I started this post as just a Happy Holidays post and then it just kind of evolved.
I almost feel guilty for having such a great 2008. While I am watching so
many sectors suffering and thousands of businesses on the verge of going broke,
I feel a little guilty.
At TRAFFIC in New York City we feasted on delicacies with unlimited lobster, shrimp, sushi, drinks and a spread more grand than anything we have ever done while on the other
side of the river they were in full panic mode. The contrast to the old and new
economy was never more vivid. Ask anyone that was there. It was quite a moment
that night. One I will never forget. One they could write about in the history
2008 for the domain industry was damn good!! Not so good if you chase
registration fees for a living. But if you have a solid portfolio of domains
names, damn good!
I always said 2008 would be challenging and it was. Survival in 2009 is
going to be less about domains and more about lifestyle. If your bills are low
and your income good, you will survive. On the other hand there will be many on
the margins that will be washed away.
I have long said that 2008 will be a breeze to get through even though the news would be very bad but 2009 would prove to be the
most difficult year in several generations. It's going to be ugly. Very ugly.
The foundation of the world's economic system is in crisis. 2008 is like the day
before the hurricane strikes. Some prepare and do what they can to protect
themselves. Yet others say the sun is shining and they doubt it will be as bad
as they say. My take on the hurricane coming known as 2009, it has the potential
to be much worse than they say. We all hope for the best, but the best can't hurt us. The worst is definitely something to be afraid of. The worst has the upper hand.
In the summer there was a glut of goods on the shelves and in the pipeline.
The panic has made many retailers sell for cost and below cost to try to
liquidate as much inventory as possible. The first thing you will see and it has
already begun is shortages. First you have a glut. Then that episode is followed
by shortages. You are seeing factories shut down. Distribution is being
disrupted. Folks and businesses are hoarding cash and afraid to order goods. Their
shelves are about to be empty and it may be some time for those shelves to be
replenished. That becomes the fatal blow. No money, no goods, bye bye.
We are about to see a rash of retailers go under. Some very big ones. I
think one of the the biggest will be Sears. They are already hanging on for dear
life from what it looks like to me. Same with restaurants, jewelry stores, spas etc. Main St and the malls are
about to look a lot different. Malls going out of business? Yup!
The beneficiary to all this will be the Internet in general and domains in
particular. Especially income producing domains as banks and TBills start paying
A domain making $10,000 a year is like having $1 Million in the bank at 1%,
$500k at 2%, $250k at 4%. The safest places to put your money are likely paying
close to 0%! So a domain making just $27.40 a day with a history really is an
attractive investment today and one that should be exploited. Domains ARE a
great long term investment. Something we as an industry have known for many
years. Now others are going to be looking for safety and domain names are in
their direct path.
But no matter how well any of us do, we too will feel the pinch. Our lives
will be affected by this. Your favorite restaurant is going broke. Maybe. But it
will be things like this that will happen and the quality of life may go down no
matter how much money you have or make.
They are throwing trillions and trillions on the fire trying to get it
under control. Not a single expert in the world knows if it will work. Obviously
if it does not work we have created an even bigger problem and that is something
almost too scary to even discuss. When you hear Warren Buffet say it is an
'Economic Pearl Harbor' it is time to pay attention. Time to prepare. Time to
realize this is no drill. 2009 is going to be a year I can't even write what I
believe is about to happen.
Whatever has happened in 2008 really won't even begin to manifest itself
until 2009. The fallout of all this has not hit yet. It will. It is. There is no
hiding from it. Be prepared for as flurry of collapses right after Christmas and
into the first half of next year. An avalanche. Like nothing any of us have
ever seen. Things are tough on Main St. They are fighting for survival. It's all
about buying time and the 1st of each month gives birth to another group that
can't meet their obligations and collapse.
Meanwhile domainers are busy building, expanding, testing and breaking new
ground. Parking is going thru a transformation. The traffic that domainers hold
is moving around at a pace never seen before. The testing has never been more
important. Optimizing each domains has never been more important. The race is
on. Parking companies in a rush to improve their interface and click thrus while
at the same time having to deal with traffic swings and losses that they just
are not accustomed to and some may not be prepared to absorb. Downsizing is
coming. Consolidation is coming. Opportunity is also coming. Those that are
strong may seize opportunity. Those that are weak ARE the opportunity.
No question about it. We live in interesting times and I think 2009 is
going to be a little too interesting. The numbers paint a picture that scares
the hell out folks that understand those numbers. On my check I have my favorite
self made quote. 'Trust numbers, not people.' which is from the saying I have,
'Numbers I trust, people I don't' or in more blunt terms, 'People lie, Numbers
don't.' In 2009 it will be all about the numbers. No talking will change the
Have a very Merry Christmas. A Happy Hanukkah. And the best of New Year's!
Most importantly, I hope you and your families get thru 2009 healthy and