Developing, Developing, Developing….Bah Humbug!

Morning Folks!!

How many years do you think it would take to just look at
your domains and decide to open 1000 full fledged businesses? Not just 'Develop' for the sake of it, build businesses. Let me give you a
quick answer. You won’t live long enough. Your kids won’t live long enough. So
while folks 'Develop' and experiment with minisites, PLAY with TEMPORARY search traffic, I look at
everything a bit different. I already got the hair on some of your backs up.
But read on before you form your opinion.

See we don’t have time to build 1000 businesses and then we
certainly don’t have the TIME to run 1000 businesses. BUT…..when you are a fool
like me, you go against the grain.
So I realized many years ago that building 1000 businesses was not a
possibility. 5000? 50,000, Not in 10 lifetimes.

However there is another way once you all stop laughing and
shaking your head. You can laugh. I employ. I look forward. I look to see what
things will look like when they evolve, NOT today, not yesterday. What the hell is that Rick??

Well, we may not have time to build 1000 businesses but we certainly have the time to do 1000 joint ventures. So I own Think about
that. When Trump owns a piece of land he does not build it, he partners with a
DEVELOPER and contractors and takes a slice. His TIME commitment is limited to
making the deal. Anytime you can invest little or no time and get a return, you
are a winner!

So in my mind development is a joint venture that becomes a big business. That won’t
work for everyone. It will and does work for me. And again, it is not the
developing that counts, it is the business. I can’t run 1000 businesses well.
But I certainly can team up with partners to run 1000 businesses well. Nearly
15 years into this and I have never waivered from this belief. Matter of fact,
I have never been more confident about it. Now the only thing that will change is
the percentage split. In time my share will increase with every deal I make.
The goal is 50%. In some cases it may be higher. In most cases it will be much
lower. Do you ever wonder what 10% of 1000 businesses would look like??

So keep laughing. The picture I have in my mind of what I
want to accomplish is clear and very different from others. That is ok, none of
us can have the same business plan. They are all unique. What we can do is
compare notes. Share ideas. Share our path. Don’t judge a work of art until it is finished. My picture needs
less than 5 years to really take shape, take form and change the way everyone does
business in this industry.

You can see
that very clear and vivid divide. It is just how you approach things. A
waitress goes to work and every day earns dollars. The days she does not work,
she gets nothing. So some in this business work like that. They have to hustle
every day to make ends meet. No work. No money. Others are much more
methodical. They just do things differently and are not dependant on that job
or even that restaurant.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

21 thoughts on “Developing, Developing, Developing….Bah Humbug!

  1. jeff schneider

    Hello Rick,
    Ultimately all .com names that are business oriented and of high quality will be bought and developed in some fashion. Joint Ventures will be and already are a very important part of the digital revolution going on right now.
    Once again you have placed yourself in a sweet spot position to capitalize on this powerful trend. If I were looking to take on a business partner you would be at the top of my list. Congratulations once again.
    Gratefully, Jeff
    larger than life .com

  2. Bryan Gray

    Here’s the rub Rick. You deserve the spoils and opportunities you have because you had the vision and took the risk to get great domains. Domains that often times have no alternatives. This affords you the ability to take on this model. There are only a handful of people in the world that can really do this.
    The development model works for people link me. I have a portfolio of really good domains. However, there is typically a viable alternative out there that can be had for $5-10k that limits my bargaining power for equity in a deal. I see my development as planting a seed. I put in a lot of honest hard work to create real content or user generated content sites that require little time to run (not mini sites). I make my domains work for me to the point that the income is as passive as parking. The sites garner links and traffic builds. Is it a traditional business? No it is not. However, I convert domains that would make nothing with parking to over $100-500/day and in turn now have more value than the alternative domains with no traffic to end users. I use development to take the alternatives out of the picture.
    So you see the value in”development” for people like me is actually increasing the value of the domain. It can turn a good domain into a must have domain and to the point that we can leverage equity based joint ventures like you can with your portfolio.
    It’s all about the angles you play. You certainly play the game on a high level for your situation. Problem is most of your readers aren’t in the same situation.
    Response by Rick: Thanks for your comments Bryan and all. I think you have to link what I posted to the fact that I have been stressing for so many years about buying quality domains. Last week I got for $1050. To me it was a steal. It means something. You CAN build a business around it. Just needs to be matched with a money making idea and strategy. Maybe I will think of one. I have not taken a DAY to really look at the possibilities. Maybe I won’t. Maybe someone will. But for $1000 and a bit of patience, I will turn this domain into a great investment over my lifetime. There are really good domains out there right now. Life changing domains. Some are priced to sell. $1000 is a fertile ground for great domains while I watch absolute crap sell for tens of thousands.

  3. Vincent Furey

    Isn’t this a simpler strategy; Let’s say you have 1000 domains. You hire 50 people in India and they each have the task of building out 20 per month for x amount of salary each. In one month you have 1000 developed domains for maybe $50,000…why is that so hard?
    Response by Rick: Like I have said so many times, there are an unlimited amount of ways to climb this mountain. We all have our own paths, but I don’t assume even if you do that, that it will be a success. What if it is a failure? What if I lose $50,000 plus reduces the income by 50% for another loss? That doesn’t make one stronger. Yes it may work. BUT, before I do 1000 sites, I want to see ONE THAT WORKS so that I can copy the elements that make it work. That info is the prize. So I did 10. Nah dah. The FACT of the matter is traffic went down not up from a parked page as well as the earnings. I think the ingredient missing in these sites from India or minisites is the passion. The personal something that is the difference between a site and a business.

