I would not like to be Rob Hall today. This was going to be a comment over at TheDomains.com but decided it was worthy of a stand alone post.
After reading the comments, Why is everyone so positive on something (either way) that there is no way to know how it will unfold?
“So why wouldn’t you sell your generic .com’s and use the money to fund new gTLD’s”
Let me remind Rob Hall that 'dotcom' is the single most used word in the world today. Unless somebody develops something new and better and more useful, that will likely not change in most of our lifetimes. And where did he make the leap that you would have to SELL your dotcoms to fund a new gTLD?? What the hell does one have to do with the other? His logic is flawed in this respect. However he does make a good point as he asks Mike about Stuff.com but agan LOGIC is missing as I will explain.
“So would you rather own Stuff.com or .Stuff for $185K?
“If you owned the TLD don’t you think you could sell 10,000 registrations a year at $10 or make $100K a year.”
Maybe you would sell 50,000 registrations a year and now make $500,000 a year and that would be an annuity in perpetuity.
“So why wouldn’t you sell your generic .com’s and use the money to fund new gTLD’s”
This is a different mindset because it is not as a 'Domain Investment' it is as a business venture. But he fails to ask the next LOGICAL question. Would .stuff want stuff.com? And the answer is you bet your sweet ass they want and NEED the domain. But it does not matter if Mike sells Stuff.com and you can ask the folks at Anything.com who has XXX.com. Worth less???? Are you in your right mind? Worth less???
That said it does not mean there won't be 'Opportunity'. But don't confuse opportunist with opportunity. There may be plenty of both. So while I don't agree with Rob Hall on domainers selling their dotcoms, there are other things he says that may have some validity. So let's pick it apart a bit without the knee jerk and emotional reaction. Maybe a few FACTS.
Opportunity comes in many forms and lots of people make millions on failures.
Relying on the domain investor community to buy into 1000 different extensions is not going to happen. However it will draw those that missed the last domain rush into wasting most of their money on something that won't be a success for 20 years if ever. Most will fail out of the gate on their own weight and lack of knowledge.
It's all about the advertising and who does that advertising. CNN branded 'Dotcom'. As I can remember, they were the first. All day, All night, when it meant nothing to 99% of folks. So without that type of distribution, it is going to be a very uphill battle for 99% of all new extensions.
Wishful thinking won't work on either side. Hard facts and how it unfolds will.
Humans are very adaptable when they see a direct benefit to themselves. So never say never. But also realize how long it takes to change a foundation. You have to eat TODAY. Some of these new 'Roads' may not be traveled in our lifetime. They are building interstates but if they go nowhere and lead to nothing it won't matter.
The bottom line is it always comes down to the idea. We will never run out of domains, but we sometimes run out of ideas that just don't copy what already is.
The internet is like LIFE and will and has become destination based.
As a consumer I could care less about the extension. I just want what I need and want. Problem is when the average person tells others, the confusion with dotcom is HUGE!
For example. There is a big thing going on about being 'Topless' for women. So they have a site at 'GoTopless.ORG. Would you like to know how much traffic the .ORG is LEAKING?? Right now to the tune of 2000 visitors a DAY as I own GoTopless.COM.
Now I like .org. I believe it is the #2 extension and have stated that for about a decade now. BUT, folks MUST deal with this issue or they are FOOLS. Period. How do you ignore that??
Now if you ran a business and you lost 2000 customers a day having something other than .COM maybe an intelligent businessman would figure out it is costing them a lot of lost business. And if I were their competitor, I would be eating their lunch and owning THEIR customers. That leak can sink a ship. A person could make a living off a 'Leak'. Can make a FORTUNE off a LEAK.
So get .whatever and the dotcom version goes up 10 fold or 100 fold by ACCIDENT! I just proved it. The dot com owner is YOUR MASTER! Want to be freed of your MASTER?? That takes $$$$$$ to buy the dot com.
ANYONE that thinks a company can get a .whatever and not have the dot com and not lose is just closing their eyes to PROOF! If a guy on Madison Ave gets a .whatever for his client without the .com, he screwed over his client BIG TIME! PERIOD!
