The Audacity of Nope

Morning Folks!!

I get a lot of emails each day looking to buy this domain or that domain.
Since I don't sell wholesale to domainers, my one word answer when I even answer
one of these emails is 'Nope.' Pretty simple and straight to the point.

Most can handle that. Then we get to the ones that can't. They give me a
litany of reasons why I should change my mind and then usually followed by some
low ball offer that shows that even the domainer is clueless. Then I get pissed
at myself for even wasting my time responding.

Sometimes they will offer to even trade a domain. But domainers are not
very good at trading. See when you want the domain that someone else has, you
have to offer in a trade much more than that domain is worth to get to a deal.
In baseball if you want Derek Jeter, you don't just offer another mediocre
player that plays the same position in trade. That would be laughable. You may
offer a pitcher that won 20 games and a rookie shortstop with a promising future
along with 2 draft choices. THAT is a trade and THAT is what domainers need to
learn if they want a successful trade.

$25,000 for a domain won't motivate me. You will get a famous 'Nope. You
want my domain, offer me a domain or several that would enhance my collection.
That would give me a higher monthly return. That would be attractive. Trades
trump dollars. Structured correctly they can be very rewarding for both parties.
But if you want a domain, try offering something substantial in trade.

I learned long ago that the word 'No' is the single most powerful word in
any of our arsenals. Learning to say no is difficult. Then when you get really
good at it, you can say 'Nope' and feel no reason to defend your decision.
That's the audacity of Nope.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Domain Channel shrinking? Nonsense!

Morning Folks!!

I am hearing talk that the domain channel is getting smaller. That's nonsense. It is not getting smaller. It is expanding and changing and traffic is going to more diverse places, but not getting smaller. The way or what some COUNT may may make it seem like it is getting smaller but that is when you don't count the right way. Less domainers? Probably. Less renewals of worthless and idiotic domains? Probably. Is that a bad thing? If your boat has 500lbs of water in it, is it a bad thing to bail that water out to getter better mileage and have it go faster?

What is happening is some sectors are experiencing loss of market share because domainer's are doing everything they can to develop their properties on one hand and many are becoming their own registrars on the other. They are doing joint ventures. They are engaged in creative deals and transactions and leases. They are working and engaged and not relying on what worked yesterday.

In 2007 I sent about 95% of my traffic to PPC. As we enter 2009 that number is about 60%. It took 1 year to readjust 35% of my traffic to keep my income from declining as much as it could have and in some cases even rise. Payouts are down for some domains and up for other domains. Some parking companies are still innovating while others are not and some will disappear or consolidate or sell out. There is probably some real pain to come, but I also believe as they wipe out those that were in the business of abusing the system, the system will get stronger and payouts will no longer be strangled. Payouts are important whether you use ppc or not. This is what drives everything. More sales by better traffic and less crap is what is needed. Bail the water out because that water costs us all a LOT of $$$.

What was a 95% PPC industry is now in decline and THAT is the sector in decline and getting smaller. That is before I even bring Google into the conversation. But some companies are more innovative than others. Some understand domains more than others. Some have different views and ways of doing business. Some even have the potential to get stronger and take the business away from their competition. But to do that, you have to do something dramatic and bold. Business as usual means that each month you will watch your business shrink. The TRICK right now is to stabilize things and put yourself in a position to grow. If your numbers are flat for 2009 you are a big winner. If your numbers were flat in 2008 you would be earning a lot more today. The enemy is decline. So treading water in times like this is a great victory and successes are oh so much sweeter.

Being aggressive will be in vogue and that is why the domain industry is about to experience some huge growth. Again, it may not be on our timetable but after the collapse of 2002 it was domains that I always said would be left from the burning embers of the first collapse. Domains experienced great growth in value as soon as the market recovered. This time the growth and rewards will be much bigger and more important.

Domains as a tool are getting stronger and more important. The demand by END USERS is up. The demand inside the industry is much less important.

Times may not be good, but times have never been better for deal making with end users. That is why 2009 will be about going outside the walls and confines of the industry. Success will be found, just not in the same places and not with the same people.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Are You Prepared for the Meltdown? Door #1 or Door #2

Morning Folks!!

We are at a dire point economically and the worst part is the fallout from
all the closing and layoffs have yet to be felt. If 1/2 million people get laid
off THIS WEEK it takes months before that really impacts the system. Some will
impact immediately. The vacation, the eating out, the gifts, and then the
important stuff follows later. You can't put a happy face on this. We are in the
midst of a total economic and banking meltdown that will melt everything in it's path like lava flowing as a river after the volcano explodes. I watch this day
by day and the events that are happening are so big and happening so furiously
fast that the news can't even keep up with it. Each passing day things are
exponentially worse. With taxes right around the corner, the pain is about to be

So we are left with a couple of doors. If you think things will turn around
by summer, then door #1 is for you. If you think things will be fixed by summer but
you are not sure which YEAR that summer will occur in then door #2 is for you. I
am a door #2 guy because I have yet to see anything to give me CONFIDENCE.

I remember in 2000 and using the word 'Collapse' to describe what was to
come. Most thought that was much too strong a word. It wasn't as we look back.
Today we face something much more serious and 'Meltdown' is the new word and I
could only hope to have been content with collapse. 2008 was a collapse and
2009-2010 is going to be the meltdown. I believe day to day life as we know it
is in jeopardy and that is something I have NEVER seen before. Never felt
before. Never had an indication of before.

Privately I started to write about this last summer. I am sure at that time
even my closest confidants thought I exaggerated things. Looking back they know
I got it right. I said early on that Main St. and Malls and every town in
America was going to look different. Well, it is only a few months later and
here we are.

Today for the first time I am using the word meltdown to describe what I
see coming. But this meltdown could become political as well as economic as we
have seen in peaceful Iceland. This meltdown may not send a 'Coming soon' note.
It may just show up on our doorstep one day when you wake up in the

All you can do to prepare is to pay every bill you have off and make sure
that your monthly 'Nut' is as low as it can possibly be. If the common wisdom is
to hoard cash, then your job is to question the common wisdom. Your job is to
always question the common wisdom. The 'Experts' keep being 'Surprised.' How the
hell can an 'Expert' be 'Surprised?' He is paid to be in front of things not be
surprised by events and be behind the curve.

There are things a government can do to help. There are also things a
government can do to make things exponentially worse. The problems are so deep,
so systemic, so out of control, that you really have to stretch your thinking to
believe this can be fixed in a short time.

567 Circuit City stores are about to be vacated and empty. 371 Linens and
Things. Hundreds of other stores with every brand you can think of will be
shrinking. Macy's closing at least 12 stores. When do you think these properties
will be occupied again? By summer???? I see more of you going over to door #2.
Smart move if you ask me. I can't even describe what I see coming. You can't say
this stuff out loud. But that won't stop the lava.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

It’s All About Circulation and the Trash Can

Morning folks!!
When I was a kid like many other kids, I collected coins. In coin collecting 'Circulation' is the keyword. How many coins in circulation is
the basis for value. The less available, the more they would normally be worth.
It is also the word used to describe the condition of a coin. Uncirculated means
it has not been used. It is brand new.

Later in life I was selling products and I printed millions of brochures.
In this business, part of how I judged it was exactly the opposite. Larger
circulation was better. I hired many to pass out brochures. I knew they had done
their job when I began seeing them in the garbage. That meant that I flooded the
trade show with my material. I had the market circulated. They may not need my product but my job was to make sure they knew it existed. I planted the seeds that
needed to be planted and just like in real life, most don't germinate into
sales. But a percentage do. My focus was to make the conditions right to
penetrate that percentage. The garbage can was my odometer. They were empty the
first day of a show. But there would be a point during every 3 day show that I
would hit critical mass. Where attendees knew my product was available. Where
any interest was evident or sometimes not so evident but actually kept for
reference and another source.

So enter domain Industry. Getting the message out of this great product and
investment known as domain names. Get out not to a trade show with 50,000 people
in a confined space for 5 days but to an entire planet?? How do you circulate
that?? Network Solutions was a registry but was dysfunctional. It certainly was
not an advertising or marketing machine like So the head of the
snake (Network Solutions) was not even in the game. They were passive. The few
that were into domains were each working in their own universe. Many scared to
step out of it and the rest not wanting to. Trying to keep it all a secret. But
since few if any were really communicating back then, who knew where anyone

The first chance I had to 'Circulate' about domains was the adult industry.
At first they rejected what I was saying. So I would venture to other industries
like real estate where they would reject it much more intensely. That happened
at other venues as well. So I went back to 'Jonathan's World' in late 1996 to find out it
was there no more. Eventually finding my way to Ynot and bumping back into
Jonathan. Jonathan became my single biggest aid in circulating my far fetched
ideas on domain names. He was a well respected and innovative webmaster with a
huge persona. In between that time we had met at a pay per call show in Los
Angeles. Just 1 day after the first adult Internet gathering happened. I pulled
out my list of domain names from my back pocket (all 126 of them) and we sat for a while and discussed what I had and
what I saw coming. He saw it too and that really was the beginning. He acted
like a line backer protecting a quarterback and allowed me the platform to
circulate my crazy beliefs. That was aided by payouts that were 100x what the average was at that point in time. While most were making 1/10 of one penny per visitor, I was earning a dime. I actually thought my calculator was broken or I was doing something wrong until the checks strated coming in. The checks started coming. Nothing was broken. It just proved there was gold in them thar hills. Gold nobody believed was there until that moment. Circulation had finally begun. Now to repeat it 6
billion times. And if not 6 billion than at least every English speaking

So I can get bogged down on these early stories all day. A LOT happened between 1996 and 1999. No period in my life has ever matched that era. It was like decades packed into months. Let's fast forward
to 2000 and the first domain board. Just my first attempt to have something
stand up on domain names alone. A chance to circulate and have domains stand up on their own. A starting point. I made a few opening posts and figured I would talk to myself. One by
one they came. Eventually more boards opened. To me, more circulation. More chatter.
More soldiers. Then 2004 TRAFFIC. Again a way to circulate the message with
slightly more assistance and a bigger playing field. That was the single biggest
blast I could have dreamed of to help 'Circulate' the message. It's all about
circulation. Steve Forbes and all other speakers are to qualify and circulate.
Then fast forward to today and all the blogs. More and more soldiers spreading
the word and gospel of domain investing. How could you not love it? I do. I love
it and it gives me great satisfaction as it has become so manistream and
circulation is going strong and the first question I asked has already been
answered. How to circulate domain names to 6 billion people? I think I can
safely say I see the stuff in the garbage can and that signals success. Look
where you like, I find my success in the trash
Have a GREAT day!

You can boil it all down to one single word…….

Morning folks!!

When you look at where we are economically you can boil it all down to one
single word. One single pointed word. The hardest thing I have ever had to try
and figure out is this economy or lack of one right now. But after a lot of
consideration last summer I figured it out. The lynch pin in all this. The
word......Confidence. There is no confidence in the housing markets. There is
no confidence in the banking system. There is no confidence in lending. There is
no confidence on Wall Street. There is no confidence in the CEO's that are
raping their companies for personal gain. There is no confidence in the
automobile industry. There is no confidence in our government to solve the
problem. There is no confidence in the people that hold positions of trust. So
they can throw trillions at the problem but if confidence is not restored it
will be for nothing. There is not enough money in the universe to cover the
deposits in the banks. The only thing between us and the abyss is confidence. We
should be thankful that most of us are kind of passive. But if the truth be
known I would expect things could quickly unravel.

During the summer I said nothing as I withdrew my money from Wachovia. How
could I say out loud what I thought was about to happen? So day after day I quietly ran
around opening up new bank accounts. That was when I was worried about just one
bank. That was when I still had confidence in the banking system now it was just
picking which ones would collapse. Washington Mutual was an easy one to pick and
that could be said out loud. But Wachovia??? The bank I chose to do business
with for the last 20 years? The one with all my business and personal accounts?
The one people would know I lost my mind if I said out loud? Yup that one. So
for an entire week I ran around opening accounts at every bank I could find plus
some Internet based banks. After that waste of good time they finally raised the
insurance from $100k to $250k and also announced there was not enough money in
the FDIC to pay the claims should there be a massive default. That took my
confidence and lowered it by a few points.

So here we are. First National Mattress is open for business. Confidence in
the banking system is going to get worse before it gets better. Nobody can
predict how things can manifest themselves in crisis. So far, calm is still the
norm. That could change on a dime. We are vulnerable not because of anything we
have done wrong. We are vulnerable because there is no confidence nor should
there be.

Oh, did I mention the #1 reason for lack of confidence and why nothing can
work? Until the crooks are removed it is like trying to make a boat run faster
without addressing any of the holes and leaks where all the water is coming in and
preventing it from going any faster! These crooks need to be removed and paraded
in handcuffs. The perp walk in front of the world. The corruption and abuse is
the single biggest factor and one I have yet to see addressed whatsoever. Oh
yeah, they got Martha Stewart. Save the day!

Let me cut to the chase. I have no confidence that they can restore
confidence before the confidence crumbles. That may be the only thing I am
confident of. You can't put a happy face on this. Each day I wake up and the set
of circumstances and confidence level is a little lower than the day before.
There have been several pops and false starts and there may be several more. But
until confidence returns, and you need a REASON for that to happen, we are still
headed into the dark. Add to that we have yet to see the fallout and manifestation of all the layoffs and store closings of the last 90 days. That tsunami is heading to a town near you in the months to come. It is going to change the look of every Main St. and Mall in the country.

If governments make a bad decision with the policies they are debating
they can make things much worse. They can put us all in jeopardy. Especially if
those making decisions are corrupt themselves. Like the U.S. Congress for example.
I have no confidence in them because if you or I did what half of them did we
would be in jail. The ones trusted to solve the problem are the same corrupt public servants that
got us into this mess and then folks are supposed to have confidence? Sorry,
my confidence level is running on fumes and I doubt I am alone. This economic plane is out of control. The only guy I trust right now is 'Sully' Sullenberger. Let's put him in charge. I am confident that he alone could do the job of restoring confidence.

Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz

On This Historical Day….

Morning folks!!
This is just such an historical day and period in history. The first of many firsts. While
most will focus on the first Black President being sworn in I see that angle as
well as one that I believe has even more meaning. At least to me and my
generation. This will be the first time that a President is sworn in that is
younger than me. Younger than many. While some will be focused on the obvious, I
tend to look at things differently. I see this is a passing of the baton to a
new generation that comes born into the world at a time that was becoming more
practical and confident. I see content not color. I see character not style. I see what is not obvious and focus on that.

As every President before him, I will wish him well in the toughest job in
the world. Our success is linked to his success and his success is linked to
ours. More now than ever. Many of his decisions and those of Congress will have
an impact for generations to come. This is no small crossroads we are about to
face. This point in history is very vivid and will be written about for hundreds of years to come.
One thing that most likely won't change are our enemies. Americans and others are about to find out the true meaning of what a 'Fanatic' is. When you have both sides of the political spectrum from far right to far left and these folks still can not be satisfied, the world will realize that they will never get along with anyone. Obama is the opposite of Bush. 10-1 the foreign policy does not change. When faced with the realities of the job and the weight of protecting the American people, don't look for much to be changing. Events and fanatics will insure the path we travel is not much different than the one we are on now.
God Speed Barack Obama. I don't know a sane person in America or around the world rooting against you. I hope you can change the tenor and tone of the American conversation and beyond. I hope you can convince fantatics that there is a better way. The rhetoric of the campaign is over and the governing must begin. Expectations are great. Greater than anything I have ever seen. They are also unrealistic and I believe his harshest critics will be his own supporters. Flinch and we will lose an American city in the next years. Stay strong and he will be accused of being like Bush. The Presidency comes with many jobs and responsibilities. None however are more important than protecting the people from harm. NONE! This will be the test for Obama. His success will be based more on this than the economy or any other single factor.
Can he control Congress or will Congress control him? Let's hope politics take a back seat to solutions based on good decisions. Times are way too important and complicated for games. We are at a true crossroads of history and the decisions made in the next few months will have the greatest impact on American life for generations to come. Today we can agree or agree to disagree. But today is a day to come together and a new chapter in all of our lives is about to begin. Here is wishing you well President Obama. I hope the Secret Service can keep you safe and I hope you can keep us safe.
Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz