As many of you know I have been in a lot of industries. Emerging industries or emerging companies. Usually blazing new trails with new products or new ideas. They all have a common thread. They all have more self-inflicted wounds than ones from their competitors or enemies or from the outside. That makes themselves their worst enemy.
It was true in the adult world as I watched their “Industry” see a high point and then because of abuse and attitudes I also watched it melt. Watched many of the players that built it walk away. Disperse. Go in different directions. Do new things. It was never as much fun after that. That was not the first time I witnessed it so I knew how things would unfold.
I would say we are flirting with that point in the domain industry. Folks early on were humble and enjoyed progressing and new ways of doing things and sharing and supporting. It was fun because we did not take it or us so seriously. But we are at the point now where the face and look of the industry is changing. We have become hardened in our attitudes. Hobby has turned into business. Business has turned into doing whatever you have to do. Doing whatever you have to do has turned into how others react and view what you have to do and see if it affects them. Even if it doesn't afffect then directly they are still likely to have strong opinions about it. So friends are made. Foes are made. Sides are taken. Reactions then dictate business. It deteriorates into a vicious circle. It's hard to cure that virus.
The industry as we know it is in change. Massive change. What once was a tight group are slowly departing and going there own ways. Smaller groups. Less power. More diversity.Some fighting for survival. That is a normal phenomenon. It happens as an industry matures. It happens when an industry is hit by adversity. It happens when things are changing. Right now we have all three at one time and more. So welcome to the beginning of the end of the “Good ole days.”
Look what the first half of 2009 has brought us already. Ron Sheridan no longer at Domain Sponsor. Matt Bentley not with Sedo. Dan Warner leaving Fabulous. Add the ones I missed. Add the ones that are coming. That equals a changing face. Funny how outlooks are different on the way up the hill as opposed to going down the hill and measuring at the same points. When you are climbing and hit $20 million you are excited and life is great. On the other side, when you hit higher numbers and fall back to $20 million, there is despair at hand. The Same number, just a different outlook.
The seeds of the end were planted quite a while ago. The beginning of one road and the opening of many. Soon you will ask, “Whatever happened to so and so?” Many of us will get distracted in many different ways. We will take different paths from here. Those paths will likely cross again. But they won’t crisscross in the way we have grown accustom to.
Have a GREAT Day!