  4. Ze

    I partnered with developers to build me a few CMS template platforms that allow a site to be fully customized. Paid 50% of the full cost. I partner with developers to clone these platforms for me for every business I want to start. Pay 25% of the full cost. ( this costs next to nothing) I partner with developers to implement all the custom tools that make that particular business work online. Pay 50% of the full cost. I just built 6 businesses for the price of 3, maybe less. Ok, I handle all the design. But I’m not a developer or do I have cash flow to build business after business , just yet. My number of partners is increasing business after business, but so is Richard Branson’s. I do my homework. There are A LOT of developers out there looking for the same kind of opportunities that we domainers are. Partnering is the way to go.
    Thanks for the continuing inspiration Rick.

  5. TechFilipino

    That’s true Rick, this is exactly what I’m focused on doing. It’s a shame not a lot are doing this, it does take an open mind and a risk taker to really pull this off.
    Thanks Rick, this is certainly inspirational.

  6. chuck

    Nice post. This is definitely the way to go. I am keenly watching Kevin Ham and his Reinvent company. They are using a similar biz model. Look at what he is doing with

  7. Michael Sumner

    It’s a great strategy for someone like you who owns a massive amount of premium domains. However, for the average domainer who has second-tier domains that are good but not great, it is difficult if not impossible to find development partners even for a very small fraction of their domains.

  8. scott alliy

    RE your quote” I think the ingredient missing in these sites from India or minisites is the passion. The personal something that is the difference between a site and a business.”
    Excellent observation and spot on. I too have been pursuing joint benture partners to operate many of our own high potential sites. BTW Rick, I have your back on the name. We have owned and for years.
    There is a post out today by Bruce Marler that speaks to finding good quality people. I am reminded of the words from a song by Chris Smithers that goes So long Harry Truman God Damn it’s hard to find an honest man.
    Best luck in your joint venture partner pursuits.

  9. Julia

    Building a minisite is like opening a shop, employing some migrant who doesnt speak the language and never visiting the shop or putting in any effort yourself.
    JV’s also have another set of inherent problems which include the time and effort required in the negotiating phase of a JV through to the expectations and promises each party makes to one another – when the truth is; the vehicle known as the internet is extremely unpredictable.
    I would personally not recommend either building mini-sites or seeking JV’s for any name, unless it was

  10. Tia Wood

    Rick, I never understood this mass development of domains anyway and why one should look at putting a business on each and every single one of them. Don’t people realize it only takes (1) business model to succeed? I like to tell people to choose a good handful of their best names, mix it with their ability/knowledge and go from there. No need to scatter brain ourselves and lose focus. A business is something that requires attention, detail and focus; things we lose when trying to develop our entire portfolio.
    Tia Wood

  11. Gene

    Rick, very good post.
    I find it interesting that there’s a strategy that no one seems to talk about (even if it’s done, in practice), which can be described as follows: First, find (through hard work, of course) an early-stage, emerging trend that your seasoned gut tells you has real legs; Second, perform a systematic analysis (the hardest part) of all the possible tradenames and service marks that a new entrant could possibly leverage to name a new venture, tool, or software; and Third, move quickly to corner the market on the entire matrix.
    This is a strategy that I’ve recently applied in three major growth areas, each of which are now coming into their own right.
    Lastly, after you’ve cornered your niche market (.coms, only), the task is the find a commercial partner who’s in the space -preferrably a start-up -, with which you can partner as an affiliate-of-sorts. And the pitch to them is (a) all the traffic that flows through your targeted portfolio will be directed to their site, only, and (b) while the portfolio is ‘off the market’ it will will naturally keep new entrants at bay – at least to some extent.
    As a trademark lawyer I can tell you that naming a new start-up is half the battle, today (searching for a unique name can take months): so if all the ‘obvious’ names are already registered domain names, they’ll have quite a task on their hands from a branding perspective.
    Being visionary, strategic, and systematic in our approach to the business will pay far greater dividends for domainers than hoping to ‘get lucky’ through a scatter-shot approach, IMHO.

  12. Dtagr

    I know I won’t live long enough to develop my 300+ names either. JV’s and domain leases are certainly the wave of the future.
    As far as that waitress goes, someone told me once -“Why trade hours for dollars when you can trade ideas for millions”?

  13. UFO

    Ahh.. you’re looking in the zone I am in.
    You pretty much need an alignment of the stars to make it all happen, bit like panning for gold… it can take years to put it all together.

  14. Lynda

    Where do I sign up? I work as a Producer in TV/Film with many good two word generics. Would love to partner up with somebody to develop my business as well as entertainment/media sites.(to make money off of. If you have the know how and are interested please contact me.

  15. UFO

    Rick just wants to supply the domain name as equity and let the other party do all the work.
    Sounds good in theory but in practice will only work with the best of the best domain names e.g.

  16. Peter

    Rick your well known to be pretty much the most successful settler in domain world, open source preacher & teacher for which I’m grateful. Would you be willing to mention / suggest a one to ?? list of the smartest contractual clauses to consider in domain partnership deals ? you broke new ground & stood tall knowing your worth, I’m sure you did the same contractually with lawyers who might not have understood the commodity. Personally I am based in Europe and lawyers have a full understanding of contract law, BUT DOMAINS : ( I do not believe in educating lawyers whilst paying them for the privilege, will you be open source on some pointers ?

  17. Dave Wrixon

    Rick, you really don’t get it.
    There are thousands of Developers out there and the vast majority are developing domains with zero intrinsic value. Many will then go on to attempt to flog the domains on the back of traffic that is often extremely temporary.
    Domaining and Development are two different businesses. It does not pay to confuse the two. Obviously, if you have some good domains, a business plan, the investment capital and the motivation, then there are big synergies, but ultimately domaining is domaining and site development is something else. Most have no choice but to attempt development because they are never going to acquire decent domains. But the lack of capital that seals their domaining fate will also severely limit the Development options.


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