Is the industry getting weaker? In a word.....YES. The industry is getting profoundly weaker. After 14
years of progress and growth the domain industry has climaxed.....at
least for now.
I don't think anyone would argue that many of the leading sponsors in the
domain industry are weaker than they were a year or so ago when the
industry peaked. So it is time to step back and see where we are. The first thing is never to over react. The second thing is to make a
judgement whether this is a permanent situation or a temporary one. I
can tell you it is permanent to those that don't survive and close up
shop. Others that are weak will sell out to other companies.
It comes down to just a few things. Overhead, income, cash on hand.
Your overhead can destroy even the biggest. Lack of income could
collapse almost any company as we have seen the past months. Cash on
hand is the best way to smooth the path. It is also the best way to
take advantage of the great opportunity out there.
Confidence in the banks and stocks is much better. There was NONE just
a few months back and the confidence we have accumulated can easily be
shaken as things are still fragile. 61% of people have made permanent changes. Look at things differently and when things get better, their habits will have changed. Advertising won't likely heat up
until the fall. There will be some pop as we get into the summer. But
this will be short lived and the summer is likely going to be weak.
That brings us to the fall. The fall brings us to our first report
card. Folks expect things to be better. However when reality sets in,
they will likely get worse. The unemployment rate during last Christmas
season went from 6%-7.5%. It is now over 8.5% and likely to be closing
in on 10% this fall. Michigan is already over 12% with Detroit at 22%. California already
over 11%. Last time I looked, everyone was holding on for dear life out
there on Main St.
Newspapers are going out of business left and right. Some because of
conditions, some because they lost touch with their original mission.
This country is pretty evenly split 50/50 as far as party affiliation.
No business can afford to alienate 50% of the audience like some
newspapers and expect to survive. That has to have some effect on all
businesses in the areas the paper serves. The #1 advertising
outlet.....GONE! One of their biggest marketing strategies.....GONE!
Sure, many believe that will mean an increase in online spending. I am
not so sure. I am of the mind that if you own a restaurant and it is
good, you are going to do better being among other restaurants.
Personally, I am determined to invest in 2 or 3 great domains this
year. I would rather have 2-3 gems than all the crap in the world. This
really is not the time to invest in any thing other than prime. PRIME!
There seems to be a certain amount of desperation out there. Folks
being forced to sell some domains to be able to afford to hold on to
others. That's a TERRIBLE place to be and it is all too common.
We all look at domain values in different ways. But if I would have to
be honest, less than 100 folks on this planet really understand what
constitutes a great domain. Less than 100 folks if I were to give them
my money and ask me to do the best they could with it. I see million
dollar domains selling for $1k, $5k, $10k.....I see domains that have
little hope of even doubling or being in demand selling for much more.
I am not into handicapping the auctions and pimping domain names. But I
can say there are some real gems going to the auction in a few days. I
will predict that Moniker will easily break $1 Million and I expect
much much more. Rick Latona also may break the $1 milion dollar mark.
That will be the first time in history that 2 different live domain
auctions both broke the 7 figure mark at one event. That will
demonstrate that there are still dollars out there when you put GREAT
domains up for auction and have prices low enough where a competitive
auction actually happens. You will see some GREAT bidding action as we
compete for these gems. Real back and forth bidding on real domain
names. THAT is what makes an auction.
So if you want to get to the top and do well at the top, you have to
have the balls to get in at the bottom. The balls to do what most
others won't when most others won't. THAT my friends is how fortunes
are made. The domain industry is not about domains, it is about making
fortunes. My job is not to point out each opportunity. My job is to
point out when the conditions are right for opportunity and putting
together an atmosphere of opportunity. Others put on tradeshows, we put
on life changing events. Some don't think that is worth the added
expense. That is their decision. But when you compare, make sure you
give weight to what is important.
Have a GREAT Day!