If You are Not FIRST to Market at Least Learn to Copy Well.

Morning Folks!!

Being FIRST to market is a big deal. But it ain’t the whole enchilada. When I look back at things, I was almost never first. Not even in domains. I came in on the 2nd or 3rd stage of this business. They were no longer free and only a fool like me who came in late would pay $100 a pop for these things when virtually nobody was online.

I look back further. The lighting product I marketed was around for 8 YEARS before I saw something unique and marketed differently. It ignited not only that factory, but several others with competing products. When I finally met the guy in Hong Kong, he was amazed at my youth at the time and knew I had made him a very wealthy man.

The Ad Blimps I sold were around for 50 years. I just did something a little different that allowed me to ship customized ones in 24 hours when others were 3 weeks. I copied everything the others did with that one twist. But when folks wanted this item, they wanted it immediately. I figured out the void and became a thorn to the other gys around for a long time.

With my Vanity 800 numbers I literally got in the game at the very end. But it was still life changing and without what I learned there, I may have never known about type ins. See they existed before they existed because human nature is predictable.

Everything I have done was never first. TRAFFIC was just a reinterpretation of other shows I had attended in my life and then just applied a few twists designed to bring an obscure industry to the attention of the universe. To bring like minded folks together where they could recharge and reenergize and see they were not alone. Not only were they not alone, but they were among some of the sharpest anywhere and they deserved a couple days to enjoy the fruits of their labor and grow their business at the same time.

So that brings me to domain development and the net. I am not looking to be first here either. I just want to copy well. That’s it. Let others blaze THAT trail. Then copy what works. I don’t need large market share to be successful. I need 1% from here and there. 5%. It all adds up.

Folks always wanted to know why I did not develop my gaming domains or why I never did a deal with any gaming sites that would pay a bounty or a percentage. In my mind that was simple, it was illegal and why risk everything for a few more dollars. Ain't worth it. Now look at the news.

Same in adult. I don't have to have content to make money. Why have the liability? But that does not mean you can't benefit. The slippery slope in adult comes down to one word and that word is different for everyone. The word, 'Obscene' is why I don't do adult the way most would with my domains. I could have made TENS of millions more but why take the risk?

I mean we are in a time on the Internet that would be like before they discovered the Arch in the real world. Or steel to build skyscrapers. We are little past the stone ages when compared to the real world. We may be entering the time of “Enlightenment” soon. But we are far from there. The caves are still cold and dark. But these companies I have been talking about the last few posts are changing that. We are beginning to realize the power and folks are starting to walk upright.

When I was in Furniture I met the greatest designer that ever lived. True! It was called the Polaroid Camera. Take a picture and duplicate the item. Make it better and cheaper. Deliver it faster and in one piece. That was the design department used by most factories. I am sure it hasn’t changed other than they use an iphone. Now and they can have it copied by the time I would drive back to the factory.

We may not live longer but we can do more in the time we have. I started the journey and there was no 'Express Mail'. No Fed Ex. No Kinkos. No Office Depot. No fax machines. No Computers. Not even Calculators. No Cell Phone. No Cordless Phone. No Speaker Phone. No VCR. No TIVO. No Cable. No Satellite. No Skype. No Internet. No SHIT! And I could go on for another paragraph.

Add to my list. It is simply amazing what has been achieved and now we get to build from there an entire new whatever this is that is starting to take shape for the first time. We are highly adaptable beings when you pay attention to what is happening.

We have millions of new tools now and we have yet to have the time to sit down and see how they are all connected and what cool things you can do with what is already out there. So while the economy sucks, innovation is running at a record pace and just be prepared to COPY what works. Go to sleep and wake up and look at the world with a fresh set of eyes. You will be amazed at what you see.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

15 thoughts on “If You are Not FIRST to Market at Least Learn to Copy Well.

  1. Scott Alliy

    Thought provoking post as usual and inspirational on this point.
    All the things you said did not exist at the beginning of your business journey that now do.
    ideas concepts needs to satisfy consumer demands. Express mail, Kinko’s smart phones etc. all these products and services were developed to fill needs for personal achievement for financial gain and all driven by the prospect of providing a product or service to staisfy a market need real or perceived. Some entrepreneurs efforts succeeded and some didn’t.
    As I was going through the list of domain names in our portfolio that had recent interest today I saw many many businesses developing lives changed markets addressed and conquered.
    The one thing that you I and all domain holders will need is the patience to hold long enough for the end user to develop a reason to buy or see an opportunity in the market that owning and dveloping one or more of our domain names will be a part of the solution for.
    Most people see children walking down the street. Sports store owners see future little league, basketball, soccer, and other sports team outfit buyers walking down the street.
    Hopefully this post has opened the eyes of domainers to the possibilities that lie ahead that we truly offer the solution to a need a need that may not yet be recognized by the masses but that will be. It did mine.

  2. John

    I get your point Rick, but I wonder why a domain name like Property.com is not developed to the full extent.
    Property.com can easily be made into the ebay of the realestate world… and yet it sits there… with a WordPress theme and a bunch of ads.

  3. andy kelly

    Thanks for your post. Strange to hear that you consider yourself late to the”domain party” Always had you down as one of the first,but very interesting to hear your thoughts. $100 per reg fee tells me that you (and a handful) of others really did go out on a limb back in the day!
    Makes me feel a bit better re only discovering domains circa 2002

  4. James Cogan

    “We have millions of new tools now and we have yet to have the time to sit down and see how they are all connected and what cool things you can do with what is already out there.”
    That’s a brilliant point, and speaks directly to the evolving and growing value proposition of premium domain assets. The only constant in our industry is change. As the tools continue to evolve, they inevitably become more accessible and functional for developers to exploit. At the end of the day it all comes down to building premium brand equity, and the domain name will continue to be the primary tie that binds. End users buy based on need, and need alone. Leverage the tools of today, scout the tools of tomorrow, and do everything you can to build brand equity on your domain property. The rest simply comes down to patience. But no matter what, it’s an incredible time to be in this industry.

  5. Morgan

    Awesome post Rick!! Really good point and I think something that many people overlook. Too many times people decide not to try something that’s already been done assuming they could never improve or revolutionize a concept. You are a true innovator and inspirational as always.
    My favorite line from this post was:
    We may not live longer but we can do more in the time we have.
    I love that! Just wrote it on a post it and put it on my monitor, words to live by and I couldn’t agree more.
    Keep em’ coming – I’d pay good money to read a post like this, as always I appreciate the gold that you’re giving away for free!

  6. generic domains

    Really enjoyed this thanks Rick!
    I love it when you go down memory lane, and then back to the future!
    That’s got quite a ‘ring to it’!
    Just as well i own the .com lol
    keep posting!

  7. Jeff Edelman

    It is this innovation that you mention that makes me so optimistic about the future. I know that the economy sucks and that we are in debt up to our eyeballs. But it is the kind of innovation that you mention, Rick, that is going to make for a very prosperous future.

  8. Simon Johnson

    Your post took me back… it reminded me of when search engines came about. Nowadays many people think Google is the Internet. ;-)
    I’ve always thought the market was big enough for everyone. There are so many opportunities and very little time. It’s all about how you execute that idea.

  9. George

    Excellent post!
    I wake up call to all of us. Unless you are a know it all…
    “We are highly adaptable beings when you pay attention to what is happening.”
    “Copy what works”.

  10. John

    This is why I like .tel domains
    Most people don’t understand the concept behind it and think of it as another TLD. Where else can you register, build and host a website for about $10
    Large domainers are against it because they invested thousands in buying a domain name, developing it and positioning it so they understand that they can loose a lot of money because of this newcomer .TEL

  11. Rick Schwartz

    “Large domainers are against it because they invested thousands in buying a domain name,”
    John, That is just not true and here is why it is an absurd assumption. I don’t know a single LARGE domainer that closes their eyes to ANY opportunity. That is why they are large to begin with. But you yourself stated the problem….”MOST PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT.”
    If folks don’t understand something they don’t deal with it. So if it can’t be explained in 2 or 3 sentences so everyone understands, then THAT is the problem. Not the LARGE domainer or anything or anyone. SIMPLICITY is the key to the door.
    Hope that helps!

  12. Joe Raymond

    Rick, I was a bigger fool then you, if I remember correctly back in early 98 when I started to buy domain names Network Solutions had two options at check out, I always went for the more expensive option that included use of their nameservers which I did not use or even know what they were at the time. I must have bought 30 domains like that until I figured out I could use the less expensive option.


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