A Public THANK YOU to Scott Klososky

Morning Again Folks!!

I just want to get these posts out before I board a plane to Europe as I go enjoy a few weeks off.

As many of you know we have had some really great speakers at TRAFFIC. From Steve Forbes to John Reese and 6 others as well. They were all much easier to select than what we needed in Silicon Valley for this particular show. We needed a nuts and bolts guy. An idea guy. A guy who has actually had a record of success and still, had some FIRE left in the belly to keep trailblazing. Enough so that he could apply himself as an outsider to the domain industry yet still had a lot of knowledge about the space to begin with. Where the hell was I going to find a guy like that??

It took me 6 months. I read bio after bio. I listened to TV, I read articles, I looked anywhere I could to find a perfect fit for a really important time. I was really about to give up. I would rather have no keynote speaker than one that would not do what we needed....or even worse....insult the intelligence of the audience.

Then just a few weeks before the show I found the right guy. Scott Klososky. I knew that Scott would not sell me any more tickets. But I also knew that anyone that attended would feel like his keynote was truly meaningful and actually walk away with incredible value. He sounded like the guy that could link multiple worlds together to show us our place from a view out side the industry but far from ignorant of it. Long story short, Scott was everything I envisioned and he pulled of what I asked him and then raised it a level or 2 by himself as he went even further. So for that....Tip of the Hat Scott Klososky and I believe our paths will not only cross again, I believe they will crisscross for years to come!

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

What I Bought at the Auctions and Prices Paid

Morning Folks!!

As promised, I am going to list the domains I bought at the auctions. For the last couple years I have made very few acquisitions because pricing did not fit my business model. That is no longer the case. You will see from the list below that I have a 'Sweet Spot' when it comes to pricing. I have always focused on domains under $10,000 and almost always under $5000 or very premium domains where my desire is the only limit.

Rick Latona Auction:

1. Rickshaws.com $5500
2. NetMarketers.com $1250
3. BreakfastBars.com $1300
4. AsianFlu.com $3000

Moniker Auction:

1. HotProducts.com $9000
2. ReTrain.com 4500
3. Bribes.com $3000
4. AffiliateAdvertising.com $5000
5. Wager.co.uk $5000
6. Exhibiting.com $5000

I will tell you that I 'Targeted' Hotproducts.com and Exhibiting .com before the show. I was buying those 2 domains. Period! I will also tell you that with each domain, I have an idea for a business if I ever get around to it. I bid on a few more as well. In a better economy I would have doubled my purchases as there were some real gems.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Domain Industry going well for some, DEAD IN THE WATER for others….

Morning Folks!!

This is the tale of two industries within one. The first sector is doing ok to good. They understand the market we are in the economy we are in and this is not their first rodeo. Income may be down on PPC but they more than make up on it with other sectors and other investments and different ways to make money with their domains.

Then there is the second sector. Don't kid yourself, they are in a world of hurt and their survival will not likely be determined by them. This IS their first rodeo so this is what they are dealing with. First, they did not see this downturn coming. The folks I talk to started preparing for this in 2007 and 2008. They are in a strong cash position and there biggest problem is deciding which opportunity is worthy of their time and money. Secondly, not only are they not in a cash position they are also highly leveraged. So they talk about 'Burn rate.' The money each month you are upside down with as you compare your income to expenses. That leads to the BIG question.....How many weeks, months or years do you have as a reserve. If you are jot in the 'Years' column, you have work to do to get there.

Those that have mediocre portfolios of huge amount of names may face some very serious problems. You equation has changed so drastically that your business model may at some point collapse. One just has to look at the chat boards out there to notice how much posting has tailed off.

A lot of this was evident at TRAFFIC. Just one look around the room and the first thing you would notice is that the age of the folks that attended averaged higher than at any previous show. The reason was evident and that was a big topic of discussion at the show. For some it is like watching a slow motion collapse.

Here is the fallout....MILLIONS of low quality domains will be dropping or changing hands as things deteriorate. MILLIONS. As I have stated for a very long time, those low quality domains are not assets, they are liabilities and the numbers over the next 12-24 months will prove it.

In my next post I will talk about the auctions at TRAFFIC. I bought more domains at the 2 auctions than any in the previous 2 years. The market was not priced for my business model lately and I made few acquisitions. That has now changed. So while the weak get weaker, the strong get stronger.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

My Greatest Failure Continues…….

Morning Folks!!

The search for competency in a world of mediocrity is what many of us deal with daily. I expect way too much from folks in everyday life. Way too much. I actually expect them to do their jobs. I expect them to be competent. But in case after case I am finding out that those in power no matter where on the food chain they are located are mediocre and in many cases they hold hostage everyone else to their mediocre standards.

