Good morning from the HIGH SEAS

Myship_2I
am on the 8th day of
a 9 day cruise. Most cabins on a ship are about 200sq. ft. The cabin I am in is
5300 sq. ft. Complete with private swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzi. The butler
brings breakfast at 8:30 and the concierge takes care of all the daily
arrangements. This is the 2nd time in the last 12 months I have taken the same
cruise and same suite. It just doesn't get much better.


 



I like this lifestyle
and I will do what I can do to protect it. Next week or the week after DNJournal
will report on a domain sale I inked yesterday. The domain sold for $750,000 to
the end user. A domain I registered in 1997. So not a bad return. $70 or $100
turns into $750k. in 10 years. More details to follow. What I can say is this
will be a VERY high profile domain and used by a true pioneer of the Internet.
Their site up before I even bought my first domain name in 1995.


 



So things are
great.....BUT.....


 



There are flaws and
abuses on the Internet. In lawmakers zeal to fix things there will be some tiny
provision somewhere that will change how you do business. It WILL happen. It's
not an 'If.' Domainers think they are immune to losing everything. All they have
to do is put gold in their pocket but don't have resources allocated to
protecting and preserving that gold. I see 2008 as the last chance domainers
will have a say in their own industry. The under toe that will come this year
will remove all cockyness from anyone who reads this.


 


Sure, it's easy to
laugh and ignore. It's much harder to educate yourselves about threats on
multiple fronts. If domainers are not represented at each of those fronts, they
forfeit and whatever the aggressor wants, the aggressor will get.

What is the state of
the industry? Read what the prominent folks of the
industry
have to say. Also you can see my  extended thoughts on the middle and wnd of page3.
The VERY LEAST anyone
reading this should do is get the ICA newsletter and see
the attack we are under. Better yet, join the ICA and protect your assets. Help
expose abuses. The latest by netsol. If you don't know what is going on....are
you really even in the domain industry?


 


Have a GREAT
day!
Rick Schwartz




13 thoughts on “Good morning from the HIGH SEAS

  1. Successclick

    Hi Rick,
    Well it looks like you’re have a great time! Be safe on your vacation and keep your good insights coming for the rest of us domainers. I am going to join the ICA right now. Shame on me for delaying it.
    peace
    Stephen Douglas
    Successful Domain Management™
    BLOG: http://www.Successclick.com
    DomainRelevance.com
    “Own Your Competition™”

    Reply
  2. Charley

    Rick,
    It’d be nice if you could mention the method of negotitation with the end user. This would be a resource for newbie brokers.
    Thanks

    Reply
  3. marcia lynn

    geesh, i was all excited about having booked my cruise and getting the only 1325 sq ft royal suite on the boat.
    burst my bubble!
    what boat has a 5300 sq ft suite?

    Reply
  4. Basicity

    Is it telecom.com? DomainNameNews reported yesterday that Deutsche Telekom bought the domain telecom recently for about $700K, which is around the figure you mentioned above.

    Reply
  5. ASN5

    Enjoy!
    (But it does seem that with 5,300 sq. ft. there would have been room for a couple of us to tag along.)
    And, a big congrats on your sale!
    I’ve been reading your recent writings and I must say that I can see why you would be described as optimistic; the chances of voluntary changes by people exploiting the system for profit are two – slim and none.
    I agree with almost everything you’re writing, except the ICA being much help to the individual domain name investor.
    The companies running the ICA seem to be the same people that are committing abuses and refusing to operate in a transparent manner. I can’t even find anything on the website about how the organization is run.
    Where is the list of ICA members in good standing? Where are the Bylaws? How often do they meet? Are meetings open to all members? Do members have any voting rights? How are the issues selected?
    It’s not very transparent.
    I noticed that two days after I wrote a comment responding to an article (http://www.thedomains.com/2007/12/21/biggest-threat-to-the-domain-industry/ ), the ICA had re-written their website with verbiage that includes the word”investor” several times.
    Unfortunately, just mentioning investors doesn’t actually do anything for them. And until the ICA opens up a lot more, I’ll have a hard time shelling out dollars to help the lobbying efforts of what looks like the same companies that are having a hard time respecting the spirit of their own ICA Member Code of Conduct.

    Reply
  6. Michael Collins

    Hi Sanchay,
    I would like to address your questions about ICA for Rick. First, the issues that you raise are excellent ones for any association that purports to represent the interests of an industry. I assure you that any lack of transparency is not by design. It maybe because of lack of resources and my own failure to anticipate peoples questions. For quite some time our website was broken and I could not add any content. We had a volunteer help us create our new site. He was willing to work without any cash payment, but he had limited time to help us. During the time that he was working on the site, I edited many of our web pages. It was a coincidence that our new website was published soon after your comment. I did not see it until today. However, I completely agree with you that our web content didn’t adequately include investment and too much emphasis was on traffic. While traffic is still a major factor of domain value, not all value comes from traffic.
    One board member will be elected by each of the Professional, Silver, and Gold membership levels once that membership level reaches a minimum number of members. The Gold level has already reached the minimum level and Gold members will be electing a board member soon. I am not free to publish a membership list. It is a good idea, but it should be an opt in list. I will ask members to join an opt-in membership list in my next newsletter. You can see who makes up the board here. http://www.internetcommerce.org/our_people
    I am constantly polling our members for their input in directing our organization. You can always contact me if you have any questions. I am very open and responsive.
    http://www.internetcommerce.org/contact_us
    Just a few days ago I published a comprehensive list of our lobbying activities and our policy positions.
    http://www.internetcommerce.org/member_benefits
    Best regards,
    Michael Collins
    Internet Commerce Association

    Reply
  7. ASN5

    Rick and friends,
    You guys have every right to promote your ideas and to advocate them to others in whatever way you believe to advance your position. And from Michael’s post (thanks for the info), it looks like you have some worthy goals.
    Still, sometimes it just seems like an”us and them” proposition that reminds me of a good ole boy network or something. I mean, I see that some of the ICA issues are a matter of ethics, but there just don’t seem to be enough of them – at least not to be representing the entire industry.
    I guess I’m looking for an organization (people) that think a member-owned registrar would be a good idea. You know, a registrar that would act in the best interest of registrants in EVERY instance.
    I imagine a transparent fixed-price marketplace where you know who’s buying and selling and the historic data for sale prices is available for review. Or even a transparent marketplace where advertising agencies can submit concepts for which they need a domain name.
    Or what about a transparent auction where only your domain name is judged for inclusion – not your reserve – which should be private matter instead of an endorsement by the marketplace.
    I can also imagine that such an organization might have an educational function too – not just for Congress, but for its members. One look at the surfeit of worthless domain names being publicly offered for sale should show the desperate need. And what about the tax ramifications of being a domain name business vs. a domain name investor? Is there an ideal way to structure that?
    Or what about group stuff? The organization I’m thinking about would have some focus on its members common needs; traditional things like group advertising, group marketing, group liability insurance or an umbrella policy – that sort of thing.
    I’m not ignorant to the costs associated with some of these things, but its not like a bunch of starving artists talking about opening a New York gallery either. With some direction and encouragement from the right people, I think a lot of these things could be funded.
    Even cash contributions might not be as difficult as you think if they were funding goals that benefited domain name owners in a DIRECT way.
    With the recent shenanigans at Network Solutions and other registrars being passed around like a joynt at a Bonnaroo concert, I believe many, many domain name owners would have enough interest in a stable, member-owned registrar to cough up a contribution – and that’s just cash. Even the most financially pressured portfolio holder would have a hard time not contributing a good domain name to a benefit auction.
    Maybe I’ve been jaded by all the years; all I know is that over the past few I’ve watched one self-serving exploit after another surface without any noticeable resistance; continually pushing things in a direction I wasn’t prepared to go.
    I guess the fact I’m finally writing about it is part of a personal process to find out if anyone else feels the way I do – or if I just need to sell my portfolio and find something else to do.
    Sorry if I stepped on you guy’s toes in the process.

    Reply
  8. Rick T

    Congrats Rick,
    Of course we all would love to close a deal like that some day.
    Up front, I’m a”newbie” with 20-something Domain Names in my small portfolio (so far) but I have joined ICA and have been reading your comments in DN Journal. Specifically, I’m wondering WHAT is going on behind the scenes and WHO is involved in scheming to”take our assets” i.e. the Domain Names ?
    We have sucessfully and legally registered our Domain Names and”own” the rights to those names, similar to owning the deed to a parcel of Real Estate.
    The only”threats” I envision would have to come from federal legislation either in the form of IRS codes that tax the Capital Gains on the sale of Domain Names at an extremely high rate, say 75%-80%, OR some”pretzel logic” legislation that allows the government to seize ownership similar to the principals of Eminent Domain that can be utilized in the condemnation of actual parcels of Real Estate (dirt) for the”good of the state” (when they want to build a highway through your house). In the course of the Eminent Domain process the OWNER is compensated a fraction of the Fair Market Value of the parcel of Real Estate.
    If and when you get a chance to review this post, please comment on any light you may be able to shed on these impending”threats” to our rights of ownership.
    Thanks for reading my”long-winded” concerns.

    Reply
  9. ג'קוזי

    HI…
    Really I also like the same lifestyle. I am planning to get a yacht… I thing it will be little bit difficult to maintain it but that’s ok. I want to see my dream come true….
    Thanks.

    Reply

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