What does the Next 20 Years Look Like? A Business Plan Too Simple to be Respectable.

Morning Folks!!

If your goal is to have a commercial and worldwide presence then dotcom is the domain extension that is recognized in that manner. If you believe differently, that is fine, but the bigger your company is the more costly that belief will be over time and eventually you might be blamed for that belief. As far as the desire to get the dotcom version, it will never go away and each passing day makes it harder and more expensive to obtain. And if your competitor gets that domain, well they will likey hurt your company to the point of collapse. That is what 'I' believe.

Now country codes are just fine. But who can argue that it may be a more limited market that you target and maybe even confined to? The average person does not even know such a thing exists if you are in the USA. They don't know that hundreds of different extensions are already out there.

There were many short term business decisions made in the past 15 years or so that now they are finally recognizing there were long term consequences if they failed to realize the importance of what was happening and the time sensitivity. So that is what makes winners and losers and now the losers are whining. They bet the Internet was a fad and many of us bet it would be the new way to do business and provide a revolution in business the likes we had never seen before.

The laughs and jeers of 1996 tho distant, are still present. There is a large group that took their place. Some of them learned, some not. I am not kidding when I use the term 'Fad'. Many believed the Internet was a fad in 1995. I believed it was the best communication and selling tool ever invented. That it had the power to transform 3rd word countries into competing entities. Folks in shacks with an idea would become millionaires. The first time in history where no matter where you were or who you were, you had a shot at success.

'Unique Opportunity in Time'. I stated that and repeated that more than anything I have said. I explained why getting a great domain name was time sensitive. Why that had to be the first thing you address if you seriously wanted to build an empire. Like the game of Risk, the first thing you do is secure your countries. In this case it was to secure domain names that represented commercial and social audiences. Where there would be foot traffic. Where no many how many times you failed, with a great domain name you can reinvent yourself until you get it right. Just like the restaurant on the corner that went bust a dozen times and now has a 2 hour wait to get into. The landlord made out well through all the busts. He of course does better now with a stable tenant.

There are so many parallels with Real Estate and Commodities and Diamonds and the Yellow Pages, and Oil Wells and Gold Mines and People of history in all of those various fields and the dozen I did not mention and the 1000 I did not even think of. I have said that domain names specifically and the Internet in general represent an opportunity my Father did not have, My grandfather did not have, my Great Grandfather did not have nor his father before him. Think about that for a moment. And then LOSERS WHINE. How does anyone whine and complain when you are sitting in a diamond mine and the only thing you need to know is the difference between a rock and a diamond?

Never has there been so much unlimited opportunity and have it so close and convenient. I used to say that human nature is such that if you put folks in a diamond mine with all the free diamonds they could gather, there would still be those that would steal from each other. Go figure.

I knew the Internet was an Infant in 1995 and that like a real infant, it would need 20 years to be fully adopted by society IF that were to be the case. I believed with all my heart, soul and wallet, that it would happen and I bet it would take 20 years and I planned to survive many ups and downs along that path. My only mission was to hold on tight because a roller coaster ride it would be and if you get caught without certain elements, it all comes crashing down.

20 years to the starting line of understanding and embracing. What many of us learned nearly 2 decades ago is just being discovered. While I have always been disappointed about that I was never surprised by it because I expected it.

In 1996-1999 I tried to reach out and expected some folks to embrace what I saw. It was pretty simple. But few took the time to stop laughing and even consider looking at what I saw.

Today, it is different. I have more than 5000 of my domains no longer parked and going to Worksmarter.com. It took 5 years to accomplish that. Do they have traffic? For the most part, yes. But I have found greater value in talking directly to my future partners that I have never met and someday will be part of how my business plan unfolds.

I have another 1000 that are parked but have a link to the site. A site of just words and ideas. Nothing fancy. But I have a dozen different projects in the works. I stopped responding to emails about buying domains. I don't want to sell. Never did. But I did sell some to demonstrate what I saw and now that has been accomplished.

I do have more than a dozen active conversations with folks that have ideas. Now the idea alone does not make the deal. It has to be a 'Profitable' idea. It has to be well thought out and has to have certain elements in it for me to consider.

I intend to hold a private trade show in just 3 years for my partners and myself. My goal, 100 independent businesses with folks I have yet to even meet by some time in 2015.

I have already done the hard part. I have spent a lot of money putting contracts together for Candy.com and Property.com. 6 figures and then some to create the framework not for just these deals, but all future deals. I have developed contracts on a different level for domains like Luv.com and Punchbowl.com. These contracts offer folks with passion and an idea a way forward to build something with 'Sweat Equity', 'Cash' and a 'Percentage' of the new business. It offers me the protection I need and the chance to build something I don't have the talent to do and be part of that domain forever.

At the core of my strategy was understanding that the $750,000 website of 1998 that was obsolete by 1999, would be a $75 template by 2010 and then FREE! So if you knew and believed that in 1998, why would you spend the $$$ then? You would wait and in that time do something useful. Like figuring out how to build an empire. 100 sites in 1997 at $750,000 each would be $75,000,000 before you even open the door. Today you could do it much better and it could be done for pocket change. Folks would ignore that part of the equation and that was what allowed me to look at things in a long term way. 20 year plan followed by a 20 year plan. I knew it would take 20 years for domain names to take center stage. Every business starts with a domain name and while that was true in 1996, most did not recognize it until many years later. Location, Location, Location. Real world or Internet still has great value. Still gives you a leg up. Still gives you the wind at your back. Still can make the biggest difference. Still can be deadly if your competition is the one that has the better location and gets the first shot at potential new customers.

So folks can say what they wish about my plan, and many have laughed at me along the way, but it is a plan and whether folks understand it now or not does not matter much to me. I can guarantee you they will understand it when I have 100 partners. And when I get to 100, I will set a new goal of 200. And when I reach 200....

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz