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




15 thoughts on “My Greatest Failure Continues…….

  1. Ramsay Devereux

    Dang Rick! You’ve got bigger ones than I thought. Interesting timing.
    My take; Plan C is best.
    Soon developing EmergencyFood.com, Lord willing.
    Or, plan D, following along the lines of ‘meltdown’. One could obtain the domains in the only CERTAIN TO CONTINUE business catagoy in todays auction: DEATH. (‘Mortuary.com’ & ‘Mortuaries.com’;-)

    Reply
  2. Altaf

    Congratulations Rick again for writing such a long decisive eco. sense and solutions. Some time we feel like you. We see that the boom is nearer again we see it’s doomed. But we live on hope and aspirations, or by now, the whole human society would have been ruined to dust. So hope is our stregth,vigour is our power,your lead is our path(road-map) towards the steep peak.Trial and error is our energy. One day, sure! we will climb there. We don’t know when.
    Any way,
    Great writing skills, but sometime beyond the skill of mine, as such people will born in the years to come!
    Guide us with your vision, enlighten us with your lit, energize us with your energy, bless us with your Lord’s! Take care, with best wishes.
    Have a nice Day!!
    Sincerely,
    Altaf

    Reply
  3. domain guy

    the domain king is not a failure! the domain king is responsible for the domain king not main street or madison avenue.rick has done his job and its a good thing rick decided not to retire on a yacht.
    it takes time for new technology to be adopted by the main stream…they are slow footed it took the microwave 30 yrs to get to mainstream…hybrids are still on the radar 10 yrs later.and as for candy.com
    when this is launced by a number 2 brand rick can toot your horn again..especially against hershey.and be forwarned corp america and madison avenue may be asleep at the wheel buy when millions of dollars are on the line everybody is watching even though they may remain silent….after a while just tell me how much more the top line grew for the owner of candy.com while hersey fell asleep…

    Reply
  4. sukhjinder

    My Cousin bought a shell gas station for 900,000 usd, which does in sale of about 1k-2k a day in profit. But if he would have invested in domains this much, he would have been making much more money.
    Internet is the key~~~!!

    Reply
  5. Colin Pape

    Hi Rick,
    You are right on the money in your observations (as usual)…
    However, I don’t think you should despair yet, for while you may feel that you have failed to reach Main Street yourself, you are in fact reaching it through the many disciples you have created – me and my team at ShopCity.com included…
    We have a solution we are rolling out that addresses your concerns and has the power to alter the destinies of the countless small businesses that truly drive the real economy…
    We realize the gravity of the situation and are looking for partners who can help us hit critical mass ASAP…
    I would be honored to provide you with more information and a demo if you are interested…
    In the meantime, if you’d like to ask Michael Castello about us, I gave him a demo at the Geo Expo in San Diego…
    I was hoping to attend TRAFFIC as well, but had other business commitments that prevented me from making it…
    If you would like to sit down and discuss things further, let me know and I will arrange to head back out to California before the conference is over to meet with you…
    I did not buy a ticket to your show this year, but did purchase one for TRAFFIC 2008 in Vegas that I did not use (again, due to other commitments – I can forward you the receipt if you like)… Maybe you could consider it in lieu… :)
    All the best,
    Colin

    Reply
  6. Mike Cohen

    As I’ve mentioned a bunch of times over the years, the big fortune 500 companies don’t give a shit about domainers or domains for that fact. They have their own brands and plenty of traffic sources that work just fine.
    Everybody hates domainers, just as much as they hate spammers… If not more :(
    The money in domain sales is directly to small biz owners. The low – mid $x,xxx deals.
    The $xx,xxx and $xxx,xxx are the exception.
    Sooner all domainers realize this, the sooner they will start turning profits x100.
    Cheers!
    To success :)

    Reply
  7. Bruce T

    I am about to give up. I have names like seniorcitizens.org that have 4,000 uniques a month, has grown each month and for the search term”Senior Citizens Help” I am number 1 in Google and Yahoo. I get offers of 1 – 2 thousand dollars. I really am about to give up. I can’t reach big buyers and I have over 1,000 keyword domains that mean something. Almost ready to chuck this pursuit after 11 years.

    Reply
  8. Dluzional

    Nice Posting Rick:…although you could have said the same thing in as little as 3 words..We Are F**ked…
    I honestly think that Domainers have put themselves into the position they are today, wondering why they can’t get that multi million dollar deal…
    @ Mike C – Everybody hates domainers, just as much as they hate spammers… If not more :(
    Why do you think that is?..because a domainer felt the need to milk some company for gourds of money instead of being realistic about it….
    Domainer’s are eclectic in so much as they don’t want to sell a domain name to another domainer for fear they may make more money…
    so they hold on and hold on and hope that they can convince someone else that they can have the deal of the century…
    Domainer’s need to rethink their strategy’s, as what I see happening is the market slowly becoming a regurgitation of the same people with the same domain names, pretty much trading portfolio’s.
    Domainer’s are also anal, in regards to they want that one BIG sale, instead of a bunch of little ones.
    You buy a domain for 1000 bucks, have the opportunity, to resell it for 5000 bucks, that’s a nice tidy little profit, better than CD’s RSP’s but no..the domainer thinks that 1…I can get more for it because someone wanted to buy it for that price, or 2…I better hold on to it, because that person may turn around and resell it for more.
    It’s the Domainer’s approach to big business that’s wrong, they tend to TELL big business what they need. Why should big business listen to you? What do you bring to the table other than an inflatedly priced domain name.
    Ya’ll need a game plan, and if you don’t have time for that? then suck it up buttercup…you’re in for some tough times…but hey, all your overpriced domains will keep you company in the meantime.

    Reply
  9. bob

    Great article. I think what would help perception is some PR success stories of companies that were able to generate huge sales growth by acquiring and using a great domain.
    The public seems to be interested only fleetingly when they hear of a sale like candy.com, but this interest doesn’t seem to sustain, or migrate over to their application of it to their businesses.
    I dealt for years with middle management and executie levels of major corporations, and found most of them totally unintersted in anything innovative. They seem concerned only about keeping their jobs and preserving the status quo.
    I agree, however, that this nihilistic philosophy cannot succeed against companies that effectively embrace internet marketing tools, including successful application of domains with some good SEO.
    Regards

    Reply
  10. Mark

    Rick, I have always thought that your”thoughts on life” should be a daily or weekly column in one of the major papers. I think it would probably save them.
    At a minimum, I think you should write a book. I am not being facetious either.
    Respect,
    Mark

    Reply
  11. Perchboy

    Mark, I’ve been after Rick to write a book for a while now. Maybe if enough of us request one, Rick will put one out. Along with plenty to write about, he definitely has a well-established platform as a successful domainer, businessman and futurist.
    Perchboy

    Reply
  12. UFO.ORG

    Rick,
    In failing to reach”Corporate America” you are not alone, the biggest thing I would say to anyone is that large”Multinationals” are lethargic mega beasts that continue on a path until they are forced to change tack.
    Large corporations do not respond until you have a date set in court, they do not react until a small competitor starts eroding their margins and then they buy it and so forth. People that work and run large corporates are machine men; so long as the wheels turn and the budgets are met they get their bonuses.
    Trying to sell potential to large Multinationals is a serious uphill battle, someone in that organisation must sponsor that risk and be accountable for the success or failure. People who work in large corporates do not go for risk; they want to stay in a job.
    From my perspective, who cares about Madison Ave or wherever, it’s the SME’s that are the ones that should be approached; they are the ones that want to stalk the Dinosaurs.
    Candy.com is a classic scenario for a SME play. Assuming the prospective purchaser is actually a SME then once its all bundled and beginning to take market share from the larger layers (and even better hurt their margins) then one of the bigger players will buy them out.
    Nb: Candy.com isn’t that valuable to a seriously large player as they will already have distribution agreements in place etc which will impair any sales online, and they already have branded items on shelves.
    This is why domains may never be as valuable to certain entities as people think, there’s the wider business model to consider.

    Reply
  13. Luis Torres

    Rick go and sell all your domains for 100 million to marchex and retire, that way you will be smiling all day.
    Maybe you could be the second Yun Ye ( the chinese man that sold 100,000 domains to marchex for $160 million dollars.
    Have a great day and I think that you need vacations, I would recommend that you travel to europe you will return with a different view of the world.

    Reply
  14. Guy

    good post Rick
    i like going through the archives, theres a lot of thought provoking stuff here

    Reply

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