Why I came up with a 20 Year plan……Progress Report

Morning Folks!!

It is amazing to witness a phenomenon. Our entire industry could be labeled
that. The growth of the Internet itself. I think the hardest and also the most
magnificent thing is how far we have come and how fast we got here and even then
it is all in super slow motion when you are part of it.

In 1996 it is hard to believe that just 5%-10% of businesses were online.
When I am talking online I am not talking a web presence, I am talking a live
connection to the Internet at all. Worldwide, it was much lower. I knew because
I asked everyone I talked to in those days if they could get online for that was
the first time that I could point to an online brochure to do my selling and do
it instantly as opposed for waiting several days for the mail to get there. That
was just 14 years ago. Now as close to 100% in the USA as we are likely to get. Critical mass came very quickly but who knew that then? You could only speculate and imagine what it would be like if everyone used the net. All I can say....Not in my wildest dreams did I believe it would mirror what I saw. And if it did, I would likely be dead by then. To see it so quickly, and yes, 14 years, 10 years whatever it was, was damn quick in terms of changing the habits of a planet.

But just like a 14 year old kid the Internet has much more maturing ahead.
You can accelerate that growth to a small degree. 10%, 20%, maybe catch a break.
At some time down the road there is a tipping point. Years of sweat come to a
moment in time and just like a 14 year old boy becomes a man at some 'Moment' so
does the cycle of business. The cycle of business repeats itself. The same
scenarios play out just with different players and different themes. I have been
in many sectors of business in my life. They all play out the same. Each one of
them. I had some 32 jobs between the ages of 17 and 20. Each paid a little
better. Each offered a slightly brighter future. Each offered more things than
the last and each were the same in so many respects.

As many jobs as I have had in my youth completely changed once I turned 20
and have had but a handful. The right handful. But amazingly, as different as
they were the names were always different but the characters and events were
not. Like a Hollywood movie there were always heroes and heroines and villains
and bad guys and all the supporting cast in between. Each starts jovial and fun
and dwindles down from there. The chapters are all the same. They all play out
the same. Most get caught up in it and I too am guilty of that at times. But I
have the luxury of pulling myself away from the gravity of the swirl. I know the
beginning, middle and the ending. It takes 20 years for the first stage of this
to play out. That means some very exciting times are on our doorstep. This
economic downturn is a gift. Board rooms are asking fundamental questions and
need to get with the program or they too know they risk dying on the vine. They
will come and are coming industry by industry, need by need, desire by desire.
But make no mistake, they always show up at the very darkest point. Let me
repeat, they ALWAYS show up at the darkest point when folks are about to give up
and throw in the towel. The domain industry will not change the world. The world
is about to change the domain industry. There is a lot of building coming to a
parking lot near you.

And yes, I do view it as the first 20 years. That was what the plan called
for 'Don't take anything too seriously for the first 20 years.' See I believe
and have always believed that domains would be an overnight sensation that would
be 20 years in the making. The next 20 years I believe are the real money years.
I doubt oil was as useful or in demand as much when they started pumping in
Texas in the mid 1800's as it became when the autos hit the road. How amazed
would those original oil guys been to see it today? My biggest regret is that I
doubt anyone that reads this today will be alive to see the Internet and domains
in its' full glory. Living history folks, it really does not get better than
that and if you could step back a bit to see what I see.....You'd all be
committed! :-)

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz