RicksBlog.com Top 10 Posts of 2013

Morning Folks!!

Here are my most viewed posts of 2013.

How to protect yourself from Reverse Domain Name Hijacking


Rick's Official Reader Poll


I take you right inside the ebet.com deal step by step


Schwartz/Schilling Part 1


I respond to every point to the  Forbes.com article and their flawed, sloppy and biased reporting


The $20 Million domain sale


The heavy lift I see. I'd Like to teach the World to Sing


Domaining in the very early days. Pure gold!


Possible domino collapse of many gTLD's


Domain Investing vs Domain Gambling


Empirical evidence vs assumptions and talking points


Rick Schwartz

Kool-Aid Warning Defined! Buyer Beware!

Afternoon Folks!!

"Drinking the Kool-Aid" is a metaphor commonly used in the United States that refers to a person or group holding an unquestioned belief, argument, or philosophy without critical examination. It could also refer to knowingly going along with a doomed or dangerous idea because of peer pressure. The phrase typically carries a negative connotation when applied to an individual or group."


Sounds exactly like what we are witnessing!! I'll let others carry their water. This is the no Bullshit zone and if you are not seeing what is happening, you are blind. This Kool-Aid may not poison you, but but most flavors can surely leave you broke. How many of the 900 can make the top 10? Trick question. You caught me. lol

Well as you see one after another domainers or bloggers succumb to peer pressure as described above.  I won't be fitting into their orchestra anytime soon because I don't do peer pressure. I won't sing their praises to sell ads or another ticket even tho it would be to my benefit. I won't even give them the benefit of the doubt. Why should I? Why should you? I have history and empirical evidence on my side. And the only side I have is looking for the right answers. I just say what I believe and let the future bear out my words or not. I will always give you the unvarnished facts mixed with my personal beliefs and then you can do as you see fit. On the record, for the record.

So I am prepared to sit here on the sidelines for the next few years and watch it unfold. I think I will have articulated so many pitfalls that the actual cause of death may never be known. Complications in common sense?

Refreshments anyone?


Rick Schwartz

You Forgot to Ask Them!! Who is Them?

Morning Folks!!

So to find success I often study failure. And when we come to failures on the web, there are more than enough to choose from. And learn from.

“We built the website first and asked our customers about it later” Robin Chase, Co-Founder of Zipcar. Just one of 13 failures written about here and why they failed. You can find stories like that all day long.

I see a win-lose situation and to me that is the recipe for failure before we even get to all those other things.

ICANN, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!

Registries, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!

Registrars, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!

Lawyers, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!

Google, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!

Domainers, Need, Want Desire......CHECK for as many as 25%. Debatable for others. Kiss of death for the unfortunate. None for what seems the majority.

Now the bandwagon stops there. The rest is a crap shoot for a very big reason. There is another side of the equation. Actually hundreds of different variables on the other side of the equation. But here are the big two.

End user, Need, Want Desire......Nobody asked them

Consumer, Need, Want Desire......Nobody asked them

If that is not the cardinal mistake in business, I am not sure what is.

Did they ask any of you before the fact? Can you honestly say these are the very best extensions that they could bring to market? How many extensions would an investor focus on if they wanted to find a degree of success? Are the best extensions available now? What happens if you tie your dollars up with the dogs and a winner comes to market and there are no funds left? Just the most basic of questions. Drill down and see what you find. You drill down by asking the right questions.  Then weighing the quality of the answer.

I have said for many years that failure happens at the beginning of the journey, not the end. The end is just when you realize it and of course it is too late then. “We built the website first and asked our customers about it later”. He figured it out after the failure. Success is finding the answer before you sail. But you must ask the right questions of the right people and you have to accept their answer even when it goes against your beliefs and theory.

Everyone has staked out their positions now. Since the only ones that can buy from the list above are Domainers, you are the focus. ICANN does not buy so they are not the focus. Registries don't buy so they are not the focus. Registrars don't buy so they are not the focus. Lawyers don't buy so they are not the focus. Consumers and End Users can't buy at this time and know nothing of this. So who is left????

Trademark holders and domainers. Your wallets are important. PERIOD! Not whether they get bigger or smaller in a few years. Just your wallets. They have to sell you something to survive. Who else can they sell to in mass?? Here is the aftermath for those readers with short memories. You can all make excuses but there it is.

In a horse race you MUST bet before the race. In this race, you can place your bets for years to come. Reasons like this are the reasons that tell me that waiting to see how this race shakes out is the proper course for me. If not, you and me both risk having a portfolio of worthless .aeros, .mobi's and .crap to add to this list. See that is the one sure bet. There will be less meaningful extensions than .aero and .mobi. Hundreds of them! Hundreds that will never be as important as .Aero. Feeling lucky?

And remember....value and circumstance have yet to weigh in. This is what I would call a "Heavy lift". Plus, how many digits are acceptable on an extension? I think once you are over 5, you are over the cliff. For me, that would probably disqualify those with  more than 3 or 4. But I will always watch one thing first. I will watch the consumer. I will watch the end-user. I will watch and I will follow their lead. I will ignore what domainers do. I will ignore all the other groups and what they want. I will only focus on the consumer and the end-user. They are the the "they" that hold all the cards and all the answers. The rest is all noise.

I always try and follow the money. Except when I see it going down the drain.


Rick Schwartz

296 Ways to Share the Love and an In-Depth look at Desire.

Morning Folks!!

We all use Google. We use their tools and we use their technology. But people live on Facebook and live on Twitter.  And they can  make a living on both. And of course not all social sharing is alike. The way I would describe a company like Facebook is a baby in diapers that is 9ft tall and weighs 450LBS and the world knows has the capability to do things and set records that nobody has set before.

On the other hand Twitter seems like a company all grown up but with many more questions and a direction more in doubt.

Personally, I think both are becoming more important than Google.

Let me talk about "Organic Search". Geez!!! People say "Google" as if it were the answer for everything. Like aspirin. "Organic" is another word for "Free". Stop trying to get free traffic from Google and pay for real traffic, targeted enough to sell a real product or service and when you make that work, buy more and more and more. It's nice to get a bonus from Google. And that is just what it is, a bonus. Be relevant, be topical, be what folks are looking for and they will find you. They will find you if you laid the ground work for them to find you. Spamming search engines won't do that and eventually you will pay the price. Don't damage your domain trying to fake out search engines.

So it is a lot of fun to watch all this evolve. Change. And at the same time see how hard it is to move the needle. How easy it is to find success when focused on the right things. This is the greatest medium ever invented. More business done on this "Super Highway" than all other business added together. If not a fact now, will be soon.

The 20 year mark is the start, not the end. We are now on "Final Approach". You can see the lights. I am sure most are not as excited as I am.  But I have a reason to be excited. As big and important as I anticipated the net would be in 1995 is not nearly as big as it already is. The thought of what this youngster called the Internet can be in the next few years is just about the sweetest thought I can have.

We know there is need, want and desire when it comes to the Internet and the things it can provide. There is a universal need. Simple. That need does not come all at once. It evolves. But the need is there the moment it is understood. The want at that time becomes obvious because that is the fuel for the need. Both equal desire. Now the "Desire" part is the single biggest variable in this equation. Need and want can easily hit 100%. But desire is much different. It is based on energy, and level of commitment and other emotions that will range from near zero to nearly breaking the needle and everything in between. Desire has to be ramped up and motivated by need and want.

Now folks can laugh or ignore or dismiss this silly thing I keep bringing up. But to me it is the foundation and the test of any item, thought, product or service. Can need and want be created? Yes. Sure it can. Want and Desire as well. And there is a path to get there. A path so many seem blind to. It's about identifying a void not manufacturing a void.

We all have the need and the want to make money because without it we can't feed or clothe ourselves. But the desire is the thing that determines what level we get to. No desire, then you become a couch potato. Lots of desire, then you become an over achiever. So that illustrates the variable of desire.

Does desire come without need and want? Do you buy things you don't need and want? I mean these are to me the simple building blocks of basic math that equals basic sales. And what happens to that need, want and desire when the outcome is not as expected? You think that goes up or goes down?

When I looked forward in 1995 there was an obvious need for every business to have a website. Once their competitor had one they too would want one. The true question would become how much time, money and energy would they invest? That was the level of desire. And as you have seen the desire part has gone up. The need and want go up as well, but they get there first and likely at 100% while desire will always lag behind. Desire is the true variable in this and so many other things in life.

And even after you get past need, want and desire, you still have to deal with the single biggest elephant in the room. That elephant is called "Circumstance". Another variable. Except this variable is private, It is usually hidden and held close to the vest. Or it is plainly exposed. But circumstance is the bus that encloses and trips all the others. Some have to change their circumstance just to get in the position to deal with need, want and desire.

And for those that are sick of hearing this and dismiss it, you will pay the price of ignorance. You have ignored the holy grail of marketing and sales. Not because I read it somewhere, but because that is my personal recipe. Decades in the making and not even talked about until I did it right here on my blog a few years ago.

When I look at a new product or service I look at it through that filter, that lens, that strainer, and then the only other variable is identifying the size and buying power of that very targeted audience. That gives me an answer and then I do one more thing. I test it out in the field and make COLD CALLS to see and gauge reaction. Before I present it and after I present it. I will do that 10 times and from there I know what I need to know. That is my test. It is designed to eliminate dead-ends before wasting time, money and energy going down that dead-end. My test is a dead-end test. All I am out to determine is one of two things. Nothing more, nothing less.

Viable or not viable and assigning a percentage based on the research I have personally done. Designed simply to identify and navigate around each and every pitfall. Just like a hiker may make preparations before a long and difficult hike, their success or failure comes more down to preparation than any other single factor. If the prep was 100%, the outcome has a much stronger chance of success than those that did not take it as seriously.

I talk about opportunity a lot because that is what this is all about. What I see in 2014 is the first time in many years that dollars are flying. Lots of huge acquisitions going on. Investment. Building is starting and real estate is rising faster than I can write this. All this and the new sensors that are coming to market that will change about everything we do, see or touch. The inventions that were coming are staggering. Life changing.  The next 20 years will be more about how we live with the things we already own and being able to program anything from anywhere. The control coming to your wrist, the palm of your hand and your face are going to change virtually everything in life.

I have a car that parks itself and now even drives itself. It knows when to speed up and when to brake. It gives you an alert if somebody is in your blind spot and beeps if you try to change lanes. I am scared I will just fall asleep!

You will talk to your refrigerator, your stove, your washing machine. And the minute these items come to market there will be an instant need, want and desire. INSTANT!!

The iPhone and iPad were easy ones to identify even for the novice. You know why? They were lined up around the block in cities all over the world. That my friends is what Need, Want and Desire really look like. It all gets tamped down from there.

What is your need, want and desire today? The #1 answer is usually money. We need money. We all need money. It's pretty universal. Then the next question is how? Then you still have to determine value and that is something done not just by you. Others decide value. The market decides and the market is not kind and gives nobody a pass.

Need want desire value image

Here is mine for today.

You may or may not have noticed the new "Social Sharing Tower on the right of the screen on the home page. The plugins that I had been using kinda crashed and burned. So Danny Pryor helped me to fix this problem over the weekend and if you like what you read here, share. If you don't like what you read here, share. :-) Help me catch up!!

Rick Schwartz

Good Luck and Good Fortune In Las Vegas

Morning Folks!!

I want to wish everyone going to Vegas Good Luck and Good Fortune!!

I was looking into the possibility of attending and hoping to get there however I took a fall  right around Christmas and re-injured my foot and big toe that was just in the process of healing from a good stubbing back in October. When it got worse over the next few days I thought I might have fractured it. I went to the doctor last week and after an x-ray and exam told me I have what is called "Turf Toe". Walking is not easy right now. My foot is taped up.. Getting around the house is a challenge. Alina calls me "Gimpy". So when I started looking to book a flight the other day, reality set in. I thought of airports and hotel lobbies and all the walking in Las Vegas and it just makes it impossible.

So just for the record.......I was hoping to get to the show without having to shave my head and just show up under the radar. Did not work out. Richard and Frank did a great job promoting and hyping and assembling so many people so fast.

Hope all my friends have a good time and want to do it again in May. I was hoping to see a few faces I had not seen in many moons and a few faces that I could put together with their name or nickname for the first time. It would have been fun to be a passenger on the show train and not the conductor. Not have to worry about keeping the train on track and all the other stuff you need to worry about when snafu's unexpectedly hit. It would have been a first for me and quite relaxing knowing it was not my fire. lol

Good luck to all the gTLD guys there. While your cash registers are not really open yet, they will be soon and each of you will make your best case. In sales, credibility means a lot. When you lose it, game over. So I would suggest that you stick to facts and your visions and not go off the rails with some of the nonsense we have heard until this point. It's a real turnoff. You are dealing with professional domain investors. Many of which have made and lost a lot of money over the years.  If you talk to them like un-knowledgeable consumers, you will lose.

Will it be enough? Not your decision. Time will tell. Business will tell. The consumer will tell and he will dictate. He, the consumer, is the final arbiter whether you like it or not.

I will always listen to what you have to say and the valid points you might make but with a grain or two of salt and a healthy dose of skepticism considering the claims we have been hearing and now have to overcome. Same thing you will hear in the field so get used to it. So if you were not prepared for my objections, you can thank me later for sparring with you, toughening you up and to get your games up to speed.

I would like to sponsor the Kool-Aid stand if still available. :-) Just a joke! Lighten up! But there is a bit of truth behind that and that is what makes it so funny.  Hey it's Vegas. If Kool-Aid is your drink of preference, go for it. My advice, "Stay Thirsty my friends" (love that commercial)

If you play roulette, my only advice is always play 0/00 as insurance and hit them hard and hit them fast.

I wish you all the very best!

Rick Schwartz

A Fool and His Numbers

Morning Folks!!

The chart below was written about by DomainIncite. These are for September registrations of current gTLD's. So let's compare. But just at first glance .com at 475,000 had 3x as many registrations as all the 17 others combined. Damn numbers!

.Com 475,000 for September were more than the combined TOTAL registrations for  .Post, .Museum, .coop, .aero, .travel, .jobs, .cat, .xxx, .Pro,  and about 20% of .Tel. When we only had 18 horses in the race.

Now as far as just registrations and numbers and no noise.  .Biz is emerging as the alternative. They were second only to .com. No wonder you hear so much trash talk about .biz lately. Another THREAT to gTLD rollouts. A bigger threat than .com to THEM.

.mobi beat out .org for the number four slot. With .Mobile coming out, could give new life to .mobi. But still not anywhere for a domain investor to piss away their dollars on. Why bet on a losing horse?? And it seems I can list a lot of losers. A lot of losers that are better than what is coming.

Numbers don't have emotions. They contain facts and they contain secrets. visible secrets for anyone with the courage and guts to look.

.Museum, .Tel, .asia, and .info actually lost registrations. But the tidbit here is those discounting .info should not. with over 6 million active registrations, they are number 4. And if you care to drill down just a bit further, they are the only gTLD that came after the .com, .net and .org that has respectable numbers other than .biz.


So even if we get to the point that they sit in boardrooms to decide their "Domain Strategy" (must be a recurring wet dream of mine) they all still have to consider the more established ones FIRST. And then they will start the meeting with .com and they will end their meeting with .com.

What they decide to do inside those .com boundaries are likely to only support their .com efforts. One way or the other that is the END game for each one. If I want to impress you with a list of current companies that own .mobi you could give a rats ass. It's meaningless to you and me. It has no meaning to them either. But they have it. So is there a commercial value? Well if there is one for RickSchwartz.mobi, it is probably pretty low. Type in most BRAND.mobi and most are owned and inactive or point back to the .com.

And of course just because I don't talk about much country codes does not mean I don't understand or respect their place.  It is not my focus but surely that is much less risky than what is coming. Surely folks can see that. Given a casino, I would be much more interested in that table. Those are also based on numbers and the variables are population and buying power. So not all are the same and as you have seen, certain country codes are quite valuable.

I am a fool for the numbers. I read them like a detective reads a murder mystery. I read things into them. I drill down on them. I NEVER fear the answer. "Numbers don't lie. People do." I have that thought written on my personal checks. "Trust Numbers Not People". That is the way for me.

The numbers tell a story. They guide you in different directions. They assist you in every single thing there is in the universe. Most people are scared to death of the numbers.  I have seen it throughout my life with endeavor after endeavor always different people but always allergic to numbers. When they count cost they count at the lowest variable. When I count, I will add 20% because that is closer to reality and then there are no surprises.

So none of us own the numbers but each of us gets to interpret the numbers. I have many different ways to interpret numbers because I can look at the same set of numbers from all sides. Even change one variable to see what could or would happen.

So what do you think happens when you add 900 to the list above? Some will say that it splits it all up 900 different and equal slices. In their DREAMS! That of course is an impossibility. Some extensions will be more equal than other extensions.

Please don't just look at the chart. Study it! Ask yourself how long have they been around? How much competition did they have? Why are they not growing? Why are some shrinking? How important are they to you? To anyone? Some are, some are not, some you just .laugh.

This is not a roadmap? A peek inside? You can do it by quarter or by year. And see the difference between a Registry success and a domain investor success. If you are coming at all this from an emotional position, at least put on your math cap and come at it from a number standpoint. A risk vs reward standpoint.

I think the two extensions we will see up here are .web and perhaps .shop. Out of 900. Most will never get past .aero  at 8868 and we all know how meaningful that extension is to your flipping and investment careers. .Mobi at over 1 million. Is that one important to ya?

I am just searching for answers like you and I am sharing exactly how I come to the conclusions I do. Right or wrong. It isn't like I put a finger in the wind. Spent a year looking at this from every side imaginable. But numbers never lie as long as the numbers are true and factual. The way I look at it, I would rather save up for the winner than tie my dollars up. I have learned that when I buy the best, I am rewarded. I would rather overpay for quality than get a bargain on anything else. Not everyone thinks that way. In fact, most don't.

Rick Schwartz

The Business of NOISE will Define 2014!

Morning Folks!!

I have talked about "Noise" for many years. But I've been especially focused on the noise the last 12 months because you could see the noise coming a year or more away. And now we are entering the noisy zone. 2014.

For me the noise is equal to Bullshit. Noise equals bullshit. There's good bullshit and then misleading bullshit. Guess which one we are witnessing?

How do you navigate through all this noise and all this bullshit? As you see stories are being fed everywhere about the death of dot com and pretty obvious who is feeding those stories. I don't think it does them any good. I think it makes them look silly and desperate. I think this is about the dumbest thing I've ever seen. And it's just noise.  They keep repeating the same noise trying to brainwash you that black is white. And they all own it. Together, they own it. That is just how it is and will unfold.

You think this is going to be a fun year? Think again. Some of you won't know which way is up pretty soon if you don't find some safe and noiseless zone to operate out of.

So I think the biggest job in 2014 is tuning out the noise and digging for facts and parallels. You have to turn to your inner strength. You have to recognize reality from wishful thinking. Bottom-line, people will do what's in their own best self-interest. That's it nothing more nothing less. And the noise proves it. And the pitch will get worse.

This is just the beginning of the noise. Releasing sporadic pieces of noise. But what does it look like when 900 are chirping at the same time?  They come together and I think we can go down together. I think with the exception of a handful you are witnessing one of the greatest failures of all time. This could be an epic global failure concocted by certain folks for the wrong reasons and still to play out.

I can just speak for myself. But the noise is a turn off. The noise is an act of desperation before it even starts. If the desperation as you see it, and it's obvious, is now what will the desperation look like when they go deeper into the hole? I'm sorry this just goes against every business principle I have  ever seen in my entire life. It's foolhardy for the majority of them so everything you are about to hear will be as true as dot com is dying. That line will come back to bury them. It's hard to take any of it seriously when you start with BULLSHIT! This is turning into their #1 marketing scheme. Pretty weak and many are going to lose their credibility each time they repeat it.

The scariest part to me is the real Achilles tendon in all this is that they keep talking for the little guy. We are all told about the little guy. It's the little guy, the little Guy. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit! Has nothing to do with the little guy whatsoever. Has nothing to do with their wallets.  Does it?

If it really had to do with the little guy then every single one of them would have a disclaimer. A warning. An alert. Please beware. Potential great leak from this extension to the dot com counterpart. Then I would give them a link like THIS so that the poor guy they are so worried about won't be needlessly hurt by losing 61% of his ad dollars that he can't afford and will likely put him out of business. I don't know a company on earth that can absorb that loss in the long run.

I am allergic to bullshit. How about you? You like swallowing it? Some of you need the help. Go get a bullshit vaccine before it is too late. Lonnie Borck got it 100% right! They have to sell you something or they go out of business.

If you don't buy into their vision and blue sky, they will die on the vine. I think the first time I used that "Die on the vine" line, some did not believe it or understand it. I absolutely guarantee you that by this time next year you will be an EXPERT of things dying on the vine. Sorry, I just want to be on record.

I think if Frank, Paul and Daniel were not involved, none of us would even be considering this seriously. I think the entire tone would be quite different.  The conversation would be quite different. I wish them all well. I wish you well whatever your decision is. Whatever your choice. I wish you great success.

But I ain't buying into this nonsense. 900 knockoffs trying to duplicate something that was unique at a unique moment in history.

Our job is still to separate the noise from fact and reality. Is that not true?

Just go in with eyes wide open. Then when the "news releases" about this sale or that sale come out designed strictly to pump up their own sales, ask yourself is that from the same source feeding the dot com is dead stories everywhere? Don't be a sucker when that happens and I guarantee it will happen just like the volume of the noise will get so loud you will just want to cover your ears in the months ahead. 900 squakers fighting for their very survival and how many will be meaningful in a year from now? Two years? Five years? How many will survive the first year? How many won't? How many will have to be consolidated? How many will have to be taken over? How many will find nobody to take them over? How many won't even care?

Many more questions than answers. And the answers are sometimes no answers, just .noise.

If you don't buy what they sell, game over. Pass the .Kool-Aid.

Rick Schwartz

Kool.Aid Drinker Reality Test.

Morning Folks!!

Did I write this 6 YEARS or 6 MINUTES ago. Even a comparison to 450 Lemonade stands.

I was close. 900 Kool.Aid stands and they must have read this post not to have lemonade. My suggestion was Grape Juice!


What lessons can be learned? What are the parallels and what are the differences?

Just questions to make us think.

Rick Schwartz

.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."


Rick Schwartz