power, they would be able to SAVE $2 BILLION PER YEARin cost cutting alone!!! That's without even talking about sales!!! THAT'S $2 BILLION A YEAR IN SAVINGS!!


Not even the price of land in Manhattan nor anywhere else on the planet accelerated to the degree of the net and this is just the beginning. By the end of 1997 the mainsream may realize just how much they underestimated how quickly the public would embrace the internet.People you never thought would use it have now gone out and learned so they can easily stay in touch with their children and grandchildren via email. This fact alone.....is simply amazing!


Simply put folks.....'If you build it.....they will come' It's that simple. Their 'Field of dreams' was on a baseball diamond....this 'Field of dreams' is on a slightly larger playing surface.
Domainseller.com is open to Lease, Trade, Develop or joint venture our properties. Some domains are already under contract and more are going all the time. Speaking of time....don't waste any. If you have an idea the time to act is right now. If you are interested in one then I suggest you start a dialogue with us immediately. With all the wild get rich schemes that are available out there maybe it is time to stop wasting your time. Become a visionary. Remember....'Today's visionary is tomorrow's genius!'
       


And Just one more thing.....Listen folks, this is the gold rush and the industrial revolution all rolled up into one, only bigger, better, easier and a lot more profitable. The gold rush is in full swing and every minute you delay is a silly minute wasted. The net has given everyone an equal shot at a piece of the pie. It's a brand new race and everyone has a nearly equal chance. If you can read this then you have no argument and if you have a burning desire then nobody can stop you.       


In cyberspace nobody knows if you are black or if you are white, if you are rich or poor, tall or short, fat or skinny, clean or dirty, handicapped or healthy, Christian or Jew etc., ....They know only two things....the content of what you have to say and a way to communicate effectively to people from all walks of life and from
around the globe.
Plus the value you put on your own character. Consisting of your credibility, your honesty, your integrity, and your devotion to do things the right way without taking advantage of others. This will be either your greatest asset or a liability that will inevitably be your downfall. You don't judge a book by its cover, In cyberspace you are judged by your content. Of course a nice cover such as a great domain name couldn't hurt.
       
The opportunity that any one of these domains can give to an individual or company who can accomplish what they set their minds to is truly a gift that has dropped in their lap. Now it is up to you to see if you have the guts, the drive and the creativity you need to acquire your dream.
       
Look over our domains. Allow yourself to come up with a
creative idea. You only need one idea...the rest they will write about. Remember, these are not imaginative and silly type domains. These are domains that while standing alone with no other words tell the world exactly what you have in just an easy to remember electronic address!
Remember our motto.......'Today's visionary is tomorrow's genius!' We genuinely believe that ifYOU DO build it.....theyWILL come.
       
In closing, consider the following........
      
If
you BELIEVE you
'CAN'......then you are RIGHT!!
If you BELIEVE you
'CAN'T'....then you are also RIGHT!!




Domain tasting is a despicable practice

I am famous for ruffling
feathers by telling it how I see it and not trying to sugar coat things. So
let's start here,. Domain tasting is a despicable practice and
should cease immediately.


The dirty truth is that
registrars and others are abusing our industry because it is profitable for
them and also Verisign. Verisign has given out a license for abuse and THEY are
the ones that have helped CREATE this mess imo.


I would hope that domain
owners will make it known to these folks that what they are doing is a
disservice to everyone and the trademark abuse has reached a new high because
of tasting and kiting. I join with the CADNA and others and call
for the immediate stop of this abuse. If not done voluntarily then I support
legislation to stop the practice. It paints all of us with one big
CYBERSQUATTER brush and the only way not to be painted that way is to strongly
oppose tasting and kiting.


If you do business with
a company engaging in this, then it is time to re-think that relationship. If
your livelihood is important to you, if being called a
'Cybersquatter' disgusts you, if you want to be on the right side of
this issue, then speak up and say NO to this abuse of the domain industry. The
only ones that even support this garbage are the ones doing it and I don't
understand why Verisign and ICANN have allowed this to happen. They have been
HORRIBLE stewards of the domain name system. They create abuse and PROFIT from
it!! It is disgusting to me that the system is so out of control and the abuse
is growing daily.