When I grew up and you murdered somebody you were not likely to get out of prison until you were either old or dead. Now you get a plea bargain and in countless cases my past car payments lasted 2X longer than their incarceration.

I saw a guy repeatedly assault another with a shovel for over a minute. Hitting him over and over. He got 10 days! This is just one example of the decay and mediocrity that we are suffering from.

What does that have to do with domains? Everything. It has to do with life and business and domains and they are all intertwined and sometimes even on the verge of getting tangled up. It takes energy and a plan to keep them as separate as you can.

I always try to come at a conversation in either of two ways. Either be extreme and confrontational to spark discussion or come to the points of agreement in the middle that we all have in common. Point is when you only focus on extremes you lose the opportunity to work on the things of common agreement.

Banks are on the verge of nationalization in the USA. That is a BIG deal. That is something that will have huge ramifications. Maybe it can’t be avoided, but don’t think for a split second that this is a good thing. This is not a good thing.

So that brings me to my greatest disappointment. While I write my blog for domainers, the people I really want to reach are on Main St. and Corporate America. In that regard, I have failed. The greatest value here is for them. Maybe someday they will discover this blog, dust it off and take a read. But as the years pass, I see less of a chance. So this is my greatest disappointment and my biggest failure.

I have not given up, but the chances of a “Buzz”, of a break through, of even a serious discussion on how a business on Main St. can change their own destiny’s is still as big a dream as it was over a decade ago. It really is not their lack of interest in domains that disappoints me. It is their utter disregard for understanding the different qualities of traffic and asking the right questions to get the proper traffic that can convert to sales. This is the one point of commonality to all business. Traffic and sales. Traffic that produces sales. Sales that make the world go round.

A lot of time has passed. In some cases too much time. Habits are formed and once that happens it is hard to break. I do most of my online purchases from Amazon. It is a HABIT. It is also a convenience. Plus over the years I have learned that not only do they have everything I ever looked for, but their prices are right in line. So I can go there, search for what I want, put it in my cart, pay for it and I can do that in the same time in took to compose and write this sentence.

Point is the greatest sales machine ever invented has largely passed most businesses without a single ka-ching in the register. They did not harness the power when they could, when they should. So now they face a much harder and much steeper mountain to climb. They face failure and extinction.

Now, there is also a new phenomenon happening as these businesses try to stay in business. The last few weeks I have noticed MANY meeting of business people when I go to Panera for lunch sometimes. I keep hearing the word “Hosting.” As folks scramble to stay in business and keep their livelihoods in place, they KNOW there is only one place to look to….the Internet. So we are going to see another round of Internet growth. Does not mean Internet success. But we are going to see growth as everyone realizes that is the only frontier left to exploit. The only place they can look to save them.

They say it is always darkest before the big break. Well it is pretty damn dark. I wake up each day waiting for my biggest failure to turn into my biggest success. Some days I feel confident that it is right around the corner. Then there are days like today that I have to look back for 14 years and just shake my head in disbelief, then lower it and wonder if I will ever see the day? When do folks see the obvious? When do companies realize the lessons of Hotels.com, Loans.com, Toys.com and soon Candy.com and apply it to their business?

Susan Boyle has always been a great singer.....it just took the world 45 years to see it. In life, in business, with any of our new ventures, at the end of the day we are looking for that Susan Boyle moment.

The Internet is the greatest equalizer ever known. Any person, any business any idea can rise from obscurity to the next big thing is SECONDS. The competition gets greater every single day. The next news, the next gimmick, the next hoax, the next overnight sensation.

We are entering an era of 'Go for Broke.' No kidding. Many companies in a broad sector of the market are going for the long ball. If they succeed, they survive. If they falter, they are doomed. That is where we are soon to be at.

Do you see contradictions in my posts? Well there are many. That is the reality of the current conditions. The wind is blowing from multiple directions and each is very intense. Each has peril and each has opportunity. In 2008 I wrote what 2009 would look like. Few really believed it. Well here it is. On one hand I am having a record breaking year. On the other, I watch fire after fire and embers flying and no matter how well your home is doing , when the neighborhood is on fire, their problem is your problem.

We have WITNESSED a collapse. We have WITNESSED a meltdown. The conditions in place right now and the seeds that have been planted we will next face an implosion. The only way to survive that is plant the seeds now. Doom and Gloom? No, reality. Let's see what a hot summer brings in cities with 20% unemployment. In Detroit they riot when the Tigers win the World Series. What do you think it may look like when it is hot and you are hungry? Do you have a plan 'B' in place? How about a 'Plan C'

Having lived through the turbulance of the 60's, the gas lines of the 1970's, the 21% interest rates, the crash of 1987, the dotcom bubble burst of 2001 and saw what we are going through for a couple years before it actually manifested itself, I am convinced we are going to make all those events look small in comparison to what we face right now. When wrong is right and right is wrong then something needs to give. It is never wrong to do right and it is never right to do wrong. Where exactly did we lose that?

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

It’s show time!! T.R.A.F.F.I.C. STARTS TODAY!

Morning Folks!!
It's show time!!
WELCOME to TRAFFIC XV. As with the 14 shows before
this, each and every one has been very special. This is only our second
time in Silicon Valley. The hub of tomorrow. The future of the future.
My prediction is that you are about to see one of the most productive
shows ever. Those with cash, those with overheads that are manageable,
those with a true understanding of what makes times like this the BEST
TIMES, will emerge so much stronger. I can't stress enough that while
times are as challenging as they are, those that rise to the occasion
are rewarded. Many folks I know consider the last few years a time
where anyone could make money. In this period things are a bit
different and you have to go deep in your soul to overcome the obvious
tendencies to clam up, hide and take a fearful approach.
This may not be out biggest show ever, but I will tell you here and
now, just hours before it opens, that you will see an intense show with
a lot of news, a lot of deal making and a couple auctions that will
show there is plenty of life left in what we all do and love. How you
approach the next months will likely determine your futures for the
next decade and perhaps beyond that.
Have GREAT Day!
WELCOME to Silicon Valley!
Rick Schwartz

The Gift of Gut…….Rick Style

Morning Folks!!
These last few posts have been fun to watch others get involved and do
something that is interesting and also rewarding. It is also something that I
do. It is MY regime on exercise. I exercise my GUT. (Not my stomach as
that is a few inches larger than I would like) See the way to hone your
gut is doing what we are doing by predicting something with little or
no consequence whatsoever. But it gives you a chance to strengthen that
part of our beings that few even think about. And after the
fact.....what did we get right. What did we get wrong? What was the
reason for either. In some cases you will be spot on. That is what this is about.
Being 'Spot on' when it does count. So practice is what this is about.
If you want to be good at something it is ALL about practice. And to
practice is real world settings is a much higher standard.
Bottom line, This is how to hone the gut. The gut that can know more in
a split second than a team of geniuses working at it for a year. That
is what gut is all about. Split second decision and knowing it is
pretty darn close to being exactly right.
So just a little reason behind the madness and the obvious and maybe
even a little gift. All disguised as a contest to win something free
and get an award doing it. The real reward is something few will ever
see or understand. I hope this sheds a bit of light on it.
Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

Good Morning Know-it-Alls! So do TALKERS have BALLS?

Morning folks!!!
Lots of people talk the talk. But see how few really walk the walk. For those that have made an educated guess about how much certain domains will sell for next week,
congrats and a tip of the hat. You have put it on the line. For all those that have not, cat got your tongue? Many of you never had a hard time posting an opinion before, but now that I have asked you do do something on record and for all to see.......
So while 150 have already cast their decisions, I find it hard to believe that others that have never shyed to criticize are either scared to be on record or have no clue what they are talking about.
So here are the 2 links to help you out.
So are you the 'Appraiser of the Year' or are you the 'Hot Air of the Year'?
Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

TRAFFIC Announces”Appraiser of the Year Award Contest” Winner/Spouse to come to TRAFFIC for FREE!

Morning Folks!!
With the great success of the SmartPhones.com contest, we decided to go one step further.
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. will be giving a new award come the fall at the New York
TRAFFIC Show. The 'Appraiser of the Year Award' will be given for the first time, along with
FREE tickets for you and your significant other to the show, to the domainer that correctly predicts and comes
closest to the following TOTAL sales price of the domains listed below. 3
domains by Moniker. 3 domains by Rick Latona Auctions.
The person in the industry that comes closest to the actual TOTAL selling
price of these 6 domains at the Silicon Valley show will be named….”Appraiser of the Year”
among your peers. You can post your appraisals right here no later than midnight
Monday. In case of tie, the first appraisal posted will be declared the
winner. You can go over the total, but you must be the closest.
So folks, this is a time to show you know your stuff. Plain and simple for those that step up and dare to be on record. How good is your gut? How sharp are your predictions? Are you really as good as you think??
The names are the following:
From Moniker:
Exhibiting.com $1k-$5k
HotProducts.com NO RESERVE
GolfCaddy.com $1k-$5k

From Rick Latona
Shows.com NO RESERVE
SmartPhones.com $50k Reserve
WaterPurifiers.com $15k Reserve
One entry per domainer, IP, or email.
Let the GAMES begin!
Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

Guess how much Smartphones.com will sell for and win a FREE Ticket to TRAFFIC New York.

