The 5 year nap theory and Gut Instinct

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz

7 thoughts on “The 5 year nap theory and Gut Instinct

  1. al

    Great to the point post Rick,
    “sometimes you can earn more doing nothing than doing something”
    Totally agree with that, but also know how hard it is for people if they don’t have the “GUT INSTINCT” at the right moment cause they would have to rely on strategic implementation based on former lifetime experiences. And the same goes here that “STRATEGIC IMPLEMENTATION” sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. So experimenting with all kinds of things will get you farthest.
    “For those that buy domains strictly based on stats, I would suggest that may work sometimes, but without knowing the nuts and bolts BEYOND the stats, I am sure there is opportunity passing them by just because so many have yet to develop that 6th sense.”
    Recently I had an experiment with myself: Buy “gut instinct” names and buy as many “strategic implemented” names based on what I’ve learned in the past few years. Turned out that the “gut instinct” names of the new portfolio convert best. After years of experience it made me think, what have I learned these last few years? That would be that my “gut instinct” is still smarter than my conscious strategic implementation. That’s food for thought. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be needing the “strategic implementation” though, but you might be better of using it elsewhere. As for the people that let opportunity pass by, I’m glad. Imagine 100 million other “gut instinct” domainers back in 1996 all going for the same domains. Wouldn’t that be a Hitchcock thriller. It’s like having all gold diggers of the world lining up in front of the same goldmine. And we all know what would happen, it would be a horror movie and not a thriller.
    “I have learned there are two places where gut instinct will get you nowhere. Corporate America and Politics. No room there for the most valuable of all tools.”
    Well it’s not that big of a deal seen from a relative standpoint cause NOT using the most valuable FREE tool only means you’ll have to use the “costly hard tool” being the development of instinct through strategic implementation of things and that road is one that needs a lot of hard work. In the end both will lead to the same as “time” is relative. There are many ways to get to Rome. A lot of people still don’t understand what Einstein actually really discovered and how this impacts all that “has happened” and all that “will happen“. It happened that is why there is such a thing as undeveloped “GUT INSTINCT”. So use it people, there is a reason why it was given to you and there is a reason why people don’t have the same “GUT INSTINCT” feel all at the same time. Think about it! It wouldn’t make any sense in the “world” you see around you.
    Rick thanks for not flooding the market with tons of useless posts ;-)

  2. Tasha Kidd

    A sure fire way to know you’re led by gut instinct is the trail of critics that follow you all the way to success, and the fact that the gut instinct is so strong and powerful in you, that it remains your compass, even amidst the inevitable ridicule. There’s a peace of”knowing” deep inside, that your course is strong and right — at least for you, and a resolve that those who don’t get it, don’t have to, and you can still like them and respect them, because it’s just not in them, to see what you see. They have their”lane” and I have mine, and I’m staying in my lane. For me, I view it as a God-given gift, and I feel blessed to have it.
    Great post, Rick.

  3. Kevin

    Love this post Rick. It’s dead on accurate.
    Funny thing, I was just at a Starbucks recently and your exact example happened.
    Handed the clerk a $10 bill but she rang it in as a $20 on the register and gave me too much change back. As I was stepping back I realized she’d given me an extra $10 and told her. She looked at the register with a”zombied robot” look in her eyes and said blindly”hmmmm, but the register says that’s the correct change amount”. She was clearly so mentally conditioned to trusting the machine to tell her what to do, she couldn’t even realize how the mistake was made by her initial input error to generate the output miscalculation, nor step outside that trust. How sad.
    I am a big believer in”gut instinct” also. Even when everything in black and white points to a different course, I always trust my gut instinct most on a decision to be made.
    One of the most frustating things in life though is when we have to deal with those that have been”robotized” and can no longer think for themselves, make decisions and judgments using common sense and logic etc.
    That brings to mind another funny example recently when I was leaving a Wal-Mart with a full shopping cart. One of the items I bought was a large gallon size Zephyrhills bottle of water which the clerk just put in the cart without a bag, which is how I always prefer the heavy items. So as I pass the security clerk at the exit, she yells out”Stop!” and I’m like”what’s wrong”. She goes,”I need to see your receipt.” And I said”why?”. She goes,”that water bottle isn’t in a plastic bag so you have to prove you paid for it.” I almost fell out of my skin at that point LOL, and said,”Lady you’ve got to be kidding. Do I look like the type of person that needs to steal a fricking $1 bottle of water???? (I pointed down to the 18kt gold and diamond watch I was wearing.) Stern faced she responded,”I don’t care what you look like or that you have an expensive watch, I only go by the rules and the rules say if you don’t have merchandise in a bag as you’re leaving the store, I’m supposed to stop you and make you show me your receipt.” By then I realized there was no chance of winning with this”robo” clerk and showed her my receipt to be on my way.
    But there again, classic case of someone so ingrained and mentally stymied by corporate rulery, they’ve lost their ability and self confidence to use their common sense instincts.

  4. Fantasy Futures Exchange

    yes–i definitely would have been better off with my own five year nap ;-) now i have a lot of crap to let expire and few to hang on to –it seems obvious now but wasn’t then—pk

  5. Javier Marti

    In a world of constant and accelerated change, gut instinct is as good or as bad as any analytical tool.
    My point is that you can analyze everything, and guess that you are on the right track. That’s what logic and numbers would tell you to do.
    However, through instinct you may have seen something coming (for better or worse) that the numbers could have never told you about…
    I think intuition -the sister of experience?- is useful as long as we keep it focused on the human factor of the equation in business…we can predict how humans will behave because we’ve seen it before, and we don’t change as much as we think.
    However, I am not a huge fan of intuition applied to pure technology, as we are travelling totally uncharted waters where new discoveries are changing the rules much more often and in more surprising ways that our intuition could have ever prepared us for…
    Javier Marti

  6. steve

    Great to see someone else compare the domain industry to the real estate business which is how I’ve always looked at it.
    Back in the days of the wild west, property was yours if you could afford to put a fence around it and stake your claim – it’s the same deal with generic domains. Good luck to those with the foresight and balls to do it!
    Also think there’s a lot to be said for the 5 year (or longer plan). Things have only just started…

  7. Jesse Lee

    I agree with Tasha’s comment: This is something that, unfortunately, people who invest in the”niche” market of IDNs face everyday – a trail of critics and naysayers. However, the idea of a 5-year nap, letting the market mature while you sit on a pile of gold, is right on the money (pardon the pun).


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