I have come to believe
that organizations like CADNA may not be the enemy but may actually be an ally.
I am happy to work with anyone that wants to clean up the mess created by
Verisign and those in positions of power. Professional domain owners numbering
at between 2000 and 3000 NEED to separate themselves from the stampede of new
opportunists that focus on TM infringements and other unsavory practices to
make a quick buck. This growing non-professional end of the industry is doing
great damage and everything needs to be done to educate them on what is and is
not proper.


Unscrupulous registrars,
domainers and companies are a THREAT to our lively hoods by abusing the system
and Verisign is guilty of encouraging it and allowing it and of course
profiting from it. Something can be legal but still be wrong. This is one of
those things.


Next time you go
fishing, don't bring a pole, bring a net and see how you are greeted by fellow
fisherman.


Now the SHOCKING part. I
am so serious about this that I have contacted the CADNA. I am going to join
and support the CADNA!
Yup, you heard it right. I am so SICK of companies (Mostly registrars)
abusing the domain industry that I believe I can do more good inside than
outside. So today I contacted them and I will let you readers know how things
progress.
TASTING and KITING can RUIN this industry. It MUST stop and I will do what I
can to put my weight behind ending this DISGUSTING ABUSE. It is THIS practice
that has made 'Cybersquatting' such a hot button issue right now.
Because some are abusing things we are all getting painted with the same brush.
The professional domain owners I know DO NOT register trademarked domains. They
DO NOT infringe on others intellectual property. However folks that
'Taste domains' may and the reason is somebody is paying them
and someone is getting paid. Someone makes it profitable. But who wants to
attack Google and Yahoo? They can fight back. So they attack the
'Invisible domain investor” by calling us all cybersquatters.


As reporters and
journalists write articles in the media and accuse INNOCENT business people of
being cybersquatters, be careful, be factual. Slander and libel can be
expensive. Learn the difference between professional domain investors that deal
in GENERIC domains and TRUE cybersquatters that profit and infringe in
trademarks and other intellectual property. One is capitalism and the other is
an abuse of the system that Verisign helped create. I call on Verisign to
IMMEDIATELY cease domain tasting. If someone wants to register a domain, they
can pay the $6 or $7 and register like everyone else. Verisign allowing folks
to register MILLIONS of domains for 25 cents for a few days, invites abuse. It
needs to stop and I call on others to voice their disapproval.


Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz



BusinessWeek and Kerry Miller’s Attack

BusinessWeek and Kerry Miller's Attack


Is BusinessWeek guilty of libel? You decide.


This
uninformed rookie reporter has labeled all domainers as “Cybersquatters. ” In the story she boarders on libel as she accuses the owner of fave.com (Reflex
Publishing) of being a “CyberSquatter.” I wrote the following note to Ms.
Miller. I hope other domain owners will also write notes. Keep them factual and
thoughtful. Her email address is kerry_miller@businessweek.com


Hello Ms. Miller,


I just finished reading
your article 'Does your success hinge on a domain name.'


http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/aug2007/sb20070813_986517.htm?campaign_id=rss_smlbz


As President and CEO of
the World Association of Domain Name Developers Inc, that produces the
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. trade shows, (http://www.targetedtraffic.com

thing to call somebody that has done nothing wrong. His domains do not violate
anyone's trademark. He has not stolen the domain. He has not done anything but
purchased the domain in a legal manner. Calling him a 'Cybersquatter'
insinuates he has done something wrong. He has not and you should correct your
story to reflect that.


Thanks for your time!


Regards,


Rick Schwartz


Btw,
Elliot Silver on his blog today shows an interesting angle. Seems the REAL
cybersquatter is the company that wants the Fave.com domain name. Time to push
back folks. Time to set the record straight. Write Miller. Write the editor.
Don't let them slide.


Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz


UPDATE 3PM: Businessweek and Ms. Miller have CHANGED 'Cybersquatter' to 'Speculator.' Way to go!!


Why August 15th is so important

Over the years the one thing that I have focused
on more than anything else is the TRAFFIC. The traffic is what fuels the net.
The traffic is REAL people looking for something. Most buy a million
'hits' or they may be silly and buy a million 'Impressions.'
But what they are TRYING to buy are targeted eyeballs. People, buyers,
potential new customers, looking for their specific product. Many have not
looked past THAT. But what is it about those buyers? How did they get to your
site? Why did they get to your site? Ask questions. Get into their mind set.
Profile them like you worked for the FBI. See the FBI catches criminals by
putting themselves into the minds of the suspect. They get so deep that they
basically may be able to figure out the criminals next move before the criminal
figures it out. They know what they are going to do before they do. That same
type of thing works for the customers coming to your site. When you figure it
out for one you make a sale. When you figure out many, you make many sales.


You don't have to be that sharp to figure out
that Christmas is probably the single slowest day of the year on the net. But
do you know the second slowest day? The third slowest day? The tenth slowest
day? The biggest day? The second biggest day? The third biggest day? Do you
know why August 15th is important? Labor day? October 12th?


Let's start with August 15th. To me, this is one
of the most important days of the year. Why? Because on June 21st summer
arrives and surfers think more about surfboards than going shopping onlione. So
you see a steady decline in traffic and earnings. Most factories in The USA
close for July 4th week. Some run half shifts that week and then half the crew
comes back and the other half goes on vacation. Then you have the heart of
the vacation season. The last 2 weeks in July and the first 2 weeks in
August. Europe goes on Holiday. The world is just out and they are distracted
by life. So during this period it is a bit harder to get things done and it's a
time and opportunity to recharge your batteries for the next business cycle
that starts on August 15th. It may be invisible to the naked eye, but that is
the day that a real transformation begins.


As I said before, you need to get into the MINDS
of your customers. What are they doing on August 15th? Just look in your local
papers. BACK TO SCHOOL!! So while some think August 15th is the middle of
summer, and it is for some, the majority of folks are buying school supplies,
and clothing for the upcoming school year. They are making the TRANSITION from
summer to fall. A transition that takes about 8 weeks to complete. So August
15th represents the day that folks start to come back and pay attention again.
Not the heavy hitters. They are just going on vacation. But if you deal with
the MASSES, they are coming home each day and the eyeballs grow and grow until
we have full strength again. When does that happen you ask? The
answer.....November.


Now this may not be true for all business in all
industries. There are many seasonal businesses that different rules may apply.
For example on Candy.com, August is a very big month and interesting who the
buyers are. This time of year candy.com gets “Industrial buyers” of candy
products. School districts search vendors and start placing their orders. Retailers
are also in play because Halloween candy starts to go on the shelves in the
next few weeks. These are just things I have learned since owning the domain name
and never actually selling a single piece of candy directly. But knowing who is
coming to your site is vital if you are going to enjoy GREAT success on the
net.


And let me add for the record, we are taking the
'Long' view. There is another view. It isn't seasonal. It isn't
monthly. It isn't even weekly or daily. It is HOURLY. Why do I even bring any
of this up? Well for one thing, very few know it. Even fewer will agree with
it. Many will be asking what the hell is he talking about?? I will repeat something
I have said year after year. 'More sales are being LOST on the net than
are actually being made on the net.' So then I say this and they don't
know what the hell I am talking about so they just shrug their shoulders and
move on. Well, just like there is a science and an art to selling in the real
world there is a science and an art to selling on the Internet. The companies
that understand this dominate their industries. The companies that don’t are
losing market share to those that do. It’s the greatest shift of market share
across the board in history.