Guess how much Smartphones.com will sell for and win a FREE Ticket to TRAFFIC New York.

Okay, there is no question that the doors will be blown off with a $50,000 reserve on SmartPhones.com as announced today by Rick Latona. But by how much?

Post your guess here. 1 guess per participant and/or IP# or all guesses are void. The closest guess wins. It is okay to guess over the amount as long as it is the closest to the actual selling price. Bids must be in by midnight Sunday April 26th.

This puppy, along with a few of the others from both Rick and Moniker will PROVE that things are better than folks think WHEN GREAT DOMAINS come to market.

So what’s your guess? Post now and then........
Also, want to be named 'Appraiser of the Year'? Just predict what 6 domains will sell for at TRAFFIC and YOU will be the 'winner?

History tells the Future and HERE is Rick’s guide to do it yourself.

Morning Folks!!

Follow smart people's lead or follow fools. That is an everyday choice. I am an Einstein fan. He said 'Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.' I look to the past to get ALL the answers to the future. And looking at the past you look to events and people. If I had one gift that I could give everyone reading this it would be to let them know, understand and HARNESS the powers they possess. The mistaken notions most folks walk around with keep them in a prison of mediocrity. They look to the future to find answers that are already written in history.

Sometimes we sit in our solitude and get a bit detached. Sure, we may read the blogs, the posts, the news, but whether we want to recognize it or not it takes a little something out of us as well. Juice in our batteries sometimes is at lower points than at others. I wonder what the value of motivation is? The value of getting energized. The value of staying out in front. The value of seizing opportunity when there is opportunity.

You may notice throughout my writings, that the word I use often is “Opportunity.” See while some look to make money, I look for opportunity which is a way to make fortunes. Folks, it is time to raise your game and Howard Neu is about to help you.

At each show both Howard and I write a “Welcome letter” to the attendees of TRAFFIC. When Howard sent me his over the other day, it really had a lot of impact and I don’t think it will do it justice sitting inside the program. So I am going to pre-empt his message and print it right here and right now for you to read. The next 90 seconds will energize you and after taking a deep breath, you will understand why our focus is on this one word. “Opportunity.”

“Call me a Pollyanna, but where others see gloom, doom and despair, I see profits, hope and the opportunity to expand and grow. When houses that were selling just a year ago for $1 million and more can now be gotten for under $600,000, THAT’S OPPORTUNITY! When newspapers and magazines are folding and cutting back left and right and the internet is thriving, THAT’S OPPORTUNITY! When more and more people from pre-teen to senior citizens are regularly posting on Facebook and Twitter bringing more and more traffic to the web, THAT’S OPPORTUNITY! When retail establishments are filing for bankruptcy and their competition is selling like mad on the internet because they don’t have the tremendous overhead that goes with brick and mortar establishments, THAT’S OPPORTUNITY! When like-minded serious businessmen and businesswomen who happen to be Domain Investors meet together and network at T.R.A.F.F.I.C., THAT’S OPPORTUNITY!
So Welcome to Opportunity Central! T.R.A.F.F.I.C. has always meant business, and today, more than ever, big business will be conducted here in SILICON VALLEY. It will be conducted in the corridors, the lobby of this beautiful hotel, the restaurants and parties that are planned, because T.R.A.F.F.I.C. means business.
I want to thank Divyank Turakhia and the whole gang from SKENZO who have made this conference possible. Thanks also to MONIKER and RICKLATONA for the premium auctions of first-rate domains. Thanks also to PARKED for our closing party and to all the sponsors and exhibitors who knew how important it is to be here. Finally, thanks to Rick and Alina, Barbara and Ray for all of their hours of hard work to make this conference and expo a success.”
Best wishes to all,
Howard Neu, Chief Operating Officer

So folks.....Nothing I can really add to that. Either you get the message or you don’t. Either you rise to the OPPORTUNITY or you don’t. Either you recognize opportunity or you don’t. Either you do what you need to do to get through this rough patch or you don’t. I have told one story many times over the years. The time I could not afford to fly to Asia. But I could not afford not to go. So I went. I was scared. I was in debt. That risk was the single point that changed my life. I DARED to reach higher than ever at the very time where I could afford it least. Which was why I could not afford not to reach higher than ever. The one thing nobody can afford to do is not listen to Einstein. When the bicycle stops moving, it STALLS. On a bike you fall down. In an airplane you are likely to crash. In business a stall will likely make you go out of business. Give it some gas bub.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz