.Whatever and the BIGGEST Losers! What does this New Info Mean?

Morning Folks!!

Never confuse the customer. That's just one of the takeaways from the O.co disaster. Sure, you can put lipstick on this pig but 5 months after they announce they are going to become O.com, the change goes down in flames.

There are many losers in this. Some are short term losers and then there are long term losers. As for winners, there is only one winner. Dotcom!

Now this does not mean you can't make money with different extensions. You can. Including .co. It does mean you are crazy to try and build a business on any extension other than dotcom UNLESS you own the dotcom. They will ALWAYS have a gaping hole in their advertising and marketing strategy/budget and that is a costly mistake if they don't have the .com counterpart.

What happened with this news is akin to a $25 million domain sale. It's a marker in the sand. Marking a significant day with new FACTS.

This is what I would call a 'Paul Revere Moment' because the following line is going to be repeated and repeated and repeated for YEARS to come. Had O.co just decided to make a change would be one thing, but when they said THIS, the WORLD changed:

'Mr. Johnson said customers responded well to the O.co advertising, but after watching the spots, 'a good portion' of those who sought out the website went to O.com, instead of O.co.'

You can't put this back in the box. You can't unring this bell. This is not a low level employee, this is the President of the company. It is out there and I and others will hang our hat on it for years to come. Whether it be .co, .net, or HUNDREDS and soon to be THOUSANDS of other extensions.

'Mr. Johnson said customers responded well to the O.co advertising, but after watching the spots, 'a good portion' of those who sought out the website went to O.com, instead of O.co.'

Do not forget that line. THAT is what this is all about. 'It's the traffic, stupid!'

But there is also some clarity for the first time. Plus the conversation now turns to traffic. They are finally talking about traffic. When they start targeting that traffic we will all know we have arrived.

Itr has always been about the traffic but now they are reacting to it and understanding it.

When Overstock first announced they would be O.com I thought it was a stupid idea. Not because of the .co. That was not the first thing that popped in my mind. The first thing that popped in my mind was that the Overstock Brand itself was weak at best. Overstock is certainly not on the lips of most people and when I asked folks, most never heard of them. So their move was a branding mistake and premature.

It was stupid. I said so then and I did not mince words but I also was patient enough to wait for a REAL result. So the birdie in the mine was born.

Until NOW most folks did not know or maybe even did not believe that there is traffic leakage from ANY extension to the .com. That was inside baseball. We knew, few others did. Now the world knows. That's a good thing.

Read my posts for the last 15 years. I have stated over and over and over again that .NET is an'Orphan' extension. The weakest one because of the leakage to the .com. So this is nothing new. What is new is a mainstream company articulating that for the world to see. That is HUGE! That will have huge ramifications.

'Mr. Johnson said customers responded well to the O.co advertising, but after watching the spots, 'a good portion' of those who sought out the website went to O.com, instead of O.co.'

That is the key sentence to focus on. Nothing else in the release matters. But there is still a variable there. How MUCH leakage was there? We can guess at this. But let's look at the FACT that 5 months after they went to O.co they change course. 5 MONTHS!!! How much money did they spend in that re-branding effort? New commercials, new ads, new this and new that.

They did it 1 week before Thanksgiving. That is more evidence on how much leakage. Would you have liked to be a fly on the wall during those board meetings?

My estimate is as follows. 25% would be the very least leakage. But i think it is more. 50% would probably be getting close. My guess is they brought in a focus group, ran the commercial and then asked folks to simply go to their website.

So if that focus group had let's say had anywhere between 25% and 75% of folks going to O.com, then you can see why they would do something so drastic they know would be very embarrassing. The exact number we can speculate on. Just look how many times we have messed it up on blog posts or comments. CONFUSION!

But the FACT is it was so much leakage that they were forced to make this move after a huge investment.

Re-branding was a huge mistake when the original brand was not fully branded. But that is just a debating point. What can't be debated is the FACT of the traffic leakage. It's always about the traffic.

There is no excuse or justification. There are now facts. Facts to look at and plug in. But when we agree that this 'Experiment' is a big deal, we can't go back and say it doesn't mean much when it fails. And this was much more than a failure.

The single biggest loser, let me see, there are a few of them. But the biggest loser is down the road. I will have to re-read my August post on .Whatever and see if I need to change any of my thinking.

The gTLD's MOMENTUM is the the single biggest loser. How many companies will rethink their plans? How many will see this as the deciding factor? None of us know but I will guarantee you the answer is greater than 'None.' It may even rise to 'Many.'

Next up is .XXX. They have a different vision. Together we will see how that birdie does. I don't know, you don't know, but the birdie will know. The birdies cousin did not do well and this could be the next fatality. But sex sells and so I would say .XXX is the last best chance. A failure there is a nail in the coffin of .whatever as far as domain investment goes imho. We can count the carcases and come to a conclusion at that point. But I will still wait for the results and as always, time will tell.

I will also see what happens with the .XXX lawsuit. Mike Berkens wrote a piece yesterday and gives some good reasons why companies should get their .whatever. We will see if they take his advice. One thing is for sure, understanding of domain names and traffic on the Internet are still in the elementary stages. Folks that at this point should be fluent in domain names can hardly speak the language.

Those that don't understand how meaningful that one statement Mr. Johnson made is just missing the entire picture and wishing won't make your assets worth more. Taking in new information and adjusting is key. This was HUGE information. Nothing we did not know, but now confimed in a very public way.

I will be using that quote for YEARS to come. Forget the .co, (allthough the confusion factor here is off the chart) put in any extension. If you are going to mass market, you MUST own the dotcom version. SIMPLE. One sentence says it all! Thank you Mr. Johnson. You are my hero!

'Mr. Johnson said customers responded well to the O.co advertising, but after watching the spots, 'a good portion' of those who sought out the website went to O.com, instead of O.co.'

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

How to Make Money During a Time of Uncertainty. A Guide for Going Against the Grain.

Afternoon Folks!!

The biggest cloud we all have over us is the uncertainty of the future. The world has never quite been in a fog like this. Out of orbit. The future is uncertain. Things are tense. But that does not mean you can't do well in times like this. Matter of fact, if you see it clearly, you will do quite well.

You have heard the expression 'You have to ZIG while other ZAG.' This is a case in point. We know there is uncertainty. How do you overcome that? You become CERTAIN. Really. You become certain on something you believe. You become even more certain while everyone else is scared and uncertain. Fear does not work in business. Strength works in business.

Uncertain is what takes our strength away. Don't fall into that TRAP. Oh yes, it is a trap. A trap 99% will fall into. They are zagging, time to zig. This is the time to be strong. Buy fear. Fear is a great motivator. You are now armed with a method. Use it.

Let me give you a bunch of others. See my zigging and zagging and compare it with how things have unfolded. I start out with a set of uncertainties because I took the time to identify them and then apply them to the future. You only need to get the big things right. How did I see in 2007 and 2009 what is unfolding now? The clues were all there. They are always there. Whether folks take the time and stop to examine is only up to them!

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

What’s the Damn Rush? Business needs 18-36 Months to Gel. This is How I see it.

Morning Folks!!

The #1 problem people in business have is they would rather do it FAST than do it RIGHT. I have been in board meetings for some 40 years. I can tell you that almost each and every meeting had 3 flaws. The first flaw was they worked too fast and the 2nd was indecison and the 3rd was wrong decisions.

I say here is the roadmap to 'Work Smarter.'

I have said for many years that if you leave New York and you set sail to London and end up in Africa, your mistake was NOT when you landed in Africa. It was BEFORE you set sail from New York in most cases. Failure happens EARLY on.

So few seem to be able to get their heads around something as simple as that. Failure comes before you start in MOST cases. Poor planning, wrong direction, working fast. Not understanding the results of each step and why there was a result.

Decisions come with time. Not too much time, but time. Quick decisions without thinking of EVERY possible ramification is a failure in the making. A perfect recipe for failure. The FIRST thing you need to do in success is get the recipe right. Do things the right way. Failing to do that results in failure. You must exhaust all avenues.