I have the ability to go to virtually any website
that is doing commerce, has traffic, and in 15 minutes I can increase their
sales by a minimum of 15% and likey much more. I have done it many times. It’s
easy for me. There are certain common and repetitive MISTAKES folks make that
nobody ever told them were mistakes. So if they don't know, they don't see and
they can't fix. Do you expect somebody to fix something that important that
still doesn't understand what I have written here over the last few months? All
I can do is try to give certain pieces of the puzzle that may lead to a better
understanding. It could be as simple as a font change, a color change, a change
in the location of a specific button. Usually a combination of all these and more.
They need FRESH EYES to pick up those shortfalls that can make a huge impact on
their bottom line. Most people just scoff if off. They don’t believe a few
SIMPLE changes can add more sales. Ok, that is their right…..but they are wrong
and it is costing them money. Costing them business. It is costing them
customers that are likely being picked up by their competitors. Their
businesses are getting weaker by the day and it is invisible to them until it
hurts and by then it is too late. That is the cost they are paying.


It’s the heart of summer. Go have some fun,
enjoy life, un-wind. Don't look for anything dramatic, just a trend. Like
a large ship turning around, it takes time and the slowest part is at
the beginning and at the end. The bleeding stops and the healing begins on August
15th.


Have a GREAT day!


Rick Schwartz


The 5 year nap theory and Gut Instinct

The first part of this posted was lifted directly from Frank Schilling's blog. A blog all folks trying to make money online should read every day. Frank was answering a reader about something he mentioned in one of his posts.


'What is Rick's 5 year nap theory, if you don't mind
elaborating?'


***Frank Schilling writes*** After the November 2004 announcement
of Marchex's acquisition of the Yun Ye domain portfolio, Rick
Schwartz made a fabled post on his private board that spoke to the fact that
the domain industry was in its infancy..  He surmised that the industry
would go through a great evolution as corporate America learned about the power of
domain names as a tool to drive targeted paid-search leads. He posited that the
Ye transaction was just the glimmer of the beginning and advised all parties
reading that post not to speak to anyone or do anything hasty in the early innings.
The best course of action in his opinion was to 'take a 5 year nap'.


Columbus
Rick reminds me a
bit of  Columbus..
a guy without GPS but with a sextant and a good sense of the sea. His line has
always stuck with me. While I have personally gone with the tide to see if deal
opportunities play themselves out equitably, so far hindsight has shown me that
Rick's advice was spot-on. I would have personally been better off (saved
opportunity cost) to speak to no-one and take a 'five year nap',
letting others find their own way through the education process and value
proposition of domaining ... No offense to my former would-be suitors, who likely
view their experience with me through a similar but reversed optic ;)



The preceding post was lifted directly off of Frank
Schilling’s Blog. He did a great job
describing what I do. My exact quote was 'The Marchex deal created a FLOOR not a ceiling and the best thing any of us can do is take a 5 year nap and do nothing.' Point is, sometimes you can earn more doing nothing than doing something. This was one of those times.
After reading Frank's post I
discovered something that could possibly illustrate why GUT INSTINCT is key to
whatever you do. Gut instinct is something that you may have on one thing and
completely not there on another. But when you have that “GUT”, you have a tool
that all other tools together can’t trump. Here’s why: Imagine you are at McDonald’s. You give them a $50
bill and the person behind the counter
gives change for $500. That person input the wrong amount, and they are
dependent on the cash register to provide the answer because they have no way to
determine if the answer is right. They only know what the cash register says.
They have no “Gut instinct” that says it is wrong to give him change for $500
instead of change from $50. The “Machine” said so. But if you don’t know how to
add, subtract, multiply and divide on your own, the long way, the logical way, you
will never be able to catch your mistakes. Means you will get wrong answers for
a LIFETIME! Means you will never exercise or develop that muscle.  Means that logic and reason based on numbers
may be missing. The KEY is knowing you have tools, knowing you have matches to
make a fire, but also have the knowledge and patience to rub two sticks
together until you CREATE that fire. For those that buy domains strictly based
on stats, I would suggest that may work sometimes, but without knowing the nuts
and bolts BEYOND the stats, I am sure there is opportunity passing them by just
because so many have yet to develop that 6th sense. That sense that
knows the difference between a $50 bottle of wine and a $500 bottle. That TINY
SLIVER of difference is what makes ALL the difference.  Reading between the lines. Seeing the domain
in a future tense at a future stage at a future level of development.  In a future that includes growth and changes
in the net as well as changes in human behavior.


What is interesting is I wrote this several weeks ago before
the flap about “Gut instinct” in
politics. It’s okay to follow someone to the end of a cliff. It is not ok to
follow them off the cliff. When we get to the stage that “Gut instinct” is
looked at with disdain, then we are all in trouble. If we have no “Gut instinct”
we may as well be robots. The one thing that truly separates us from machines
is having instinct. Knowing right from wrong, having a sense of what to do in
any given situation.  If the goal is to
eliminate “Gut instinct” then I say that is a goal that is going off the cliff.
Gut instinct is a gift we all have and few hone. I have learned there are two
places where gut instinct will get you nowhere. Corporate America and
Politics. No room there for the most valuable of all tools. Believe me, I understand why many won’t agree
with my post. If you have no “Gut instinct” how could you possibly agree? I
would not expect you to agree with something you can’t see and may not believe
even exists. So I understand 100% and maybe now others will as well.


Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz


The “C” word exposed. Cyberbully vs. Cybersquatter


Donald Trump accused of
Land Squatting?


This may be a little
long winded but it needs to be said. So  grab a cup of coffee and give me
10 minutes.


Did you know that Donald
Trump owns land that he has yet to build on? Yet to develop? Did you know that thousands
and maybe tens of thousands right here in the USA have land they have yet to
develop? Some have been in the family and handed down from generation to
generation. Some that own that land in densely populated areas put up parking
lots!! Oh they screamed and yelled about having a parking lot. What an eyesore.
Do something useful with the land. As if it was anyone's business to begin
with. Ok, so parking lots are a terrible thing. Just remember to say that when
you are in New York City and a parking spot for just SIX hours is $40 or more
and don't forget to tip! Let’s BAN all parking lots!! That’s the answer!!!! Oh
wait a sec, where will I park my car when I want to go shopping? Right!! I will
take the bus.


The vacant lot by the
stadium that you just happen to own and on game days you can pack 20 cars in
there at $25 a pop. Did anyone call him names? Other than what a lucky guy to
own that land? 


We buy land for
retirement. Sometimes a generation or more before we will ever use it.
Sometimes before the one it is intended for is even born. Here in the USA, over
200 years have passed and there is still vacant land. Folks that have not
built. CYBERSQUATTERS!! I  mean LAND SQUATTERS!! I mean isn't this
interesting? How do we square it? Land ownership is encouraged and looked at
favorably. They don't ask you when you will build. That is entirely up to you.
The free market system working as designed. You pay your taxes and if someone
does not like it, too bad. I own or have the rights to or lease or contract for
dot coms. Call it whatever you like. It gives me certain LEGAL rights. It is up
to ME when I will build my domain names. It is up to ME what I will build on
those domains. It is up to ME if I will build on those domains. And if you
think I should do something different, you have 3 choices. Tell me your vision
and I will tell you mine and partner up to make it happen or buy it from me and
do what YOU want. However, let me warn you, I have only sold 6 domains and I
have a specific development plan for each. OR.....Be quiet, because what you
say has no value or meaning you just have too much time on your hands and you
don’t know how to mind your business .


STOP THE TRAIN!! Own
property in cyberspace? Land you paid for. Land you pay taxes and fees on. Land
that is in cyberspace and then domain owners are attacked as CYBERSQUATTERS?
That's just nonsense and folks need to stop swallowing nonsense. They need to
stop being parrots that just talk out of ignorance by repeating what others say
and actually THINK for themselves. I heard a dozen folks rag on the Iphone (tm)
this weekend. When I asked them if they actually tried one they said “NO!” They
just repeated what some other know nothing on TV said that hadn’t seen or used
one either and has a motive. I got news for ya, it does not matter what Paris
Hilton thinks! It does not matter what some newscaster thinks. It does not
matter what some guy invested in Verizon or Sprints says. It is about what YOU
decide.


It is not about some guy
or company that is so upset that they wasted their time and missed such an
opportunity that they try and discredit domain owners at every turn. Many of
the folks doing this, work for fortune 1000 companies. Don't listen to their
nonsense. They just want what you have and since they lost on the BUSINESS
playing field they have to resort to other tactics to get what you own. So they
resort to name calling. They circulate petitions against parking domain names.
They lobby trying to change the laws to take what you own. And make no mistake,
they are motivated by jealousy and greed. Motivated with a deep desire to
discredit anyone and everyone but always focusing on the biggest opportunity
they have had and it passed them right by. They can't get over it. So they will
make petitions, try and pass laws, file frivolous lawsuits and WIPO actions and
call everyone a CYBERSQUATTER. 


Well they are wrong. We
are just everyday folks from every walk of life that have recognized a great
opportunity. We paid the fees, abide by the rules, don't break any laws have
families of our own and realized that if you were to develop in the future the
FIRST thing you need is prime LAND to develop on. It is up to each when and
where and how they will develop. The CYBERBULLY is thousands time worse than a
cybersquatter. They FAILED at recognizing a TIME SENSITIVE opportunity and
decided to spend millions to build failed companies and waste investors hard
earned money. These LOSERS and BULLIES are responsible for the collapse of web
1.0. Maybe it is time to shine a light on them. They failed, we thrived. They
are talking web 3.0 while we are still successful with 1.0. These failures
still run big companies and some of them will lose your money once again like
they did during the turn of the century.Listen to THEM whine?? Spare me! Maybe
they should articulate how they missed the single biggest opportunity in their
lifetime, their father's lifetime and their father's before them? How do they
answer that? They put on their shoes and THEN they put on their socks and now they
want to own what assets we took the RISK to have? NO WAY!
The CyberBully is the same as the railroad barons that came through towns and
threw people off their land without just compensation. They are the elite
establishment that wants to control everything. These BULLIES want the dotcom
domains we own and the reality is, if they want it, there is a free market and
they can either purchase one already owned or use their OWN IMAGINATION to
think of another name. Scream as they do, there are an infinite amount of
dotcom domains. There is NOT an infinite amount of beachfront property and if
that is the property you want, pull out your wallet and pony up! You had the
same opportunity each of us had and you decided to get bogged down on one
failing project without thinking about the future and what was time sensitive
and you screwed up!! That’s the truth Mr. Cyberbully! Deal with it! You had
companies worth billions collapse overnight and since you failed there now you
want to infringe on the rights of others and try to STEAL what they rightfully
own.


There is one thing we
can agree on Mr. CyberBully. Domain owners that have infringing trademarks in
them are WRONG!! There are some that DO take advantage of trademark holders and
what they do is wrong. But to lump all folks that own domains and call them
cybersquatters is also WRONG! For every trademark abuser I can show you a
corporation that STOLE a legitimate domain through a flawed system that allows
domains to be transferred from one party to another with no standard. No rhyme.
No reason. Those domain owners simply could not afford the fight and lost their
LAND!


I never heard of someone
that had 5 acres of land directly on the ocean and a 3 bedroom 1 bath house
being evicted. There are zoning laws and guidelines and as long as those things
are met, it is nobody's business what you do with what you own or lease. Go
tell Warren Buffet he has too  much money and should trade in his old car
and move to a mansion. He may just tell you to mind your own business. And speaking
of business, I would be will to wager that even 'The Donald' owns a
parking lot or two.


So CYBER BULLIES, you
have now been put on notice. We are going to fight back and not allow the
CYBERBULLY to define or intimidate US! There are cybersquatters, but there is
also a legitimate and thriving domain name industry that is worldwide and
invests many hundreds of millions into these unique assets. It is time to stop
painting us with one wide brush. That’s just being a bigot! So attack those
that do wrong and we will be shoulder to shoulder. But  treat the rest of
us like you would like to be treated. But if name calling is what you want than
today the CYBERBULLY has been named and soon we will make a list of some warm
fuzzy companies that are trying to take domains they have no right to take. See
how the public responds to companies persecuting some of their own customers.
Helpless folks with limited resources to fight the giant CYBERBULLY! History
has always celebrated great deals. When Peter Minuet and the Dutch bought
Manhattan for $24 worth of trinkets. When the Louisiana Purchase was made by
Livingston from Napoleon. It is still looked back at as a great if not greatest
purchase of all time. Why would domain names be looked at any differently?


I hear all the time….”Rick, why
don’t you develop your domain names into websites?” Ok fair question and I have
a good answer as it relates to MY LIFE and what “I” want and what “I” see.
Let’s rewind to 1996. I have about 120 domain names. I had a choice, build now
or wait for others to make colossal mistakes and learn from them before I
pissed away my limited resources. But an even bigger reason for me is that I
ABSOLUTELY KNEW that a website that may cost $750,000 to construct in 1996
would be a $75 template in 2006. A template $749,925 less expensive and a
template FAR superior to that of that era. So I saw no SENSE OF URGENCY to
develop. What I did see was a “Unique opportunity in time” that would NEVER
pass again. So one much smarter group than me chose a much more sophisticated
way to climb the same mountain. I on the other hand with no staff, no talents
other than cut and paste, had to figure a way to compete with folks that had
unlimited funds and staffs of 200. I am no cybersquatter and most folks in the industry
are not cybersquatters either! I am a smart businessman just like many of my
counterparts that figured out that the way others were doing it put things in
the wrong order. I decided that securing the LAND for the development in the
future TRUMPED developing one website. Looking back, that was one hell of a
great decision on my part and a HUGE mistake for many of them. Not all, but
certainly most. If they had a chance to do it again, I bet they would focus on
getting domain names. Now all they can do is label everyone with GREAT
undeveloped domains as “Cybersquatters!!' The truth of the matter is they
FAILED MISERABLY and their sour grapes are being exposed! That is the evolution
of the CYBERBULLY and why they should be exposed. SHAME on them and I hope they
will be recognized for the true pariah they are. 



Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz


 


 


IPhone a hands down winner!!

Yesterday I predicted that there would be plenty of iphones to go around. I said there is no way that Apple is that stupid that they would allow folks to make more than them on the black market. There were 100 people in line at noon yesterday at the local mall. But I believed that by midnight you would have no problem. To hedge my bet I paid someone $100 to get in line.Iphone6:40 I get the call. "I got it" and a few minutes later the iphone was in my hand.



As I watched the "Hit job" on the iphone over the airwaves during the last 2 days I wondered how much was reality and how much was desperation. By 9PM I knew the answer. DESPERATION at its' most desperate. The first edition of the iphone renders all others in catch up mode.


My review of the iPhone.......


BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!!


All other devices are now obsolete.


And another heads up. I am no fan of Cingular/Att but when I went to several other countries in the spring, I carried a Verizon phone, a Sprint PCS phone and my wife's Cingular phone. Cingular was the ONLY one that worked in all countries. I did not have to call anyone to activate, it just worked! Both others NEVER worked regardless of their promises.


The net just got a little more mobile. Email just got easier and I am still counting how many devices are actually in the iphone and what is to come in the 2nd generation. Summer surfing just got a little better.


WELL DONE!! The bar has not only been raised, it has been moved and it will take years for anyone to catch up.


Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York 2007, one for the history books!