But with all that said, there will be BILLIONS of dollars thrown at .whatever and that alone is something that should give everyone reading this a little pause. Not just a knee jerk reaction. Just remember those BILLIONS will ALL need the dotcom counerpart.
I am THRILLED that most in mainstream will disagree with me. Most are looking for the second coming and 1 or 2 out of 1000 just might happen. THEIR success is OUR success. Not the other way around.
Be Loyal to what you believe and what matters. This will bring a tear or more to your eyes and make you pause for just a moment. Nothing to do with domains, everything to do with life.
Have a GREAT Day!
I agree there is a lot of money to be made in new extensions, just not as a domain investor, that game will get infinitely tougher with the multitude of extensions that will swamp the market in 2013.
If you’re smart and can follow the money instead of the ‘advice’ people are giving, you can still make a killing.
Will you be applying for .King Rick? :)
I thought and still think Rob has some good points. What however was not so smart was to give the advice to drop your 2,3,4 word dot coms.
That’s actually pretty bad advise since no one can exactly predict what is going to happen. So sticking with your coms is the only good advice at the moment.
For the rest good pointers from Rob. And we will see the domain landscape change. And as soon the brands are gonna throw tons of money into their own TLD we will see things happen never seen before.
Have a good one.
Regarding Rob Hall’s analysis, where he states”“If you owned the TLD don’t you think you could sell 10,000 registrations a year at $10 or make $100K a year”…history’s already proven that to be a flawed business model.
I can recall back in 1999/2000 there was a lot of chatter about leveraging common surnames (e.g., Smith, Jones, Adams) to build a similar business model to sell email addresses to everyone with that name.
Fast-forward: If you type in”Smith.com”, you arrive at Smith Bits, a Schlumberger company;”Jones.com” brings you to Jones International; and”Adams.com” leads to MSC Software.
So, the facts demonstrate that that idea is DOA; because if it was a money maker, these outcomes wouldn’t exist.
will be doing a blog post myself soon going into great detail as the subject is worthy of it
the top extensions, like .com, .org. .co.uk .de will just get stronger
and to quote you from another time,”when most people are telling you you’re wrong….. you know you’re right!”
Great post. Hasn’t there been a strong alternative to .com for years in .net at a fraction of the cost?
Rick, well said. I didn’t even know Pool was still in business to be completely honest. So anything coming from them is garbage talk in my opinion. What they meant to say was”Let your dotcoms expire and we’ll”try” to catch them and then make a profit off you”, but they had to hide it in such a way as to appear genuine and factual. Plus, I don’t know if the new TLDs will be rolled out in the time frame they set forth. With all the new advertising lobbyists coming out of the woodwork against the implementation and with ICANN staff fleeing to go and make a profit off what they just voted in favor of, I can see this getting much messier in the near future.
Nice post Rick. I agree 100%.
.Com is going to be good either way and the success of gTLDs will likely increase the value of .Com. Either people will realize they need to acquire the .Com version in addition to their new name.extension or they will leak traffic to the .Com counterpart making it more valuable in the process.
The new gltds will have some market but most will be so niche and industry specific that you quickly run out of good words to put in front of them. If you look at .me for example, there seems to be a decent market for action verbs in front of the .me, such as Scan.me, Date.me, Watch.me and so on. Other examples of existing gltds that were specific and didn’t take off are .jobs, .travel, .coop. If there was a .games, the hot picks would be Fun.games, Mobile.games, Girl.games Fighting.games and so on until you quickly run out of relevant words to put in front of the extension. How would anyone be able to sell 10,000 or 50,000 domain registrations in .stuff??? So I pretty much agree with Rick’s post.
David J Castello
Spot on, Rick.
Totally Agree .com is king and here to stay for a long time the .tld is something that shall happen but isnt a game changer in anyway
do they think google or yahoo etc shall change to .google or .yahoo
It wont happen period! .com is here 100% and for life!
I would love to read a post about .co here, Rick. I think it’s the elephant in the room and the only serious threat to .com. Like you said though, it’s presence only increases the value of .com. While I think that .com will likely always be on top, I don’t think any new gtld will ever be as attractive as .co for business, not .inc, or .gmbh, or .corp or whatever else. I am invested heavily in .co but I am realistic. It could take a few years. As far as the new gtlds, Very few will be successful and most will end up in the .museum :-).
1. .com will always have a place in the internet world. Don’t get rid of them.
2. I think it will be a rare thing as to which new TLDs will flourish. .co is an anomaly, for certain. Don’t expect .pizza to necessarily take off. Look at .jobs, .travel etc. No significant dent in the market.
4. No offense to Rob Hall, but essentially he is in the auction business. The more offerings ie new TLDs, the better for his business. That fact alone disqualifies his opinion.
i’m not the smartest businessman in the world but if you intend to sell 10,000 .stuff domains at $10 a year you better be very rich or you’ll be broke very quickly.
Thought that George Kirikos comments were Truly on the money.
EM .jobs, .travel are heavilly restricted. So that makes sense they never took off..They are still around though. They must be making money somehow.
Some of the new gTLDs will also be restricted but not all.
As usual a well thought out reasoned argument, well done Rick.
There will undoubtedly be profit made some who invest in new gTLD domains, but I do not see it coming at the cost of .com’s, or in my opinion of generally of any other gTLD’s. The new gTLD’s will supplement mainly the larger worldwide brands, may fill a few niches, and indeed may be regarded as ‘super hacks’, and in these instances money can be made, but most I would consider will either fail financially because of lack of uptake or fail because of poor marketing and/or awareness/adoption by the public.
Dotcom is like Warren Buffett. It is not rocket science, but most people fall all over themselves trying to get cute or speculating on non-sense. Most of Buffett’s money came from a few big moves in companies like The Washington Post, Coca Cola, American Express, and other obvious winners.
All of you domainers who faciliate the absolute robbery of the public with these comical and worthless extensions are really doing a great disservice to your reputations.
I know a few of you blog owners who dabble in this horseshit every time a new extension comes out. I have caught many of you in lies, too, as you try to unload your dogshit on the public. You even try to unload useless dotcoms for outrageous prices.
That is why RicksBlog.com is the best place to be. He is honest and tells you scammers where your thinking is flawed. I have always said that you should never ever buy anything other than dotcom, until you have made a ton of money in dotcom. The end result is if you follow that basic rule you are way ahead of the game.
The odds of someone making a good living in an extension other than dotcom, without ever having learned the ropes in dotcom is close to zero. I am not talking about scamming people with worthless names.
If you are new to domaining and you can’t make money in dotcom, you have no business ever buying a name in another extension. Period.
this is a good example..but of course we need more specifics from the domain king ahead on the mainstram so we can all evalute the new tld prospective.
what is the the specific numbers for ass.com before and after the launch of ass.xxx? what happened to your .com suffix count?
how about porno.com after the launch of porno.xxx?
how about sexo.com and after the launch of sexo.xxx?
this is where the domain king can add benchmarking direct navigation counts that will have real validity so the entire domain community can read and evalute the implementaion of the new tlds.
this is something only schwartz can do as again you are in the unque position ahead of the masses.
also the new tlds will have more than 3 letters to the right of the dot…this will have a big effect on the future roll outs of large letters right of the dot tlds.
I agree with you Rick – .com is and will always be the main ticket. The new extensions seem to be an immediate profit center for Icann, more than anything else. The more they roll out – the more they flood the marketplace and dilute that value of every one of them. Sounds like .bullshit to me…
but the opposite can also be true
for example google”mma weekly”, you will see the .com at #1 which is the oldest and legit webiste and .org at #2 that leeches traffic
The internet is often compared to the land rush that happened when the new world was discovered. At present New York is considered the place to invest if you are into property development. So if you are a property mogul like Trump, NY is king in terms of real estate that’s why he based his office there. If you are an internet mogul then .com is king.
The new gTLDs will no doubt create opportunities – just like the land rush of the real world did. Dot XXX can be considered Las Vegas & maybe .movies, .music can be considered Hollywood of the digital world.
So I think what Rob was saying is sell you property in NY and buy in CA or TX landrush. People would think that you were nuts by doing this because there was nothing in CA and NV during those early times.
@Eddie, That is about the way I have always seen it. I never understood folks that focus on Outer Mongolia land when you can still buy in Las Vegas and Hollywood and Manhattan. When you focus on the first 3 you can buy half the world.
I like your reasoning on this and it makes sense too! I’ve always been a firm believer in the dot com even though this dot co – ie dot mobi 2.0 ;)~ mad gold rush period.
Business entities utilizing that name space or ‘right on the dot’ so to speak of can not afford to turn a blind eye to the dot com version and it’s traffic overshadowing their enterprise.
Personally I’m welcoming the possibility of a .php and/or .java extension, especially if enterprise registers something like coders.php and/or coders.java for the ‘hire a coder’ niche.
If their enterprise succeeds then it would only be a matter of time before they come knocking on the owners door for phpcoders.com and/or javacoders.com,”for which incidentally I’ll be waiting~” ;)
You are pretty much on the nose with this post. There will be some notable exceptions, .stuff won’t be one of them. Branding is always a factor, but positioning shows it is limited by what you are working with. Some extensions will have natural branding and be short enough to be usable and general enough to have value in depth, if well marketed they have a shot.
.XXX is in a special class in that it has potential to be litigated into the dominant position and be a first mover for a that market. Search engine policies can also have the potential to shift the terrain like an earthquake.
Top tier natural keyword combinations will have unique value, and I can think of a small number of extensions that will have considerable built in natural value as extensions when released. There will be a Tokyo and a Shanghai or two that will emerge to stand besides New York in the topography of extensions. Their natural depth and utility will make these extensions as strong or stronger than the dot com and will likely eclipse them with sheer volume. Extensions like this will be the exception and not the rule, as there aren’t that many that fit the core critieria, in my opinion.
My inclination is that this will remain true in at least the mid to short term. There may be a point where individually branded domains reach critical mass and collectively devalue .com as the default goto search term. Navigational structures will also eventually take their toll on the existing heirarchy. Dot com has a huge first mover advantage and will continue to be reinforced by the emergence of innovative and defining brands in that spectrum. This is going to take time to overcome.
As for why you might want to invest outside of”NY”… a first tier property in any major city is going to likely be a more profitible asset than a second tier property in the most affluent city. Not everyone can get to”new york” first, and investing in development and branding on new ground may be more cost effective. The dotcom may well grow in value as an effect, but with a flood of new globals and a strategic approach, that dot com may be put into a much more competitive niche than it has traditionally been in.
The value of a”dot com” that is positioned to catch overflow is demonstrable, it is also a long term achilles heel if it waits too long on the sidelines, particularly if Icann ultimately succeeds in their quest to flood the global TLD space.
IMO, these are the long and midterm challenges of the space. For many of the reasons you’ve discussed, including the likelyhood of extensive litigation to control potentially competing extensions, Dotcom will continue to hold primacy for at least the short to mid term.
And yes, I 100% agree that selling the dotcom to fund the same extension is idiocy, thats like selling 51% of your shares in a company to found a competitor.
This is very interesting. People can learn a lot from this. Dot com is an investment, it’s like buying a land or a house. You have to keep it for your business because it’s very crucial. Whatever happens, don’t sell it. It will haunt you in the future if you do.
Rick has always been on the money with his thoughts. Try putting common search terms before most of the possible new extensions and they sound awful. As Rick has often repeated”Does it pass the radio test?”. I have always followed that with my domain holdings of which 99% are dotcoms. A few new tlds may have success but the great majority will, in my opinion, fail. When in doubt people will always revert back to .com. They are the prime real estate of the Internet.
Rick, how did you measure leakage from GoTopless.org to your GoTopless.com name?