Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house
not a creature was stirring except my Dell mouse.
The sites were ugly and few they were.
My wife of the day asked are you crazy sir?
I clicked and I clicked and so the day went
and before you knew it was money I spent.
I sprang from the desk to see what was next.
I looked into the window and only saw sex.
Broke open the numbers and threw up the page
Along came customers to unlock the wage.
If you don't see what I see then it is okay.
But what I see is life changing in a positive way.
What if this and what if that?
No time to waste said the George the cat.
So I clicked and I clicked and so the day went
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick!
But I heard him exclaim, as he surfed off the site-
Happy Domaining to all, and to all a good night.
And now you know the main reason I never became a poet.
Today marks the start of my 18th year investing in domain names. Stunning to me. The day that changed my life. I have never done anything this long. Every day is exciting. It's the greatest hobby ever invented and you make money too. On one hand it feels like just the day after last Christmas and on the other like a generation ago. How could I have even imagined that one act would change my destiny forever and in such a big way. Monopoly, the reality game. I risked $100 and hit the lottery!
I do believe that everything I learned up until that moment in life was all in preparation for that one moment. True destiny. I saw something clearer than I had ever seen in my entire life. It was a stunning event that allowed me to time travel in as far as I saw that direct parallel between .com and Times Square Real Estate. It did not happen overnight. The process took months and then about 2 years to fully evolve.
Somewhere early on while I saw what I saw I also saw a very big problem. I was looking at something that likely could survive over 100 years and could even take that long to manifest itself. It was at that moment that I decided to do everything in my power to spread the word. To educate and by doing that I would help bend the curve of time down from 100 years during my lifetime.
When I was born all the land had been sold. There was no more 'Free land'. There was only expensive property and more expensive property. Property I would likely never have the money to buy. Still that way. Could not buy much in Times Square today with my life savings. Wish I had been born during that land rush. Actually not. This is much better, bigger and more meaningful landrush.
Domains gave me a 2nd chance to do what those generations before me did and the wealth they created by doing it. An EXACT parallel. But with less work and I could accelerate the process. 90 day deals could be done in 90 seconds and that had great value.
But the .com to me had more dimensions than the physical. It had wider reach, broader appeeal and an infinite amount of floors you could add to it or land you could sprawl over. This was land on steroids. This was something bigger than me and bigger than anything I had ever seen. More powerful than an entire mall. And what if people actually go online? More than the 5% in the USA and the 1% or less worldwide at the time. What would it look like if people in the remotest areas could compete with the guy in New York City. It would look like TODAY! NOW!
How can something so invisible, so intangible so technical possibly do what I see? How is it possible? But the scarier question was what happens if it is not only possible but a reality? I found the answer in a restaurant. I overheard a table of fairly elderly folks talking about how they kept in touch with their grand children via email. That was the absolute confirmation for me that the Internet would actually take off and be important. Once I saw the oldest and the youngest embrace the same medium, it was over. The middle would fill in by themselves. And they did.
The first person that ever gave credibility to what I was doing was Joe Holler. He was one of the very few in those days with the credibility and technical know how that also saw the other side of that. The side called marketing. So while all the techies were laughing at me and my ignorance for spending $100 a pop on a domain name, I found one of the most respected techies of the day that was not laughing. Could not come at a better time. And while I was sure of what I saw, I woke up every morning and would second guess myself and ask myself if I was off the reservation. Nobody saw what I saw and this was getting very expensive. Luckily it was nearly 9 months before I had to pay the $18000 or so in invoices I had racked up. But by that time I was taking in money. More money with every passing day.
Who the hell would have thought in 1995 that mesothelioma would be the biggest payout on the net for years? lol So you can't predict everything. But you can predict some things. You can predict that human behavior is what you have to tap into to make money. You can predict how something will unfold based on a parallel if you can find one and it is in fact a true parallel. You can look at one thing and see how and why it will sell and look another and see how and why it will not sell.
To me beyond the parallels was this consolidation of some of our biggest mediums. I already discussed property. But the domain name and the Internet was also a yellow pages. A directory. It added another dimension because it was also a TV set. Also a music machine. A radio. A game device. It was all of our habits and loves in one place at one time. How could it not be the biggest thing the world had ever seen? How could it not? How could you stop it? How could you live without it? We can't. We are wired and hooked and logged on. We are connected.
If you don't think this is the greatest medium ever you are a wuss! You could not get laid in a whore house. You see the world with blinders on. We would not even have this conversation without it. Did I mention sharing? The phone? The video phone? The combination of a computer and the internet is the most dynamic duo that has even been invented since the automobile and oil. It is so big and still getting bigger. This is a giant that is still in puberty. It will take another 20 years just to catch up with the possible exploitation of what is available right now and not even adding all the things coming in the next 20 years.
To the trained eye there has never been so much opportunity in the history of mankind as there is today. Never! B ut it requires thinking and most folks don't have the time to think. The hours you need to think. The solitude you need to think. To figure out. To untangle. To clearly see what few can. To come at something from left field, right field, center field and infield. To look at something every way until you find THE way.
So all I can say is the future will be much more exciting than the past if you allow it and think of all the changes and the voids that have resulted. Real voids. Not imagined voids.
The one thing I have learned is three words that direct my vessel. Need, Want, Desire. It's the test that everything has to pass through. If you don't have the need or want then the desire has to be created. Nobody needed the .com back then. Nobody wanted it back then. But I knew someday they would desire it and it would take 20 years to manifest. They need it so much and want it so much now that they would risk being labeled a 'Reverse Domain Name Hijacker' to get it. Saw that too back then. Not in that form. How in the world could I and would I protect what many in the world would NEED would WANT and would DESIRE?
And that brings us to .whatever and let me be 100% clear. In success or failure .whatever will only drive UP the prices of .com. There is no threat whatsoever to investment quality domain names as I have described now for all these years in a multitude of ways. None whatsoever. And if you have the .com counterpart of an actual .whatever, then $10 million is about the bottom price that domain is worth at today's level and could only skyrocket from there. Eventually all this I have written about will have to be dealt with. I am not against the new extesions. I only see opportunity. But when it comes to investment quality, way too early to know if any will break out and meet that measure. But here is my prediction. We will know by the end of 20 years and that is when domains will BEGIN to be valued properly.
The game is not the same as 1995. But the elements that led me here are the same and better and I only see a lifetime of opportunity ahead no matter what form it comes in and no matter what direction the road may lead. The passion for progress still burns deep in me. Much deeper than 18 years ago.
Have a GREAT day!
May 2013 be your Best Year EVER!