Sometimes you have to burn an old bridge to build a new bridge.

This is directed at some specific friends from my private chatboard and as a general statement to others following the developments of late. They know who they are. We've all known each other for many years and spent many intimate moments together and have all met face to face. This has appeared privately and I decided to make it public as a way to have it come unfiltered directly from me.

Sometimes you have to burn an old bridge to build a new bridge. A better and stronger bridge. Sometimes you have to clear the land to build a new structure and relationships.

As many of you have heard, we have buried the hatchet with Domain Sponsor. Ron Sheridan and I have kissed and made up. We hugged in public, shook hands and I feel it was genuine all the way around.

Howard and I had two constructive meetings with Lawrence, Josh and Jeff. I want to take a moment to publicly thank Chis Siverten (whose name I never spell right). But I want to thank Chris because I believe he was an important factor in having us come together.

So we move forward in a new spirit and hopefully this new bridge will be stronger and out last the old one. It brings the industry together instead of dividing it. So that brings me to what I would like from folks that if they choose, may come and go freely from my private board again.

This (my private chatboard not my blog) IS my LIVING ROOM. It will REMAIN my living room. That is something that I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to compromise on. If that is not acceptable. If that rubs you the wrong way. If you are going to hold a grudge against me. If you are going to challenge that in your mind or in your heart, let's just be friends. We don't have to interact with each other HERE. We can all communicate via many methods. Just this is my SANCTUARY. This is my home for invited guests. But please, those ARE my keys. Treat me and conduct yourselves like you were a GUEST in MY HOME. If you can't do that, I can say no more.

So if we can get to a meeting of the minds there, then I can say what I need to say and hopefully good people with good hearts and find a way forward.

In my living room, I do not expect folks to promote competing events. You can do it on an infinite amount of websites and lots of other INDUSTRY boards, but PLEASE, not here. It's just not right. Do it anywhere you like, just not here. Let ME take the lead in that department. If we are all cooperating it may not even be an issue.

It's not a place to take pot shots at me. I don't need that. I don't want that. My TIME becomes wrapped up in "Just curious" stuff. I don't like to ignore things, and feel compelled to respond when I just don't have the TIME or energy to do it. It drains me and I don't want that anymore. I don't need to justify everything I do.

I am a sensitive person. I feel things deeply. I just want to be treated nice HERE. I am a pinnata out there. But this is my HOME and I want to be surrounded by people looking out for each others back as opposed to walking around with a target on MY back. I have just always tried to do my best. Take all sides into account. And believe me folks, there are a lot of folks pulling or tugging me in one direction or another. My JOB is to take it all in. Consider it all. Make the best decision I can.

If T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is just another "Trade show" and anyone is going to run around and saying things that are not positive and have under tones of negativity, then we can still be friends. We can interact. Just not HERE. Don't use my resources to undermine my hard work and that of Howard and our wives.

I don't think I am asking much in return for devoting my TIME to what I believe has benefited everyone in the business. If you don't think I have done good. Have done things that you have such venom in your heart for me, then please, you just don't belong here and those folks are the ones I just want no part of. You see how they behave. That behavior would not be welcome in any of our homes. I don't think that is unreasonable. That is MY TOS.

It's OK if you don't accept the terms. Just don't say you do when you really don't and you are out to undermine me, Howard, TRAFFIC at every turn. If THAT is who you are and SOME of you ARE in that camp, then I ask you to pause a moment and decide how YOU want to move forward. The burden is on you at THIS juncture. I have my heart open. It's a tender heart. If you expect to poke that heart, or worse, let's just agree to disagree and go our own ways. If you want to open your heart, then we can all move forward. It is your decisions and choice. I have only good will. If you fool me, that is on you.

But if we can get thru these TINY hurdles, we can all do great things.

So that is my olive branch. Maybe you like it maybe you don't. The board has been focused on business much more than personalities of late. Like Lawrence told me....we need to take the "DRAMA" out and communicate more. The personality nonsense out for there is no place for that. Can we do that? My hand is extended. My heart is open. I will do my part as well. That is my proposal. I can't do more. I REFUSE to do less. If we can come to common ground, GREAT! If we can't then that is just how it is and I guess we will all deal with it. Either way, I hope we can mend things, If not, it is ok.

Right now I am exhausted and I can't wait to get home and reflect on what we all accomplished this week at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. and where we go from here. I hope we did what we promised at the show. I think we pulled it off. The folks seemed to be happy with things. They were THRILLED that DS and us were able to fix things and agree to work closer and cooperate and still remain competitors without trying to injure us.

And before I sign off, want to thank the folks at Sedo for the pre event. It showed there is a way to have functions that help each other. I hope it is a model we can use in the future that allows more of us to make it EASIER for those coming from Australia and other distant countries from flying back and forth more than necessary.

Oh well better shut up before I get in trouble. I hope the folks reading this know me well enough to know the spirit of what I have written. It is not a sign of weakness and I have never felt stronger. It is just doing my part to fix things and get on the right course. I can do no more than that. Hand extended. Heart opened. But ZERO tolerance from my beliefs and TOS.

Have a GREAT day.
Rick Schwartz


14 thoughts on “Sometimes you have to burn an old bridge to build a new bridge.

  1. Donna Mahony

    Since I received the email direct from you, I assume this post was to me also so I will reply here as frankly as I can although I doubt it will be least no in it’s entirety..
    I was a member of your board for several years. Through those years I was told by those that didn’t care for you,that you would turn on me in a heartbeat if you ever had even a thought that I was not furthering your agenda. I fought for you pubically, told folks they were wrong about you, that you encouraged free thinking and competition. You always told us competition was healthy as it made both sides work harder. When you opened up your board to sponsors and corporations you said it was healthy for all the competitors to meet and get along. You encouraged us to speak openly to these folks who were competing with each other for our business. After all, each of us is competing with each other on some level. Those were your words, Rick, until you became the person they were competing with…then the rules changed.
    Even looking at your current TOS, I don’t see that I violated anything there. There was one time I asked who was going to Domainfest on the board, you sent me an email telling me you didn’t appreciate me mentioning Domainfest. How was I to know before hand? Folks asked who was attending different functions all the time. I respected your email and never brought it up again…although I thought it odd considering you always valued competition. Yet, without talking to me first, you threw me out like yesterdays trash. You are not the only person with feelings and as a person who speaks openly about being hurt, you should think of how your actions hurt others.
    In the early days of TRAFFIC, we asked you on the board if it was a TRAFFIC board or still your living room. You stated that TRAFFIC, WADND and the board were all seperate. It didn’t turn out that way. At one point you even tried to demand that we all donated cash to WADND if we wanted to conduct business in your living room. Both my handyman and my housekeeper have gotten jobs from my house in my own living room…they are my friends, I would never figure they owed me anything.
    You have changed over the years. We all have our own agendas…thats what makes us who we are. You seem to see a persons own agenda as an agenda against you, which simply isn’t the case. It’s childlike behavior to think that everything that goes on in the industry is pro or con Rick Schwartz. Yet, in your eyes, if it isn’t in your benefit, your feelings toward the people/company change in a flash. You were the staunchest supporter of Domain Sponsor at one time. Nothing changed in their business practices from point a to b except they became competition. You and I were friends til I attended Domainfest….was I no longer allowed to choose where I spent my time and money and still be your friend and a worthy board member? I am still the same person I always was, I continued to add value to your board. What happened? Did you forget I donated cash to the first TRAFFIC? Did you forget I donated cash to WADND? Did you forget I donated cash to bring in Be Stein? Not to mention the Domain Defense Fund also. You see Rick, I was a supporter of your efforts but in my eyes and heart, I need to support all those who try to further and better our industry.
    For years I believed in you when we would ask for details and get a reply like…if you knew the whole story…if you knew this, if you knew never did enlighten us, just made vague undermining of other people and companies. Sorry Rick…but I no longer am blind to the fact that you don’t want to further the industry..your poor behavior over the past month with the public tantrums tells me you want to take over the industry at any cost…that you will destroy the industry with your public shameful bahavior before you will share your space.
    I don’t harbor any ill feelings. Quite the contrary…I feel bad that for all you have and have accomplished, you are plagued by insecurities and fear.

  2. Crystal L. Cox

    Rick, thanks for the heartfelt comment. you Have every right to Demand and Expect that people respect you on your Turf. The World is hard enough on us all and to have folks come into your sancutuary with negativity is disrespectfull to us all. They have a blog, they can Yap there. Hope you made it home safe and all is well.

  3. David Crutcher

    Rick, that’s well written an it shows another talent you hold. I’m a believer that it takes a big man to forgive something like that and good for you but remember, they did it once they won’t hesitate to poke you in the eye again and laugh all the way to the bank.
    Rick, I hope this isn’t too out of place and if so let me know. We have some dn’s I believe are live auction quality, what’s the best way to find out?

  4. Sahar Sarid

    There are no doubt personal agendas involved when declaring”I’m here to help the industry”, and in my humble opinion, there’s nothing wrong with it.
    You can do good for the industry and at the same time do good to yourself. The perfect game plan? maybe.
    On some of the panels at TRAFFIC I felt many on panels which I participated were there promoting their products and services and at first, I felt they have an agenda to say what they say. Thinking further about it, is it really contradictory if they BELIEVE in their products and services in terms of helping their customers and helping the industry? I mean, if promoting what you believe in is with complete harmony with furthering the industry, should you not do so?
    Rick runs a business called Targeted Traffic, a personal for-profit business. It sits in complete harmony with furthering the industry. By bringing great people together, he has done for this industry more then anyone else I know of.
    I’ve made lifelong friends through Rick’s activities, through the board, through TRAFFIC. I’ve met millionaires and even billionaires who sat with me for hours giving me advice, guiding me in the right direction. I’ve seen Moniker’s auction, an integral part of TRAFFIC, go from 50K to possibly 15M (if you count the result of silent auction this time around), and more importantly, I’ve grown together through good times and bad times, with many who are part of Rick’s board and Rick’s conference.
    So while Rick has allot of faults (god knows we all have that!), he is still one of the very few men I would want on my side on good times, and bad times.
    And to those who are quick to judge that I’m writing all this because Rick is a close friend of mine, let me not disappoint you – I’m proud to say you are absolutely right.

  5. David V

    I’m glad to see you and”they” have come to some type of terms you can both live with. I don’t know who”they” are, nor the circumstances exactly, and quite frankly it doesn’t matter. Just seeing some of the TOP leaders of the industry fighting amongst themselves was a little disheartening, although perhaps justified. ? Don’t know. Rick, you are a role model to many whether you like it or not. You, Sahar, Frank, and others who have succeeded where others are struggling (or learning), are the leaders. People hang on your words and advice. Not blind followers, but eager”students”. Thanks, and keep up the good work.

  6. Bob Luther

    Thanks for an awesome TRAFFIC in New York. It WAS worth every penny to me. Not just once or twice, but every time I sat down at a table for a meal….I was able to meet fascinating and informative people involved in some aspect of domains. Plus, in this type of setting, people are open and willing to share ideas and information. My biggest challenge associated with the three TRAFFIC conferences that I have attended is….implementing all I have learned before the next TRAFFIC rolls around. But I am not complaining! Best regards and thanks.

  7. Tia Wood

    I’ve been following this and hate to hear how good people are involved. Rick took a chance on me: a complete nobody and opened the doors of opportunity for me and allowed me into his living room. I am nobody to help”further his agendas” but he still let me in. If I seen the same things happening on my personal website, I would feel the same way as Rick. You don’t walk into somebodies living room and paste competitor fliers on the wall. The being said, I still hope everyone can work things out.

  8. Basicity

    Rick, thanks for the post. There are lessons from your post that we can all learn and apply to everyday life and business relationships.
    And a bigger thank-you for letting Donna post her comment, even though you can easily not approve it for posting. Personally, I don’t know you. What I know of you is from all the great and inspiring stories and articles that I’ve read about you over the years. While Donna’s comment has not altered my thinking/opinion of you as a person and businessman, it’s very refreshing to read because it’s something the public don’t know about and certainly not the subject of many stories and articles that I have read about you.

  9. Andy Wagner

    There seem to be a lot of hate out there by those who have done little. They yack so much about junk I don’t know when they have time to live their own lives. TRaffic was great and the only trash talking you hear are from the people that were not even there repeating things they made up like parrot birds. Anyone foolish enough to believe them are the people that should not come to your show anyway. Who wants to be around that crowd? Keep up the good work.

  10. wise

    Business is Business and should never be personal. So, you have the courage to admit what has happened to your relationship. I thank you for that but, I visit you in your LIVING ROOM to know what you think about what the FUTURE holds for DOMAINS. How was T.R.A.F.F.I.C and when will more info be released? Did you just sell a domain for 10 million and if so, why did you sell it after you have told us to hold on to our domain holdings? Gratz.

  11. S.I. Mitchell

    I can appreciate your honesty and disclosure in this post…but what I really want to know, is what a little fish like myself has to do to get access to hang out in your living room?
    Brujah told me a year or two ago and I never followed up.


    Hi Rick
    That was some release from the gut.
    bet it felt good to finally get it out. :)
    I’m also glad that Donna came and posted, as she too needed to exhale.
    as you both breathe in each others perceptions, take a moment to reflect on how a common ground would solidify the community.
    i too, visited your”living room” and thought i was in a library.
    it was quiet, yet you could hear the messages.
    a place full of knowledge, but i never got a chance to explore all the shelves.
    if you open it up again, please allow us back….including Donna
    i’d also like to see you step outside”your crib” for a minute after you’ve unpacked and got some rest. then come over to donna’s living room for a visit.
    and bring that olive branch with you. :)
    Donald Williams Jr.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.