Today will be the last day of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York as the silent auction atMoniker.com closes at 6PM. On top of the nearly $11 million in domain names we sold at the live auction, estimates and buzz around the silent auction expect that to go many millions higher. It will bust all previous records and sets the stage for an even bigger more important auction at the Florida show in October. A poll of industry regulars yesterday seems to think that about another $4.5 million in sales could be achieved. We will see how close they are. $15 million in domain sales would be impressive. That would bust the doors off the old record by nearly 300%!! Many think that future auctions may bring in as much as $50 million. I see some shrugs. I think what is really the story here is that folks are trading assets that are more expensive than most folks home and there is no 30 year mortgage. What there is, is a checkout stand and nearly all these deals are paid cash. CASH! I think many overlook such an important piece of this puzzle. Rewind 5-10 years. This tiny "Cottage industry" was largely made up for 20 and 30 something's sitting in a 1 bedroom apartments in their underwear. Today they bring their own attorneys with them. Their staff's. Their wallets. And they make multi million dollar deals on a handshake. They are sharp, intuitive and they have created great lives. They still sit around in their underwear in the morning, (Actually most have upgraded to a bathrobe. Like the one I am wearing right now) but the 1 bedroom apartments have turned into 6 bedroom estates. They have young kids running around and births of new domainers is a common trend. Many of them are very charitable and are always looking for ways to "Give back.Grassroots.org would be a good example of that. But just as they have matured, so has the domain business. It has come of age. There IS gold in them thar hills. They can no longer close their eyes to buying power that is off the charts. The type-in traffic that our domains get are the gold they all search for but are just discovering. When they look at the stats, they think their spreadsheet is messed up. While other's talk about click thru rates of 2%, we talk 70%. How do you expect them to get their heads around THAT? Those that do figure it out have been rewarded well.

Sorry, sometimes I just drift off. But don't ever think it is not all related. We have a story to tell and we have stats as the artist that draws a picture that not everyone can see.

Looks like the attendees that showed up in New York were happy with the results. The seminars were the best we ever had according to many of the folks we are hearing from and the panelists all did a superb job in representing our industry. An overwhelming majority of nearly 75% of attendees polled want to go back to New York. That's a number that is hard to ignore. An even larger majority (92%) gave T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York a big thumbs up on a poll we conducted immediately after the show.

There were lots of new faces and you can see the foundational expansion of the industry in real time and I must say it is about time! New York was THE defining moment and as an industry we proved we were up for the challenge.

The board of advisors met last Friday and those minutes will be posted later this week on wadnd.com We addressed ways to make the show more affordable and have a free night where attendees can plan their own get together's and parties without hurting the overall chemistry of the show. Eliminating a dinner and cocktail party will help reduce some price levels and open TRAFFIC up to more attendees which sponsors and attendees always seem to like. The only thing we ask to get the reduced rates, is commit early.

There will be a lot written and said about the New York T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show in the coming days and weeks. The importance of what transpired in New York City cannot be minimized. It was a water shed moment as promised and we will look back for many years to come on what was accomplished and the course it has set us on. There was definitely a sense in the air that we have all done well in furthering the industry and begin to get the recognition we deserve. The domain industry is not represented by cyber squatters and infringers and opportunists. They get the ink, they get the headlines, they are the stereotype. But we have an industry outside that world that is run much cleaner and made up of seasoned businessmen that have a track record of success. We do have business ethics. Most know where the line is. We don't want to be lumped in to a group that takes advantage of other peoples intellectual property and worse. We are professionals. We follow the rules, we pay our taxes and there is a vast difference between us and them. A difference few have ever articulated. And keep in mind that the rules have largely been written on the fly. Many times with no rhyme, reason or precedent and no consistency whatsoever.

Again, I have drifted off. But these things need to be said and they need to be said strongly. There IS a difference and it is up to us to make sure that difference is known. We hope the ICA will assist in getting the message out.

We are already working on the October show. We will focus on "Verticals" and as always the theme will be making more revenue from your domains and raising the value of your assets. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. once again has set the standard and the bar are higher than many would have believed just a short time ago. The secret of TRAFFIC is no secret at all. It's the attendees. THEY CREATE their own MAGIC and their own OPPORTUNITY. Then they rise to the occasion by recognizing the opportunities that they CREATED. Talk about making something from nothing. Lock these folks up in a room for a day with nothing but a computer. By 5 pm they will have a thriving and profitable business.

As we enter the summer and all the distractions associated with this season, I look forward to some relaxing time as I am sure many of you are and then a very important fall season that will see a HUGE growth in online advertising. A growth like we have never seen before and it will turn traditional advertising outlets on their ear. It may hit so hard, so fast that they are simply stunned in what is about to unfold this Christmas.

Have a GREAT day!!
Rick Schwartz