Highlights of a 20 Year Plan. First 14 year report…….

Morning folks!!Few really understand how hard it was early on. No road map. Less than 5% of
the population were online in USA and less elsewhere. Slow connections. Nobody to bounce ideas off of.
Nobody to network with. Nobody to understand a word you said no matter how
simple you made it. You question every registration at $100 a pop. You certainly
don't buy the singular and the plural. You figure out which one is better and
pick that. It's 100% investment in the unknown with zero return. There was no
short cut to learning. There were no building blocks. There was just history in
other mediums and any match was a big deal. 1996 was tough. 1997 was a year of
tremendous risk. Going for broke on several occasions. 1998 was the beginning of
the great rewards. But it was still nearly 5 years away from the first domain
get together. Those were important days. Unique days. Dark days. Long days. I
needed help but there was nobody that could help. How do you explain the
unexplainable? I loved those days, but it is a little easier these days as there
is an understanding that just was not there at that time. The trail had yet to
be cut. There was no map. There was no nothing. Once there is a model,
everything changes. There is light and there is tried and true. The tried and
true today was born back then and I saw the birth. Something that will be with
me and shape me forever. I can't really describe the era,but there is a little

How I would define the years for me personally.....

1995....Nearly invisible and totally clueless

1996....Learning and making progress and $$$.

1997....Breakthrough year. Porno.com purchase among others. It was 'The
shot heard around the world.' I could do in cyberspace things not possible in the real world. Like paying off the mortgage on that domain in just 6 weeks. 6 weeks for an internet property with the RENT I was earning vs 30 years in the real world for a mortgage. Went on to buy all the domains I could that you could say on TV but were on the defining line. Ass.com, Horny.com, Slut.com, Whore.com, Bitch.com, Orgy.com, vagina.com, virgins.com, booty.com. All permissible to say on broadcast TV and Radio so don't freak.

1998....My First million dollar++ deal for traffic. Maybe the first to get that. Flat $30k a week for all my traffic. Paid in advance.

1999....Solid and growing. same deal, more $$$$.

2000....Solid growing and then disaster with Credit Cards.

2001....Revenues still coming in. Same deal, same partner

2002....Solid business then collapse. Government goes after Microsoft which
kills confidence. Deanfest brings domainers together for first time.

2003....Worst revenue year out of 14. Tested fire wall I had built. I wanted to make a minimum amount per year in the worst of times. No matter what. Firewall held strong.

2004....Men.com sale ignites aftermarket with 7 figure deal reported by
hundreds of media throughout the world. A new era begins with the first TRAFFIC
domain trade show.

2005....T.R.A.F.F.I.C. puts a face on the industry and accelerates deal
making. First live domain auction. Biggest domain purchase. Property.com @ $750k.

2006....Tide is rising, industry expanding. First Silicon Valley TRAFFIC
brings in Venture Capitalists by the bus load. First live million dollar auction.

2007....Pay outs hit record high levels. New York TRAFFIC/Moniker auction nets $12.5M

2008....Pay outs in decline. Recession hits. Becomes my single biggest year
ever with iReport.com deal, Property.com deal, Widgets.com deal.

2009....Pay outs looking for realistic levels based on quality and bottom
out. Could be best year ever in spite of the turmoil. Tremendous opportunity
among massive amounts of pitfalls.

2010...Biggest year ever as recession deepens.

2011....Biggest year ever as recovery tries to take hold.

2012....Biggest year ever and then the earth ends. Or not.

2013....World survives. Biggest Year ever

2014....Biggest Year ever

2015....End of the 20 year plan. Biggest year ever!

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

7 thoughts on “Highlights of a 20 Year Plan. First 14 year report…….

  1. Johnny

    I love the time line. Very accurate. I was there in 95′ and know exactly what you are talking about. :)
    Those days conjure up all kinds of memories and images.
    I remember having literally trash bags full of renewal notices from NetSol there were so many coming in the mail.
    I remember pacing at night hoping that an application would be approved by NetSol by morning.
    I remember hesitating a hour or a day and losing category killer domains. There was fierce competition for the best low-hanging fruit domains and you had to move lightning fast to get them.
    I remember scouring the news every day for even the slightest mention of domain investing, domain news, or anything else. I was obsessively hungry for info.
    I remember foregoing vacations, new furniture, cars, meals, etc….just so I could buy more domains or pay for renewals.
    I remember having to cobble money together from different sources, doing odd jobs even to make sure that no matter what my domains were renewed.
    I would not trade any of those memories for anything. They made me stronger today and influenced who I am today.

  2. domain guy

    dear rick,
    prior to investing in domains in 1994 you were working out of a one room 10×10 and earning over a million dollars a yr. i have come to think that you were in the pornographic business possibly selling ad space.pornography is the first industry to try new technology ie 1900 numbers.
    this is what gave you the insight to move into the domain space and you expanded from there.as these early domains earned money as many other biz domains were not recognized for their value until several yrs later.is this what happened?

  3. Cue

    Great post. I thoroughly enjoy reading the history and learning from the success.
    Thank you!!

  4. J.R. Jackson

    I love the timeline.
    I first went online in late 1995 and made $2.2 million in 1996 using techniques I had learned in my early door-to-door sales days.
    I have not made less than $500k a year since then.


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