A post from 1998. Wow, what a ride!

Every once
in a while somebody will find an old post of mine and that happened this
morning. Thank you Owen! This post as you will see was written on July 4,
1998. There was no domain industry. As you can see, I am still trying to sell
the concept that the Internet was here to stay and just how important it is. So
this is an interesting perspective from nearly 10 years ago. My goodness, look
how the universe has changed in the past decade. What “Orbit” were you in a
decade ago? Think back to that time and what was different. Look how the world
has transformed itself in this decade. This is extremely timely as the new proposed law will change the life of every person that owns one or more domains if passed. We have come from total obscurity to being the #1 asset to legislate away from the current owners. Don't know what I am talking about? Read what Mike Berkens has to say after you read the following post. Now maybe folks will see the reason to support the Internet Commerce Association


From July
4th 1998........

Morning All!!
This is my 3rd annual July 4th post on domains.
Second on Ynot - and I believe the first was on Jonathans OLD board.
The first year they laughed me off the board
The second year they began to see what I saw
The third year I would like to show you where this 'Domain train' is
ultimately going.
First of all you MUST visualize a domain as a PHYSICAL piece of property, land,
undeveloped land.
Second you must realize that it is a MULTIDIMENSIONAL object because of
'Product branding' and WORLDWIDE address.
Third you must realize the special 'Uniqueness' ALL domains
inherently have.
Fourth......it is FREE to get to and hopefully EASY to remember and SPELL.
Fifth and MOST important, you must realize just how VALUABLE that real estate
REALLY is.
I have said one thing numerous times since I started down this path.....and 3
years later......I believe it stronger than ever!! 'The price of domains
(Electronic realestate) will go up faster than ANY other land EVER known to
man' I had made $0 at the point that I BELIEVED that statement to be true.
When I talk about domains I talk of PRIME domains. Not some of my silly
'cams' or 'gos' or 'starts' or other such veins.
(That is for down the road)  I am talking
corner properties in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, South Beach.
1 or 2 word domains that are TARGETED to a SPECIFIC group of people.
So where do I see myself at this point.......
I see myself in Times Square and I own a few corners plus a BUNCH of land on
42nd st.
When I arrived.....it was like a ghost town....it was barren and empty and MORE
than scary.
Today......I hear the sounds of a MASSIVE construction project underway. Trucks
and cranes and banging and digging and everything else you can imagine.
AND IT HAS EXPANDED!!
Those sounds are being heard in other geographic regions as well. It's not only
Manhattan!!
They have expanded to KANSAS if you were talking in domain terms, and with new
highways opening up in the form of different extensions......things get even
more interesting!
THIS is the year that the mainstream WILL figure it out. I started this journey
expecting it to be 4 or 5 years down the road before it hit. That would make my
ultimate predictions come true in the next 18 months.
So What will happen??
First of all how many of you would have imagined a year ago that the board
would have soooo many postings in references to domains....buying, selling,
trading? That IS significant.
I believe that the 'Multi national' companies of the world may begin
to see what I see. When that happens....AND IT WILL HAPPEN.....you will see a
significant amount of buying going on and the prices will go thru the roof! I
see numerous domains that will become next to priceless BECAUSE they WON'T be
for sale. THAT will cause other domain prices to rise.
Location! Location! Location!
I always believed it was a lot easier for a crummy restaurant to be successful
in a prime location with built in traffic than a GREAT restaurant that nobody
is able to find. Doesn't mean the GREAT restaurant won't be
successful.......but it DOES MEAN:
that he MUST be MUCH BETTER!
that he has to work MUCH harder!
that he has to give them a reason to go out of their way!
that he will always look down on the guy with the great location!
BUT
At some point......the GREAT restaurant may want BOTH! Wink
The BIG money IS coming! REALLLLLLLLLLY Big!
I believe it. I believed it in 1995. And I believe it stronger on THIS July 4th
than any other!
I remember last July 4th when I said to friends and such that a company's
website address would appear in every commercial, every magazine ad, every
billboard and at some point in time will become MORE important than even their
800 number. Guess what - yes, they laughed at me. I got more than a FEW raised
eyebrows.
I would say on THIS July 4th that ANY company without a presence on the net is
LOSING BUSINESS and their competition is gaining it! It indicates a company
with little foresight and if you were an investor in one of these companies I
would say it was time to change.
Keep your eyes on Disney, Microsoft, and some OLD GIANTS, plus a few unknowns
to lead the hottest race you have EVER seen. Look at the domains Disney and
Microsoft are buying up RIGHT NOW.
The BIGGEST factor!
Let's say Sears decides to build a store in Osh Kosh......It costs them $25
million, takes them 2 years to build after 5 years of planning.
VERY SLOW......VERY EXPENSIVE!
And if they get it wrong.....Ha ha!!
Now if Sears decides to build NUMEROUS websites TARGETED at different groups of
people they could take that same $$$$ and do some SERIOUS damage on the net!
AND they can do it overnight!
WHY did I stop advertising my Dirty phone numbers in all those magazines I was
in back in 1996?
Cuz on the net I could take it and turn my money around in days and I no longer
had to wait 6-9 months to get a return!
Maybe others will come to the same conclusion......If they follow the
$$$$$......then there isn't a doubt in my mind.
Sorry for the Long and Boring post......But I LOVE tradition!!
Have a happy and SAFE 4th!!
Rick Schwartz




6 thoughts on “A post from 1998. Wow, what a ride!

  1. Jeff Schneider

    Rick amazing how history repeats itself. We find ourselves the pioneers that own the virtual real estate, and the kings and queens are coming after our land.
    One thing that may help us is there are some pretty big players that also have staked their claims. I feel the stakeholders that are most endangered are the geo settlers. Hopefully the colonialists will be repelled, but not without a fight. We need to write our congressmen along with supporting the I.C.A.

    Reply
  2. Bob DeCecco

    Brilliance at work…I have met so many people in the”business world” that are rich today because of hard work and lucky timing, but Rick, you are clearly one of those that fit in the ‘visionary’ catagory and this post is proof of that. Best of all, you also know how to execute and are willing to take risks. My hat is off to you my friend. Great to meet you at T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
    P.S. – please call or email me with your next great idea so I can get in on the ground floor with you next time!!!

    Reply
  3. Robbie Ferguson

    Hi Rick,
    WOW!
    How can you always be spot on, that’s amazing. 10 years ago, think you could predict the lottery numbers for me?
    Only joking, it just shows the difference between then and now.
    We have all worked hard to make the domain industry what it is, long may it continue.
    I am also wondering if you have a price for candy.com?
    I am thinking of heading up a team of private investors from the UK to buy key names and that is a name we have discussed and believe it would be a key asset to our portfolio.
    You can email me or just post a reply.
    Cheers,
    Robbie

    Reply
  4. Enrico S.

    Rick:
    Amazing. Of course, most mainstream businesses still haven’t figured out the power and value of the internet. But you can feel the pace picking up.
    Did you notice Wolf Blitzer spends time in every segment aggressively driving viewers to various parts of its web site, podcasts and the like? At one point last week, he told viewers to go get their laptops so they could watch election results in real time on the web, and watch the analysis on TV. Clearly, CNN gets it! (but have not launched ireport.com yet :-)

    Reply
  5. Mike AI

    I remember reading that post in 1998.
    Too bad I did not pay closer attention.
    No matter what Rick, you will always be remembered as a TRUE VISIONARY.
    True visionaries are very rare. I have only met a few in my life.

    Reply

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