Defining a New Mission, New Path for a New Era vs.”A Kodak Moment”

Morning Folks!!

Mission Accomplished. I had time to think, reflect and verify. Mission Accomplished. So what I have tried to do is re-adjust and re-evaluate to a world where Domain Names are no longer an unknown. Quite the opposite. The entire world now knows that it all starts with a domain name. Every business, every idea, every child born. That's the first step. It is also a step they may need to repeat and revisit if they did not get it right the first time and found any degree of success. That is happening already.

We live in a world today where domain 'Evangelists' are in every corner of the world. Where there are more 'Domain Bloggers' than there were domainers back even as late as 1998 or 1999.

So where do I pivot to from here? What do we as domain investors see? That has been the question I have needed to answer and have wrestled with. I am not looking to create work. That is never a consideration. I retired in 1998 and even the thought about being trapped again is enough to make me run. I do 'Missions.' I don't do 'Jobs.' Is there a difference? You bet your sweet ass there is.

I don't look at domains as a business where I buy and sell. That is always a fallback plan but not the main plan. I look at it as a gold reserve that protects my financial independence. Strictly as an investment with expansion potential when and as I see fit. Each year I buy many more domains than I sell. I don't need a lot of new domains, I just need to invest in some every year that I see as safer than owning dollars and will rise in value faster than other riskier investments.

I defined my financial needs for a lifetime back in the 1990's and my gold bullion came in the form of a .com on the end. Storage was easy and very portable. It had so many faces I am still counting. Many parallels with many things. All making domains exponentially more valuable than the very things we can compare it to. As a commodity. As a collectible. As Real Estate. As the Yellow Pages. As the 800 Number. As Social Media. As Media. As an Address. As a Business. As a Movement. As a Stock. As a Location. As an Investment. As a TV. As Gold and Oil. So many more. What is yours?

I have sat behind a number of monitors and keyboards for 17 years now and I still don't see anything so universal, so meaningful to the future, so multi-faceted as a great domain name. Plus the annual overhead is something paid within the first days of each year.

We are entering an exciting time. It's akin to going to the playoffs. The regular season is over. Domaining now is entering the 'Playoff' stage. A stage that I would guess would last up to 3 years. Possibly less. Then we go to the 'Super Bowl.' The 20 year plan.....EXECUTED!

In the face of naysayers and laughter, my plan is still intact and right on target. What I have had to do was take the 20 year plan and now redefine the last 3 years of that plan to get everything in focus for the trail ahead.

I wish folks could see things in true focus and since they can't, they not only laugh, but have no patience whatsoever. But where was the Telephone after 20 years? The Automobile after 20 years? The Airplane after 20 years? The TV after 20 years? It would be 20 years more before these industries exploded and they are still exploding. Bigger and better and faster and more refined. Point is we are still on the frontier of everything to come. That insures that domain values in the future will continue to rise exponentially.
We are DECADES from a ceiling but we are only months away from the outer edges of the 'Sweet spot' in many cases.

We all now have a collection of FACTS to work off of. proved another fact. You need just 1 entity on earth to want and NEED what you own. The only thing between that being a $5000 domain and a $1 Million domain was the seller and the buyer. The other 6,999,999,998 folks on earth don't count in that equation. That was what you call a 'Perfect Match' and that is what you want and need and have to have the patience to achieve.

It has long been argued who has the power and actually sets the price. Some think the seller is in charge, some thing the buyer is in charge. I have found the TRUE answer. The seller sets the price. The buyer sets the value. When those two either overlap or are close, a deal can be struck. Ultimately the seller is the decider. PERIOD! He is the only one that can actually pull the trigger and say 'Yes.' So I think we can finally put this argument to bed.

More domains were sold in the aftermarket in 2011 than any year in history. More dollar volume was done selling domains in 2011 than any other year in history and the increase from 2010 was staggering. How do I know this? Just like I knew everything else. If you wait for certain things to be reported as fact, you will always chase yesterday. These are just facts that have yet to be reported because they can't be reported. Most deals are private. We hear about a fraction of what actually happens. Nobody has to believe this but me, and I do and I will, and someday it will be reported as fact.

Let me put it bluntly, there is no longer an EXCUSE for Corp America not to get it. For ANY company for that matter, not to get it. Not to make the real world connections and parallels. That dog just won't hunt anymore. Folks either get it and get it NOW, or they will forever be lost in the wilderness of a past century.

At this point you have to use a lot of energy to remain ignorant. It's one thing to be ignorant when you don't know something, but the thresh-hold of fools and moron-hood start at the point you are no longer ignorant but act that way anyhow. Cling to that ignorance. Make decisions still based on that ignorance. Refuse to accept new facts and see how that affects the overall picture.
Companies should have had a 'Domain Strategy' over the past years. They were so busy is short term gains via SEO that they missed the long term strategy that would have given those SEO folks the wind at their back. Short term planning at the expense of the long run.

If you were buying a boat or even a yacht, the FIRST thing you would verify is that there are no LEAKS. The first thing. In domains it is not only the last thing, in most cases it isn't even a thing. Some are completely unaware. When their ignorance is cured, certain domains will have more value.

The FIRST thing anyone should do when buying a domain name for a business is to make sure when that domain is promoted it does not LEAK! With a domain, leaks come in the form of confusion. In the form of misspells. In the form of hard to remember. In the form of the wrong extension. In the form of how it sounds.

Those are just a few. So when I see folks that don't even consider these things, I have to wonder. If he were buying that boat would he still be so foolish? Yes, that person is a fool. Why would that fool get mad at the person for pointing out the leak? That behavior clings to foolishness and ignorance as opposed to understanding it. A moment to climb a step on the ladder of knowledge is lost to losing many steps as folks fight to remain ignorant.

Some folks have a pass and can remain ignorant if they choose. However, CEO's, VP's, Marketing, have no excuse whatsoever to stay ignorant any longer. The buck stops with them and most have failed their companies miserably. The only question now is whether they will cling to ignorance until they are obsolete and looking for a new gig. Budgets are no excuse for staying ignorant. Leaders must lead. They must make decisions others have no spine to make. They must recognize the difference between a 'Time sensitive' decision and all other decisions and make their case. If they can't persuade and sell their own folks, then they are weak and they are not qualified to hold the position they have.

I have said since the 1990's that sometimes doing nothing trumps all the busy work in the world. Sometimes just setting up an umbrella and waiting for the masses makes more sense than trying to hunt them down. But if you do hunt, wait for the hunting season coming soon. Once their ignorance is cured they will beat a path to where ever you decide to camp out or they will have their own 'Kodak Moment.' What's the recipe for a 'Kodak Moment?' Have your company run by Dinosaurs, Lawyers and Accountants. No leader. No vision. No direction. No excuse! We are even seeing it in the domain industry. Corpoations in domaining and not a NATURAL domainer in sight.

Corporate America can't sustain itself without understanding why one of the best run companies at one time has gone south. They won't be the last. But I think many people had a sick feeling in the pit of their stomach when they heard that one of the mainstays of business for over 100 years was going south.

The 'Domain Industry' has been abused and misused for many years. Some are fairly good stewards and some use a 'Scorched Earth' approach. Just like the real world. Some folks felt a responsibility to throw their trash away while others felt a need to just throw it out the window. Some saw a need to keep the water supply clean and others just pissed in it. The Industry is now a Multi-Billion Dollar one and expanding faster than most. Those that sell the tools keep inventing new tools and that draws more and more folks into domaining. This industry is getting bigger. But it is getting bigger on the edges. The core business is hard to penetrate. You can do it either socially or financially.

I think on the financial aspect more folks will get into the industry the way I did. Slowly. Deliberately. Targeting specific domain and specific types of domains. Not to flip. But for security, for growth, for future development. While I started in 1995, I did not start earning anything substantive until late 1996 and then did not really hit pay dirt until 1997 and 1998. I never sold a domain in that time. Never wanted to sell a domain at that time. I just wanted to accumulate them like little Savings Bonds and Mineral Rights on the Property I owned as well. I learned when there was no information and it blows me away that so many are having a hard time with so much information out there.

The way I look at domaining is like most would look at a savings bond. You don't buy them today and sell tomorrow. You buy and you hold. And eventually, it matures. That's the domain game. That's the way to play and win. You don't quit your day job to buy savings bonds. You have your day job just for that very reason to collect as many as you can and put them away. When you have more savings bonds then you know what to do with, then you are in the domain game. In the center of it. Not on the edges. But it won't happen unless you look at life via years not hours and days.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz