.Cars Slams Domain Investors and .Com

Morning Folks!!

2014, the year of "Bullshit" and Penis envy.

The .Cars Registry does not think much of you.

"The only reason .COM is so popular is because it has been around for so long. And when you compare it to the new domains, it is meaningless."

"As time goes by and people begin to identify with the new domains, having a .COM will not be important at all."

"Many opportunists (that's you and me folks) purchased the best domain names, and left them parked, or created spammy websites in the hope of selling them later for a huge sum."

http://carsdomains.org/cars-gtld/

Rick Schwartz

Condemned by Their Own Stupidity. It’s Just Lip Service

Morning Folks!!

Alta Vista was the 2000lb Gorilla in the room. Compaq and Dell were leading the way along with CNN. And this vast new medium was being touted as the future. New ventures like eBay and Amazon sprung up. A few very primitive sites were being launched. Including one I started as I had a 3rd party register my first name LipService.com. A perfect name to house my 800 Toll Free Chatlines. But most places you would go to were dead ends and abandoned sites even back then.

So that remained my ONLY domain name until May of the following year when my brother bought me the 2 names for my 2 companies as a birthday present.  So it was not after that until I would bother my brother every few days to register me this or that. Until he gave me the link to this company called Network Solutions and told me to do it myself. Cool!!!!

So it is spring and summer 1996 when I finally start understanding the internet, the power it had to revolutionize the world and be especially important to 3rd world countries as a way to lift them and join the rest of civilization. I was inspired by folks like Scott Day who was a watermelon farmer in the middle of nowhere and he was now able to compete with the guy named Ari Goldberger, a real Philadelphia lawyer who appeared to be out of Manhattan. I saw an equal playing field emerging like never before. One with no boundaries and one where only the individual decided their futures.

So what to do??

Well when I was born there was no free land. There was hardly any cheap land. And there was no land I could afford. That was true when I was a kid, when I was a teenager, when I was 30 and when I bought that first domain name. But all of a sudden I was a land owner in this new medium. Could history be repeating itself? But where is the oceanfront land here? Where were the skyscrapers to be built? What was to be prime? There were no books on it. There were no bloggers to go and read. There was no nothing but a simple parallel. So me and that parallel went to work. We started looking for other parallels. And there were many. They were vivid as well because they were still untouched. Un-mined. Virgin.

I had limited funds. Each domain was $100. So I bought 18 domains. By the time January 1997 rolled around I had about 100 and carried my list in my back pocket at all times. They were earning enough money to pay for them and slowly buy more. But there was one major league problem. I had virtually no tech skills. None. I was in the ocean and not a clue how to swim or sail or float. Well I was floating, but I did not really know why quite yet.

It wasn't for another year or so before I even learned how to ftp. There were few companies out there and they were all behind and buried in work. Others were fakers and completely incompetent as hosts would have servers go down for days at a time and not really care until I had to SCREAM!! I was losing $$$ and they could care less. Well, they were going to care because that was their job. They had a 24x7 business and these goof-offs would only show up and have bankers hours. 10-4. M-F.

Build a site? How? Where? With whom? 6 figures for a site that I absolutely KNEW would be obsolete the moment it was finished. So what to do??

Well, let me start by buying time and raw land. When the net develops, it will be easier and cheaper and better. What's the rush? I have a lifetime to build this empire. Let me see how the first 20 years shakes out and then I can make my move. So of course everyone 18 years ago laughed at me. Waved me off.  Did not take me seriously. I was just a guy with more money than brains. Especially the guy at 192.66.111.3. I think. How do you argue with a tech schmuck that can't see that can not be used commercially to advertise with on radio or TV etc? So after a while you stop arguing and continue to DO! You learn to ignore the antics and the noise and focus. You realize if they have to use energy to ridicule you, they can't be working for themselves and that makes them not too bright.

So I decided the path was do more of what I know, buy time, look at what this medium would look like in 20 years and how the entire world would depend on it like they depend on electric. Maybe even more so! Try to learn what I could and wait for the $750,000 website tab to be a $75 template. Of course now we are at FREE so we have well passed that milemarker.

And that is what each reality is, a milemarker. And they just happen to match my parallels perfectly. Sorry, that is not being a visionary. That is simply following the line that parallel produces. Nothing more, nothing less. So those that want to copy my path need to understand how my path has come to be. It was no crystal ball. No great anything. Just SIMPLY following the signs that were and are CLEARLY there. That is why my opinions are so stong. I shut out the noise so I can see and find the parallel. Once that happens the answer reveals itself and it is on to the next thing. No antics can derail me from the parallel I see.

So eventually when I bought Porno.com I thought maybe one of my dreams would be realized early. I approached folks and asked if they wanted to be 50/50 partners in Porno.com. They never even asked me a single question. They all just laughed in my face. I just shook my head in amazement. Here was a domain that was making me over $500k/year at that time and it was more than those that I approached were making. But that was a lucky break for me!

That vision still lives. I bring to the table the land with an important location and they bring their talents. Now as we know in the candy.com and property.com deals I did not get 50%. But different situations need different formulas and equations. Cash lowers the percent I must have.

So the point of all this? Well the folks that whine today about cybersquatters or whatever it is, simply failed back then and have yet to get over it.  They missed the single biggest opportunity in their careers! So instead of explaining how they missed it, they do what they do. You and I NEVER have to apologize for seeing something this big and risking what we did. NEVER! We did what we were taught to do in a capitalistic society. They will always have to explain why they did not see it and the only way they can do that is attack and try and make it like we did something wrong. Well if you don't make a living off of Trademarks of other parties, then you did nothing wrong.  Nothing to apologize for. You have done well for you and your family and shoud be proud.

Think of it like this. Imagine you are a financial advisor today. And some readers just might be. Imagine you are in 2013 and the market goes up. Many stocks double and triple in value. And you sit there as a financial advisor touting your 7% return?? Really?? Sorry pal, you failed! You don't thump your chest on 7% when you should be giving multiples of that in a year like this.

How many SEO spam do you get in your email every day? Wonder why? Because those that have to do that SUCK at what they do! They define themselves as incompetent the minute they send out that first email blast. DUH! And they can't see it, can't acknowledge it and can't stop it.

That brings me up to "Search". Sorry, search is a fools game on  many levels. Parked pages ranked in search is just silly. Have said so for many years. Let's define search as PAID and FREE. Most folks talk about FREE search and guess what? That has little value. It's a bonus when you get it. You don't build on FREE. Just be relevant. You will naturally work your way up.

So now let's talk  about PAID search. That's a much more intelligent discussion. That's something you can measure. That is something you can define. That is something you can contract or expand. That is something that is built around a numerical equation that should end up with that nasty word, PROFIT.

That of course leads me to Start-ups of which I wrote an entire blog post about recently. Start-up is lip service for "I have no way of making money but I still need to eat. Feed me." Why? "Because I am a startup and I am going to get free traffic from Google to build my empire."

Start this! It's a start down for you and a start-up for him!

And of course we are watching hundreds of startups right in front of us. They need your money to survive. The public is not going to support their efforts in a way that can sustain them. Only domainers can do that. The gTLD parallels I see don't lead to where these folks believe they do. Some do, Don't get me wrong, but most don't and the question and the parallel to understand is if 80%, 90% or more go south and there is unintended fallout and consequences, will it hurt those few that remain?

Now I know nobody wants to talk about type ins. But type ins funded many of the gtld's that are coming. Dot com type ins. Natural type ins. Not from search. Real, no-nonsense, consumer oriented and generated type ins. So of course this subject is off-limits because it does not help their position. No parallel.  I chased the behavior of the consumer and adapted. They want the consumer to follow them and for the consumer to adapt. The same?? Are you kidding?? Are you serious? Are you not paying attention?? GEEEZ!

The mousetrap works because they learned the behavior of the MOUSE! Not the other way around. How simple is that one?

See I have the same names in .com and .net, and .xxx and .mobi and .org and .TV. Want to discuss type ins???? The type ins they keep saying have no merit, no value, no this no that while the type ins pay for much of everything that is happening. That is not to be confused with value of a domain based on type ins. Two separate things. Domains don't have to have type ins to have value. The mainstream domains had no type ins when I bought them. But the ones I bought and got right, do have type ins now. Want to discuss the ratio value from .com to .anything else? What 's the difference? Somewhere between 20-1 and 100-1. Same effort, greater risk, lower reward. And I have to convince smart people of this equation? Really??? Empirical evidence. Not theory.

Ok, back to the story........

So today Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, eBay, Instagram, you can name 100 companies right here and right now. Then 1000 behind them. And 100,000 behind them. Many with ideas. Some are good ideas. Some are ideas you can build on. Some are platforms you can build on. The landscape is filling in very quickly now. And it is not about developing any longer. It is now about opening businesses with a profit center. There is enough out there to do that with now. It could not be done before.

So as I saw this mammoth of a beast. The likes of which mankind had never seen before, I knew that snowball was big and would take DECADES to start to roll. 2 decades. I stated in January that for the first time we were in the gravitational pull of what I saw all those years ago. It was not just words. It was parallels.

I know I am limited in my education. But I know a few things well. Nouns, verbs, adjectives and what place they go in and what makes them powerful or not when used together. And I knew the difference between a parallel and an intersection. You can benefit from each, but one can kill you. The other can't. And I knew how to use equations to my benefit to fill in answers not yet known. So this visionary is not one at all. I am just a master of these elements and then I am able to marry them to a timeline.  I am able to come to a conclusion quickly and I start at the end and work myself back to the start.