People often want quick decisions from me. I slow that train right down. I like to sleep on things. I may need a few days and maybe not. But each decision should be made when needed and not before unless you are 100% comfortable with it. When folks rush me, I just decline whatever it was. Life is not like buying a car with a salesman pressuring you. You get to take a deep breath and KNOW that YOU are in charge, not them.

I have been involved in a number of businesses. Businesses grown from an idea. I can tell you that nothing happens overnight. It is a long marathon. As I say in the title, it takes 18-36 months to make a solid business and grow it and get it on a solid foundation. But folks are always in a rush and their time line is so much shorter than reality dictates and that leads to many disappointments. They outsmart themselves by taking shortcuts and skipping steps. It's the bullet train to failure. But the same people always say the same thing....'I will do it right NEXT TIME,' when they still have the POWER to do it right THIS TIME.

As I explain here you don't use a CLOCK in business. You don't measure by time. You measure by milestones.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz


Annie Leibovitz The Great Photographer Suggest Best Camera is the iPhone

Afternoon Folks!!

So I am watching the evening news last night and they interview Annie Leibovitz the famous photographer and when asked what camera folks should buy, I was surprised she said the iPhone. She loves her iPhone and I am still amazed how many have yet to make the leap. Here is a phenomenal photographer suggesting the camera she loves is the one so many of us love as well. She said something like I always have it, I have my wallet pictures very handy and just love it.

My wish is for all you poor lost souls that have not experienced using an iPhone nearly 5 YEARS since it was introduced need to get one for the holidays. It's time. You can thank me later. :-)

Here is the segment

Rick Schwartz


Rick’s University of Domain Names. FREE 90 Day Course!

Morning Folks!!

Would you like to get a 'Rick Schwartz Degree' in domain names? Want to know what I know? Want to find all the hidden secrets? Want to be in all the secret clubs?

I have a formula that will make almost any willing mind a domain graduate. If I got online today I would be confused as hell. Which way to turn? What to do? Which voices to listen to? I don't have all the answers. But I sure as hell have some of them.

So I have come up with a simple 90 day course that will turn a taxi cab driver into a domainer. So domainers should do even better!

If you are making more than $100k a year in domains you don't have to read this. But I think even you folks would turn what I say into 2X as much as you earn today.

So here is the program. In the last 4.5 years I have made about 650 total blog posts. If you eliminate the posts about T..R.A.F.F.I.C. you would be down to about 500. The program is easy and you can start today. Go to the archives and pull up April 2007. Read those posts. Then go to May 2007 and June 2007 and if you just read 5 or 6 posts per day, you will be fluent in domaining in 90 days. It's all there. Not just me, others leave important comments as well.

There it is, 90 days and you will have all your questions answered and answered accurately. Discard what you already know and grab some of the missing pieces.

Here is your first lesson. A link to my posts of April 2007.

When you are done, go read Mike Berkens blog. Go read Frank Schilling's Blog posts. Keep up with the news with Ron Jackson. See what new project Elliot is working on. I mean if computers were what you were interested in you would want to get Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Please don't ask me where to find these things. Lazy STOPS here!

But even the Lazy can find the 'Cliff Notes' RIGHT HERE!

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. and a Return to Las Vegas

Morning Folks!!

Howard and Barbara have been in Las Vegas for the last 2 weeks scouting for venues and dates for a return in either 2012 or 2013 or both. No decisions have been made. There are solid reasons to go to Las Vegas and also solid reasons to wait. With your help we will weigh both sides and come to a good decision.

So what say you? Can't do it without you, so it really becomes up to you. 2012 may be too soon and 2013 may be a smarter choice.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Obituary: The Birdie in the Mine DEAD at just 11 Months of Age. Now What?

Morning Folks!!

What happened with O.com is very significant. I mean O.co. Now that we have new facts I have stated the obvious in my last 2 posts. Here and here. But there is more to it than just is seen with the eye. There are huge ramifications and how it plays out is anybodies guess.

The equation has changed in that we have some clarity. We have seen that even with a multi-million dollar campaign, spitting in the wind is not going to work unless you really have something they really need and want and then take the time and energy to learn something new.

Human nature is a very difficult thing to change. This is a big day because new information that is broadly disseminated is what this is all about to begin with.

The birdie in the mine died. We proclaimed what it would mean if this was to happen and it has happened. They can try and put a happy face on this, but that dog won't hunt. I am writing a lot about this because how important it is. How the result is likely to change thinking. How reinventing the wheel may not be the smartest thing. There is a lot of things to discuss and digest. Much of it was done last January. But now that we have facts and reality to base things on instead of gut, everything changes.

This is a seismic shift. Does it mean .co has no value? No. But it does mean it now has less value. The days and weeks ahead will determine if the INVESTOR market in .co remains viable. The registry will still sell .co, but as investors, investors in domain names, this party is likely over. It was very weak to begin with judging by all the drops. But this is a bell weather of what might be coming. .Whatever did not have a good day. However, dotcom had a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz

Is it Over for .CO? Big Fanfare Turns Embarrassing and Costly with O.co CONFUSION!

Morning Folks!!

As was reported yesterday, the grand experiment of O.co has crashed and burned to put it bluntly. After a huge advertisng budget they found out the hard way that overpowering .com is going to be no easy task.

I think this just verify's what I saw and said back in January. 'A failure here and you can expect the value of .com to rise once again along with skepticism with any and all other new extensions.'

This was a very costly experiment and it obviously did not go well. The only ones surprised are the folks at Overstock.com. The canary DIED!

A crash this early is pretty spectacular. It is not good news for the .co registry and may be a turning point. Between this and the numerous decsions going against the .co owners, it may be safe to say that their best days are behind them and .co for domain speculators may be over. This is VERY bad news for .co domains and the viability without owning the .com counterpart. It also means that .whatever MUST have the .com version if they want to brand ANY other extension.

A big day for .com and a possible funeral for .co.

.Com is now the undisputed champion of the world and now there is PROOF beyond doubt. RIP .Whatever before you are even BORN! The value of .com went up EXPONENTIALLY today. Dot com REMAINS King and 1000 challengers will all need the same thing. The .com counterpart or BUST!

There are new FACTS in town and these facts stand while speculation collapses. What you thought you knew now has to be re-evaluated because of what they said:

'Mr. Johnson said customers responded well to the O.co advertising, but after watching the spots, 'a good portion' of those who sought out the website went to O.com, instead of O.co.'

FACT! Right from the horses mouth. Only idiots ignore FACTS once they are no longer ignorant of them. New facts, new outcome and new results.

Rick Schwartz

My Take on O.co Revisited as They go back to the Future! .COM 1 .CO ZERO

Evening Folks!!

Less than a year ago I said this about Overstock.com and O.com and the confusion that would happen.

'O.com I mean O.co or Overstock.com has done one thing so far, caused confusion and they are likely pissing away a lot of money by not owning O.com which of course is associated with Oprah not Overstock. And right now neither of them has it. It does not resolve.

My point is this is a test. This is a canary in the mines. I don’t know which way it will go. But I do have a hunch it will be more difficult than they expect with a lot of blow back. So far, the winner on this one is the ad exec putting this grand experiment together. There will be a lot to learn here. Some you may want to copy and some you may want to avoid.

Is confusing your customer a good thing? I guess we will find out. The unknown is how many folks will go to O.com to find nothing and then just say what a bunch of idiots never to return. A real risk.'


Today they said: 'Confused? So were customers. Mr. Johnson said customers responded well to the O.co advertising, but after watching the spots, 'a good portion' of those who sought out the website went to O.com, instead of O.co.

Is there an ECHO here??


Rick Schwartz

Property.com Live and Now in Beta

Morning Folks!!

Property.com 1.0 is now live and in Beta. The site opened Friday, 11-11-11. Like everything else, it takes time to evolve and that evolution is now in progress. Property.com joins Candy.com in domains I can point to as not only both Multi-million dollar domain sales, but my original vision of selling a domain name and being able to retain a piece of the new business. I passed up a lot of deals in which this was not a component. For me it is a deal breaker on any truly category defining domain name.

A great day for all of us. What was laughed at and thought impossible not long ago is now a reality that has already been duplicated several times. The next one hopefully to launch is Luv.com and a couple more behind that. A vision turns into another reality regardless of what others say or think. Those opinions can never deter you.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz