Thinking out loud mode ON.........
It all starts with an idea. An unpolished idea. But a nucleus. There are contradictions in an idea and the key is figuring out those dilemmas. So here is an idea to build on. It's not an original idea, but it is unique to our dilemma of having great properties and in need of a profitable idea/business. A business.
Our #1 common problem is we have great real estate and we have yet to have many ideas to turn that real estate into income producing businesses. Into an asset that is exponentially more valuable than a parked page. Into a thriving business or marketplace. If we unlock that door, everything we do changes.
As always, first you must identify the problem. Then you need to identify the missing pieces of the puzzle while you are strengthening the pieces of the puzzle you have. Time and Times are the other 2 ingredients. The time and timing is right o pull this off.
So I have a seed of an idea that Howard and I started exploring last summer but there was not enough time to do it in a meaningful way. Instead of 'Test Track' next year at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. What if we had a competition? A competition with maybe $25,000 if that what it takes. $50,000 if we can really nail a solid formula.
The idea is to reach outside the domain industry to the developer world. It is something I already explored a bit over the summer and a couple development companies I talked to liked the plan. Not freelance developers, but they would not be excluded, but top tier development companies.
Here is how it could work: (and this is raw and will evolve with your help)
Domainers could offer up a domain they would like to get developed into a business. They pay an entry fee to have different companies build out their site. The winning developers would not only get a cash prize, but would be highly sought after for future development projects. I would think 50% of the prize money would come from folks that want a site built and to have 5 different versions to choose from. What is the value of that to me? To us? I guess that depends on who builds out those sites. But the more we have entered, the broader the contest and the more prize money could be awarded.
I think the cash prize would drum up a lot of interest. I think there is also a possibility that one of the developed sites could be profitable. Could be wildly successful. So there could even be a long term component of this for the winner.
The key is figuring out a formula that is attractive to all parties and moves the ball forward for all to see. Maybe even corporations, schools would get involved. If you have been pitching an end user, this may be of interest to them.
Here are a couple of guidelines. The site should have a 'Cash Register' and there can be no 3rd party PPC ads on the site. This MUST be a business.
Again, this is simply a SEED of an idea. It's rough, raw. Together we can figure out a winning formula in the days ahead and I can implement that idea. If it fails, we will learn. If it succeeds, not only will we learn, but we have a chance to BUST OUT at a crucial time and blaze some new paths.
The key is bringing in developers from outside the industry. A fresh set of eyes. Not mass marketed type sites. It could be large companies or solo acts. Sometimes a 1 hour simple site can catch more business than the fanciest of sites with all the bells and whistles.
The ability to grow what you have is the key of any successful business. What do you think would work? Keep it SIMPLE. It's all about the 'Formula.' This post I am simply thinking out loud. It weaves and turns and repeats. But that is the evolution of a successful idea and actually implementing it.
I would like to see 5 different domainers each come to the table with 5 domains and $2500. From that we would have at least 5 bonafide development companies each pick one domain from each domainers group and compete to make the best site. So we would get 50% of the funding via those that have the most to gain and TRAFFIC would pony up the other 50%. Again, just thinking out loud and how to construct a winning hand and make something BIG happen.
Like always, some will get on the field and play and participate. My gamble is just finding 5 domainers that like the idea and want to be a player and then going to those development companies and making the pitch. I will need help in targeting the right companies.
Thinking out loud mode OFF.........
Have a GREAT Day!