So folks laughed at me back then and they laugh at me today. But those that laugh the most continue to get things wrong while I keep getting them right. I write about how things unfold LONG before they unfold. Most chase events after the fact. What I see is clear to me. It might not be to others. So I have tried to share it over the years. If nothing else, to be on record for myself and so I can see which things I got right and which things I got wrong. Then I make adjustments to things and then get it right while many just continue on the path and ignore those points of correction.

The dawn of my 19th year is much different. We all know this is just a platform and we are destined to do bigger and greater things. Each day gets just a little easier. Just a little closer. Just a little better.

2013 was a bumpy year. But bumpy means you are progressing and that is a great improvement from being stuck in a crippled economy for the last few years. And as I have been writing about, 2014 is going to be a monster year for business in general.

I can report that the Real Estate in South Florida is now at 2007 levels once again. Pre Crash levels. Now not for all property. Decent and prime property are now exceeding 2007 levels. On the other hand, homes further out of the metro area are still taking a hit. It may still be a few years because the better located homes will sell first. This excludes South Beach that never even saw much of a crash. High end stuff just kept going up. $1200/ft before crash, now as much as $1500 and $2000ft. Go up the road a little north and you can still get for $300ft.

So not only do we head into 2014 and year 19, but we go into this next 2 years with a head of steam that will carry us right thru to the finish line. December 26, 2015. In a few days, I get to say "Next Year!" and that 20 years will be worth the wait.

It was understandable for the masses not to understand this medium fully for 20 years. But I must say, I am so disappointed in the average so-called "Businessman". He is still BEHIND the consumer curve. The consumer is more Internet savvy than they are. What is the excuse for that? I can only tell them that time is running out for them to get their acts together. That's not lip service, that is straight out fact. The proof will be all the mergers you will see in the next 24 months on every level imaginable.

The money is finally coming off the sidelines. I can speak to that myself. I have some fairly decent money being earmarked for new investment. Some for a safe and growth investment and a chunk for riskier investments. My choices include .com domain names (Sorry, I have zip marked for gTD's) but mostly investments outside of domains as I continue to diversify and more into web-based businesses. To me, the more financial buckets you have, the better. But deep buckets, not shallow ones.  The stock market is the single best casino in the world and that won't change in 2014. I have a habit of plunging. This year I was plunging on Facebook. Probably ride that horse for a while. Made some on Twitter but want to get out before the "Correction" which could be very soon.

It blows me away from that December 26th in 1995 when I was investing my first $100. I never dreamed I would talk about investing a million here, a million there and $500k there.  But when you just take it slow, put one foot in front of another, don't get sidetracked or detoured, learn from history by learning history itself, it is just amazing the ground you can cover and the progress you can make. Everything else is just Lip Service.

All I can do is share my story. Share my viewpoint. Substantiate the best I can how I come to that viewpoint and then believe enough in myself to follow thru. Predictions based on parallels and mile markers. As each comes to pass the original foundation and premise only gets stronger and bigger and bolder. So we can now look back and take a string and tie it around each marker and then use the first point and the last point to find the next point. The next point in all of this is not based on emotion. It is based on science and math that has little variables and a consumer base that has a huge variable. Whenever somebody speaks for the consumer, watch out. In my world, the consumer leads, I follow and then I jack rabbit over them and get to their next destination slightly before they do and the bi-product of that is opportunity. But they led the way, not me. I simply followed their lead, their direction and their needs, wants and desires that led me to their stopping points and eventual destination. The one that will only get clearer every passing day from now until landfall.

Land Ho!

Rick Schwartz

 

Twas the Day After Christmas 1993??

Morning Folks!!

On December 26th 1995 I had a mission. It was a mission already in progress. In about August 1993 I had just lost $65,000 playing the options market in one day. Back then I was just recovering from being flat broke a few years before so this was stinging loss. I was playing Duke Nukem and trading options. My home based business was purring along. But I was far from being productive.

Then I listened to about the first 4 or 5  Tony Robbins cassettes and I stopped. Never have finished all the others. I have them right here. But there was really no need. I got the message. So I got up off my ass and started trying various new things to make more money and secure my future.

That was late 1993 when OJ was the headline all day, everyday. The trial was to start on January 24th 2004. So I decided I was going to utilize one of my vanity 800 numbers 1-800-4A-WATCH. But I needed a product to sell. So I came out with the "OJ Watch". I commissioned a retired cartoonist from the New York Daily News to draw the cartoon below. The size was about 8.5 x 11 and I had it reduced down to the size of a watch face. I then contacted a guy in Hong Kong that made only the face dials for watches to produce the dial. I found another guy in Hong Kong that made quartz movements. Another guy that made leather straps there. Had the parts delivered to the movement guy, and he would assemble and ship.

Believe me, the story lasted longer than the business. But I will continue. So I tell the artist to make a picture of OJ and surround it by the known elements in the case. The knife and the bloody glove. The Bronco and the chase. I named it "Crime Watch by Crimex".

 

 ojwatch2

I get my very first shipment of watches at like 3PM one day. At 4PM I see a commercial for NBC Nightly News saying Mike Jensen is doing a story on all the OJ merchandise that is coming out and that an entire cottage industry was happening. So I called NBC and by 5PM they actually had a camera crew at my house and at 6:40 it was on the news and it showed the watch and my first full-page ad that I put in the flea market magazine  and they showed my 800 number 1-800-4a-WATC. There was no "H" on the camera shot. But it did not matter, people figured it out. My phone and all 6 lines lit up like a christmas tree and we were in business.

So I sold them by the dozen for $99.  I sold them retail for $20 each. Well that lasted about 6 weeks. Then on January 24th 1994 I got a "Cease and Desist" from their lead attorney. I almost crapped my pants. I folded faster than a card table. Back then OJ was powerful and had $$ even from a jail cell. So I settled quickly and that was the beginning and end of "Crime Watch by Crimex". 6 weeks. I still have the cease and desist letter somewhere. But I did sell quite a few of them.

Originally I was going to make the minute hand and the second-hand one with a bloody glove and one with a knife. But I thought that might be a bit over the line. Especially when the media convicted him before there was even a trial and I was still trying to figure it out. I watched every minute of every day during that trial. Fascinating.

So I made no money there but I was so energized from being able to create something from nothing and doing it so quickly and doing it without leaving the comfort of my home. That became my mission. How to I make not only a living, but become financially secure and independent without leaving my front door? I had just made the template.

By May of 1995 I had started the process of activating my 800 adult numbers. Like 1-800-MAKEOUT that still earns revenue daily. By August I had starting receiving checks that could pay for a monthly car note. By November I received a check for nearly $8000. I was stunned. I took those dollars and I bought a Gold Rolex. I was really proud to take those extra funds and buy something symbolic. I would wake up at 6AM each morning and that baby was the first thing I would put on in the morning. It gave me great motivation. It really cost nothing. It paid itself off in spades because it made me feel really good. I still own it.

Rolex1

I Retired it in 1999 for a Rolex Masterpiece which is the watch I most often wear today except for my "Special Occasion" watches.

I have found watch collecting to be a fairly safe way to invest and enjoy at the same time. So if you buy a $100,000 Patek, chances are you can sell it and not get hurt too badly. It may even appreciate in value. On the other hand, if you were to buy a $100,000 diamond and had to sell it on the open market to a jeweler because you had to liquidate it and you did not have the luxury of time to find a retail buyer, that $100k diamond has a "Street Value" of $16,500. Not even a new car goes down that much, that quickly. I aways determine true face value as what is it worth if you have to sell TODAY.

Getting back to 1995.....Little did I know that it would be just another month before I registered my first domain name. And when that came and it revealed itself to me, I just had 1 goal. Make at least $1 Million a year, every year for the rest of my life and even beyond. Build a virtual engine that would produce a lifetime of income. Income was the key and income was the goal. Steady streams of income. Virtual engine because I could add more domains and increase the size, power and financial output of that engine. Or I could take some away without disturbing the other moving parts of the virtual engine.

Not for 1 year. Not for a few years. But for a lifetime. Now it did not happen on day one. The goal did, but that was all that was there. It would be  not until later in 1996 that I began to hit pay dirt. And it was not until the summer of 1997 that the gushers started. And it would be January of  1998 I finally realized my goal. I did not even know it until Lee Noga tapped me on the shoulder and said. "Hey Mr. Millionaire." It took a while to sink in.

So today marks the last day of my 18th year and then tomorrow marks the start of my 19th year. A 20 year plan not only intact, but on the mark, on time and even grander than I ever imagined. I have witnessed a revolution wider and bigger than any change in the history of mankind since fire. And fire took a lot longer to circulate.

Rick Schwartz

New Coke. The Greatest Product Failure and why it was a HUGE Winner!

Morning Folks!!

One of the epic product failures in my lifetime was when Coke introduced "New Coke" back in 1985. That was a few years after the digital watch was brought to market by Pulsar. That watch kept better time than anything on the market and was supposed to replace all those expensive watches and make them obsolete. Tell that to Christy's when they sell those multi million dollar Patek's at auction today.

pulsar

But getting back to the big flop "New Coke". The public embraced it at first and then rejected it. At first people accepted it. Then there was a backlash. Coca-Cola was forced to bring back the original. They did not like it, they did not buy it. Coke was forced to introduce "Coke Classic" to shore things up.

And the supermarkets had to go along with it because that was what the consumer wanted. Of course there are always some on the fringe that wanted New Coke. So they kept making it until it was renamed and  then eventually discontinued.

So when Coca-Cola goes into those supermarkets who only have a certain amount of room devoted to soda. What to do? Well if you are Coca-Cola, you might try to just move some of your competitors right off the shelf and out the door. Coca-Cola now had more shelf space. And as New Coke came to market, it changed things.

The point is nobody can speak for the consumer except the consumer. He is judge and jury and everything else you hear is wishful thinking and hot air. That's the true BS. Nobody knows what will happen but those with skin in the game only focus on one side of the equation and ignore the other side. It is my firm belief that anyone ignoring important information on either side lessens their chance of success by a large degree. Folks that look at both sides and are more prepared increase their chance of success. But neither group trumps the consumer.

And as you can see in the case of "New Coke", the revolt took 3 weeks to materialize.

2014 marks the year that domains get more shelf space. No question about that. I think the classic domain will expand. I think the new domains will come out with great fanfare and when reality hits, then the things shift in a very big and noticeable way.

The only real question for me is who will be the likely winners and let me eliminate the losers. And just like I was not the first in domaining, I came into the game years after, I think the best play is years after. Let's see who remains on that shelf.

As for time frame to see how it all shakes out. Could be 1-3 months or 1-3 years because end users will all likely have to go down Overstock Blvd. When they see the amount extra that their ad dollars are costing them, that my friends will be the true moment of decision. And the registry will not be at the table when that decision is made. Ben Franklin and a lot of bean counters will.

Now the following was posted at TheDomains.com as a comment. Again, empirical evidence vs wishful and hopeful thinking. They are not the same.

"Here is a partial list of corporations that built free-standing websites on .Mobi. Some probably have been abandoned by now."

See how many of these companies you have heard of:
DietCoke.mobi
BMW.mobi
ESPN.mobi
Heineken.mobi
Fox.mobi
Marriott.mobi
DHL.mobi
Disney.mobi
Time.mobi
Ferrari.mobi
DolceGabbana.mobi
BofA.mobi
UniversalPictures.mobi
Cisco.mobi
FordCA.mobi
Iberia.mobi
ING.mobi
Hertz.mobi
MSN.mobi
NBA.mobi
Maxim.mobi
JaguarXF.mobi
Purina.mobi
Weather.mobi (Weather Channel)
VolvoCars.mobi
TheTimes.mobi
Xbox.mobi
Fidelity.mobi
FoxNews.mobi
Lufthansa.mobi
HSBCfrance.mobi
Zagat.mobi
Barclays.mobi
Castrol.mobi
WWF.mobi (World Wildlife Fund)
Deutsche-Bank.mobi
BenettonPress.mobi
axa.mobi
nypost.mobi
polo.mobi
BusinessWeek.mobi
Rolls-Royce.mobi
GreenPeace.mobi

You don't see a common thread here? When it comes to .brands I see a path forward. But .brand as I have also started may be internal. So if .Apple were to use it externally, what word would they use left of the dot that would be meaningful and have a really nice ring to it? Do any really sound better than apple.com? Buy.Apple? Home.Apple? Sweet.Apple? iPhone.Apple?, Mac.Apple? But what is the homepage?? The main entrance? Odds are it is going to be Apple.com regardless if they have .apple or even use .apple. Whoever was in charge had a duty to secure .apple. But that is his one and only duty. Secure it. Whether it will ever be used will not be up to whoever secured it.

Look, bitcoin is a huge success. But if you bought it 2 weeks ago you may have lost 50% of your value. So that's the danger on a huge success. What is the danger on a huge failure?

Look, I am very open-minded but I am not BLIND! I am not STUPID! And I am keenly aware of the great loss a failure would look like. Why??? Because that is still the most likely outcome based on the evidence we already have and many would like you to ignore. You would have to be the singles biggest moron in  town to ignore evidence in lieu of a second-rate sales pitch.

And yeah, that angers a section of the industry. There will be a lot of domainers feeding at that trough. For now. But I have always said TIME is my best ally. My posts will stand or fall on their own.  But navigating this requires certain skepticism because of the past and current failures.

I am not sure how a gTLD with limited strings left of the dot can mount any type of meaningful success. I just can't wrap my head around that. I can't even see anyone taking them over when they fail. Why would they? It would be a liability not an asset.

I come at all this from so many different angles and then when you add that this new "Interstate Highway System" has no pre-planning. No zoning. No traffic lights. No speed limits. Some may have few or no exits.  Overpasses?? WTF is that?? Oh yeah, that is when the lawyers get involved and these lawyers won't be in the HallofShame.com. They will be doing their proper jobs for the companies they represent and they are going to be busy little bees. Confusion will be the keyword in their filings.

WIPO itself would likely not be able to take on the added cases in the size and form that it is today. However I do believe many will just go right to Federal Court.  Isn't this 100% forseeable from where you sit? If not, why not? To me it is a guarantee. It is as guaranteed the way I look at things as the green light will turn red in a minute or two. It's not an "If" it is a "When". It is a "How many". It is a "How Much". But not to assume this is coming? That would be what I would call sticking your head in the sand.

And as I have also said, it is the CONTENT or lack of it that will also be in play. There still needs to be a reason to go somewhere before you go. That is going to be several years away at best.

As for the premium pricing. I love it! I am not a sucker so I won't buy into any, but I love it. Some have already set themselves up for failure. Their own values are likely to go down not up. They want to duplicate .com but have ignored almost every play in the .com playbook. To me that is a red flag.  Many are trying to duplicate .co but I think .co has its own unique circumstance. That said the aftermarket is loaded with very low-priced .co's.  We all know you can't even GIVE a .mobi away. But the likely winner may be no gTLD at all. Could be .Net, .TV, .Info, .Me, which are now all on the radar. Is it possible that the new ones push the old ones to the top? You bet it is.

But today if you want REAL Coca-Cola in the USA you have to go to Costco or some supermarkets and make sure you get the ones marked "Bottled in Mexico".  See in Mexico they can still use sugar. Not in the USA. High Corn Fructose.

So if you want the "Real Thing"..........

All I can really say is it has to be meaningful, easy to communicate, logical, sound good, look good, and capture large and targeted audiences if they really intend to create need, want and desire outside of those looking for the second coming. I can't wait for general availability just to see what it looks like. What it looks like as the flippers go into action. 2014 won't be boring. It will take the first half year to ramp up, but after that, just enjoy the show.

Rick Schwartz

2014 A Year of Anniversary’s

Morning Folks!!

I have been saying since the spring when things were the darkest that 2014 was going to be a great year. I think most can see that we have turned the corner in the economy. Not for the average man on the street. But business is back and it is only a matter of time before things improve for those that know what opportunity looks like and doesn't look like.

It was 30 years ago, in 1984 that I went into business for the first time by myself. This after being fired from the job I loved and had been doing for over 10 years. That was a very hard breakup. Took me a while to get over it. I told them, "I could follow a leader but I could not follow an asshole." Termination letter to follow.

See they hired some pipe smoking know-it-all after I took them from obscurity to $12 Million/year with warehouses in key regions, showrooms at the major markets and growing at a rapid pace. But they wanted even more even tho they were doing so well.

Something I brought to the attention of the owners before he was even hired was the fact that here is a guy 55 with a great resume that never held a job more than 2-3 years. I saw it as a red flag. They just laughed at me. Bad move guys. That moron led them right out of business in less than 2 years. A rapid pace in the wrong direction.

So April 1984 was the last time I worked for anyone else but myself. And by May 1984 I was in business. I still remember my first trip to Asia by myself several years later. I was second guessing my decision even driving to the airport. $10,000 was the cost of that trip. $10,000 that I did not have. 8 mortgage payments. All on a credit card.

And then something quite miraculous happened. As I got off the exit to the airport I found myself sitting right next to a truck from that company that fired me. The company's name was faded away as they went out of business a while before that. But like an old u-haul now being used privately, that baby was there and it was like a guiding light. What were the chances?

That doubt left my body and was replaced with something quite euphoric and I have never looked back since then. My life completely changed after that moment. To this moment and beyond. I went from being timid and scared to being Rocky on top of those steps during that 2 week trip.

I learned about business from going to 55 different industry tradeshow. Different industries, different, people, different companies, but almost all the same. But it has been 25 years since I stopped doing the "Show circuit" until......2004. Shortly after my sale of men.com for $1.32 million  that helped give some credibility to domains and their resale values and TRAFFIC was born.

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. will turn 10 years old in October. Guess we have to have a HUGE party at the Fontainebleau to celebrate! Come one, come all.

Next Thursday begins year #19 for me doing this. Quite a ride! And there is not a doubt in my mind that the best is yet to come. Not a one. So 2014 will also be the eve of my 20th year since registering my first domain. It just gets more exciting each and every day from here as whatever I saw then is still fully on track for that specific time and date.

The 5 year anniversary of the stock market lows of 2009 and we open 2014, at a record high. 2014 is set to be a stunner of a year. Easily the best year since 2007.  Not for all regions. Folks are on the move. It is visible down here in Florida. I have never seen so many people fleeing the high tax states and relocating to Florida and making it their primary residence. They did the math. They can live GOOD here for FREE just with the tax money they save. They have no choice.

I think there are one or 2 more Anniversary's but not for today.

So as we all wind down for the year, just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year's and the most wonderful 2014 you can possibly imagine, create and have.

To your Health!! Cheers!

Rick Schwartz

.Sucks, Suck!

Morning Folks!!

.Sucks is not good for anyone. I think it exemplifies ICANN out of control.

So it broke yesterday by thedomains.com (my personal research department) that one registry bidding will try to extort as much as $25,000 a pop from companies to get their .sucks domain. This sucks! The other 2 bidders are also quite well-known.

I believe this will spin out of control. ICANN has to be THE most >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Sorry, can't even print it for adults to read. This has opened a can of worms and the anger is growing by the hour.  This is what happens when there is no guide lines and a money grab.

This is also the type thing that FORCES the U.S. Government to get involved. Congress will act once a few of their names are out there.

“Trademark Priority”

“Trademark Holders can reserve now and secure a price of $2,500 to avoid announced Sunrise pricing of $25,000.” “Trademark Priority registrations will take place BEFORE sunrise”

The Vox Populi Registry Inc. owned by Momentous Corporation, which is the only shareholder listed as owning at least 15% of the registry is opened to business. Momentous Corporation also owns Pool.com

The other two applicants for .Sucks are domain veteran Jay Westerdal’s company Top Level Spectrum, Inc. and Donuts."

So once I read that I registered a few sucks domains of my own:

MomentousSucks.com,  VoxPopuliSucks.com and RobHallSucks.com (Nothing personal Rob)

$25,000 each boys. (or highest bidder over $25,000)

It's one thing to get .sucks which we can debate. But when I hear Mike Berkens raise the level from "Extortion" to "Rape", then I would pay attention.

Seems there is still some time to leave ICANN some comments. So if you are a little hot under the collar, join in.

Go check out the comments over there and pitch in. This is serious, damaging and I think the voice of the industry should be raised. If not, we all live with the consequences and they are already going to be bad enough as it is.

Money grab?? New gTLDS?? Sorry, I think you ALL pay the price for this incredible act.

It's Horse.Shit of the worst magnitude and YOU ALL OWN IT! That's what I mean about a TRAIN WRECK! You are witnessing one! Just one. One of dozens and probably hundreds. Sorry, you rise as one and you can fall as one. That is possible because of how this has been handled.

And let's NEVER forget whose dream baby this all is. Who devised this entire system when at ICANN.

Whatever registry wins .sucks should be shunned and boycotted if they pull this .CRAP!

Rick Schwartz

With 900 Horses, How many Winners do you Need to Pick?

Morning Folks!!

So Let's just say for a moment that these are the current top 20 extensions. I am sure I have it wrong because I included a couple that came to market with great fanfare. Remember the hype on .ws? "World Site". How are those babies doing today? How many of you invested in .ws and made money?

.com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .mobi, .me, .tv, .us, .xxx, .co, .ca, .de, .co.uk, .eu, .cc, .in, .ws, .es, .mx

So let's further agree that with 900 horses in the race, it is not our job to pick 1-900 in the right order. At the track, it you get the top 2 right you get the daily double. If you get the first 3 right, you get the trifecta. Both pay very well because it is not easy to do.

So how many do you pick if you want to "Dabble"? I think most would agree that the top 10 are where one might one to focus their efforts IF they are going down this road. But even 20 as listed above. Are those 20 all meaningful to you?

Me? I would just worry about trying to pick the winner. Because if that is my focus, chances are they will be in the top 2 or 3 anyways.

So 900 horses at the gate. Many are just not thoroughbreds no matter how you slice it. I think we can agree on that as well.

So wouldn't a savvy investor at least start by eliminating those horses that have no chance of being in contention?

20 Slots in the race for the top 20 extensions. So instead of these guys making wild assumptions about a range of things that are not in their control, they might start by explaining why they are in the top 20. And if they are not in the top 20, why are they wasting our time? And money?

Their focus is out of focus.

With limited strings on some gTLD's does that make for a viable extension? Commercially viable? Investor viable? Long Term? Short Term?

If valid questions and points scare a gTLD, RUN!

These are all valid. These are all questions an investor SHOULD ask. Should know.

So anyone trying to put US on the spot is way off the mark! It is their job to convince us. It is not our job to be convinced. As an investor we would be morons not to be skeptical. They have to overcome the hurdle, not us. So ask them, "Why is your extension going to be 1 of the top 10?" I mean top 10  of the new ones and who knows where they will find their home in the overall list above and the hundreds beyond.

And this is a train. A falter by one could affect others. Missteps, misstatements, and even having JUST TODAY DomainIncite.com report an advertising shut down with 1 and 1, plus stupid and unresearched stories like this one from Chicago Grid that thedomains.com covered in today's news. Each with unknown and uncertain consequences. None that are good.

Rick Schwartz

Breaking: Pigeon Sh*t to Step Aside. Being Replaced by New.Dung?

Afternoon Folks,

So I decided that Pigeon sh*t is a term that should be reserved for low or no value single domains of current extensions to avoid any confusion in the future with their bigger cousins as they bring some large dung to market.

Limited quality gTLD's of low or no value  need some clarity, color and personality of their own. So from this day on I will refer to low or no value extensions as Horse.Shit. Not to be confused with their smaller dung cousin Pigeon Shit. But can be interchanged with the more popular usage of "Horse Shit" known as meaningless or insincere talk, action or nonsense.

I hope this clarification makes your lives simpler in the future.

And gives everyone a really good chuckle.

Now back to your regularly scheduled much more interesting life.

:-) Ho! Ho! Ho!

Rick Schwartz

P.S. My sincere apologies to those like Domain Gang that could have done a much better job rolling out this new terminology out.

Bullsh*t?? I Love You Too Mike, So I Challenge You to Run the Same Poll.

Morning Folks!!

Seems my good buddy Mike Berkens thinks our poll is Bullsh*t and said so in a blog post yesterday. I don't think it is bullshi*t. I don't think the results are bullsh*t. I think they are the best we have and I think I have a right to interpret them the way I see fit and so do you. To take a pulse of my readers who I believe represent a good cross section of folks in the industry. Friend and foe and unknown and even who cares.

I get to see where things are at. Some can choose to ignore the results, I choose to follow them. Use them as my guide. In business my single greatest asset has been to be able to have a really good read on the pulse of things. Many of us do. In life I take the poll 1 on 1. Same result.

That said, I have a way to make it better.

So this morning I laid down a challenge to Mr. Berkens:

Mike,
Here is my challenge to you and each blog out there.
Run the same poll. The wider it is the more meaningful it is.
Put it on the same 3rd party service I did so there is no control by anyone or it is not the same.
Compare the results.
You may call the results bullsh*t, but I choose to look at those results and know I have a lot more information.
It does not have to be scientific to have great value. It just needs to point you in the right direction.

I think Patrick Hipskind has it pegged the closest. (with his comments)

So this is an interesting way to get more and wider information if you dare. :-)

It MUST be conducted via Pollcode.com as the free service they offer for the results to be counted or even compared to. On the personal questions, just substitute your name and name of you blog.

Rick Schwartz

The Start-up Savior?

Morning Folks!!

Let me state right now that the most over used term of the last couple of years is "Start-up". If I were a comedian, I could make a living off of the routine. Everyone uses the word "Startup" like that is their wonder drug to cure-all business woes. Startups? Really? Even tho 80% will fail before we even start the discussion. Let's hang our hats on that baby.

Let's say we all have some "Start ups" lingering around. What's the definition of a true startup and what is the definition of I have no job so let me hide behind the keyword startup? Yeah, that's it. I can become part of the startup franchise. Part of the club. I no longer have to call myself a consultant because that is a code word for some as in between jobs. My apologies to real consultants and startups.

But wouldn't we have to admit some of that is a pure bag of smoke?

So I believe that the single most over used word today is "Startup".

Then I think of all the gTLD's that have their hopes pinned on these startups. Startups with an 80% failure rate. Hardly a book of success. So can that 20% (and i think it is actually much higher given the nature of what I described above) support these new gTLD's?

But first you would logically have to ask the question of how many startups will use a new gTLD? What percentage? we have 900 different extensions all using this same answer as their way to success. But we know it is not 100%. The hurdles would include their local country codes as well as .com and all other existing extensions assuming they need one and don't just decide to use a Facebook page or other free alternative since I hear 3rd world countries are the other savior. But free is very powerful when you have nothing.

And speaking of nothing, many if not most of these shiny new premium gTLD's come with an outrageously high premium price for those poor startups they are so worried about and trying to help. So the double talk can only get louder and louder and will be multiplied by more and more voices. But don't confuse that for anything other than what it is.

So our job is to stick to numbers, facts, history and news. Their job is to present solid and meaningful arguments that support their position. (They have done a remarkable job so far) Not good. remarkable and I have many remarks to go.

We all want to make more money. But just like fish in the sea, I think it is important to distinguish between food and a lure. And if you don't know what that means little fishies, then swallow whatever shit you like. I won't get in your way. I will just alert you to not trip over the existing dead or meaningless carcases spread over the road.

So my prediction is in the next years, "Start-up" will be labeled the #1 most overused word.  I am sure many make a living off of startups. Some love startups. I guess except the ones that lost their shirts with startups. lol. Many of us have been there too.

So is a startup a non business? Usually you open a business that after your initial startup COSTS are paid you are making a profit. Today the startup may never even intend to make a business. Easier to sell investors on the blue sky concept than it is to actually sell customers on their products.

Rick Schwartz