A Good Contract Starts and Ends with Good People

Morning Folks!!

A good contract starts and ends with good people.

Pretty simple. It's at the core of how I view things.

No contract can protect you from bad people or people who can't follow thru.

So that means that the people who sign the deal are the most important. Their character is key.

How do find out if they are good or bad when you don't know them?


The contract stage is the courtship stage. It's like planning a wedding and your nerves will always be tested. It is just one of the elements involved in getting to a contract to begin with. Lots of flirting along the way. Many times taken way too seriously. After all the discussion before the contract is just a business flirtation. To see if you want to go steady and then get married. The contract, the marriage license, the pre-nup are all the same.

Some folks are walking calamity's when it comes to contracts and they always find themselves on the short end and then trying to enforce something not worth enforcing. They usually have a few elements in common and did not have a pure meeting of the minds and then expect too much. Those deals are destined for failure.

I am sure most of my readers have many active contracts. Some contracts are weak and some contracts are strong. But A good contract starts and ends with good people with good will that agree on a common set of circumstances and have a clear meeting of the minds. If's and then's. If this happens then I get that. If that happens, you get this. The simpler it is the stronger the contract is.

And today we are busy taking care of our portfolios, in time that will change and our #1 job will be keeping track of more and more contracts. Each domain name married off and on their way with a contract to a partner you have yet to meet. Exciting times are coming!

Rick Schwartz


TV Was to my Father as the Internet is to Us. Here is the Parallel and the Gold!

Afternoon Folks!!

I have said for years that the highest and best use for the Internet and the Internet's BIGGEST company have not even been born yet. I said that before Google and before Facebook and I can say it today and PROVE it!

So let me show you the historic parallel that will prove my point. It will also show you why patience IS the key. THE key.

TV was to my father as the Internet is to us. An "Interactive TV" would be one way to describe the Internet. Now while the modern TV was invented in the 1920's (my dad would have been a teenager) something happened in 1939 that changed history and the world forever. That event as I learned just yesterday was a national broadcast of the first major league baseball game.

Now think what has happened since that one event. Not just baseball but all of sport! It was not limited. Just one USE of this new medium gave birth to something that today has dozens if not hundreds of channels devoted to broadcasting sports. Some of the highest paid advertising in the world is around sports.

So the most important thing to understand about the net to get the most out of being a domain investor is to realize there is a stage to collect and a stage to sell. Your circumstance will dictate that to you and for you. But if you keep circumstance at bay, that buys you time. Time is the key. My entire plan revolves around buying the time needed to hurdle of the graves of businesses that did not make it and land on the wings of those that have and those that will. And the reason is such strong parallels in so many unrelated industries. Only connected by sales and profits.

I am no visionary. I am Rip Van Winkle and the job was to fill in a 20 year canyon as comfortably as possible and find as many parallels as possible. Because in these 20 years the world would change over and over and over again and it would take many more years to fully exploit this new dimension we all find ourselves in. Evolution takes time and ideas building on each other.

So pick a parallel. Each parallel is a rainbow to me. I am just overwhelmed by the amount of rainbows all lined up one after another in industry after industry after industry. All connected by common goals and uncommon goals that still lead the way forward. All in search of that pot of gold.

Think how many people make a living from Facebook without working or even having a relationship with the company. Same with Google. Same with Apple. Folks fill in the voids they find with new products. Sometimes with great success and some you will never see. MOST you will never see. MOST will never break the surface. But those that do will find what they are looking for.

Besides the formative years of techies the Internet is really only 10-15 years old in "Consumer years". Maybe less than that. I watched how long it took for some folks. I would say in the last 5 years we finally hit "Critical mass". We have yet to hit "Critical Understanding". Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn help propel many forward.

We have NOT reached "Critical Etiquette" where folks learn to conduct themselves with character online. Being a "Professional" but having no "Character" is a monumental difference and one certainly trumps the other. Reputation repair proves that. One of the hottest sectors of the Internet. All those pros that need an eraser to fix the bad stuff they have done. Pretty sad!

For years I have said we are in "Spring Training". Today I can declare that spring training is finally over. The real season has actually begun this summer. We are in the first inning. That's it. The game to me and how I see things, first inning. Time to get in your seats. Knowledge leads to more productive conversations and that is the kindling needed to make things happen. When you reach the point where you can't fool folks any longer with charm and bullshit.

They know impression based advertising is for fools that like to piss all their money down the drain. They know it is all about targeting and now they are starting to ask the right questions and Facebook is giving them some of the right answers. Google may start playing catch up. LinkedIn is flexing some muscle.

I mean how would you approach things if you knew and understood just how early we still are in all this? How fast we have come with a HUGE project that billions are involved in. Ideas will change each day and with each new idea newer ideas come as well. The Great Wall was built and a great achievement by man. Or men and women. What we are creating now is much bigger, much more grand and 1000x more important.

It's the greatest "Poverty Killer" ever invented. We are making our fortunes in a virtual world. An added and new dimension of connectivity. More opportunity born daily than anyone or any group could even chronicle or record.

My dad was 88 when he died in the late 1990's. He would write computer programs with a radio shack tape recorder. He spanned someof the greatest eras ever. He was alive before WW1. Product of the Roaring 20's. Prohibition. Survived the Great Depression. Served during WW2. Worked on Top Secret stuff during the Korean War and Vietnam and then up until the early 1970's. That's when folks could actually keep a secret.

He was an Electrical Engineer by trade. He managed to self educate himself in everything from that to electronics to plumbing to building an addition to our home by himself. He could fix anything. But when he embraced computers and then the Internet  like he was 18, that was very important to see and understand and then act on.

I saw at that time just how the young and the old would embrace this medium and those caught in the middle would eventually be forced by social pressures and necessity to follow along many years later. That was my first conclusion back in the mid 1990's and I credit my dad for giving me that perspective.

When it comes to the Internet, we too are mostly self-educated. We had to learn things first hand and stumble along. There was no luxury of having a "Book" to follow or success to copy. So in that respect, many of us are like my dad. Just in a new medium with virtual electric and virtual plumbing and lots of other virtual this's and that's.

That's what "Trailblazing" is all about. It's in the blood. Life is always looking for the cutting edge.

Study how towns and cities grew to be where they are and why and you harness the power of the past and apply it to the future and in different mediums. Study different industries and how they expanded and unfolded and what and who became important. Study the past to SEE the future.

We are pilots of another era but the paths are similar and they absolutely do repeat themselves when you link the proper parallels. That allows you to position yourself to be between parallels BEFORE they intersect and produce the gold.

Rick Schwartz

Could These be the First 9 Digit PURE Domain Deals?

Morning Folks!!

I remember the days when selling a 6 figure domain name was just a blue sky theory. Then it became reality and then fairly common place.

I remember the days when selling a 7 figure domain name was just a blue sky theory. Then it became reality and then fairly common place.

I remember the days when selling an 8 figure domain was just a blue sky theory. Then it became reality and eventually it will become fairly common place.

I remember the days when selling an 9 figure domain was just a blue sky theory. And that may or may not still be the case. Most likely any 9 figure deal came with a confidentiality clause. And for 9 figures, I wouldn't be talkin' either.

What it is about is the "Headline" and "Sensationalism".

Today, if you want to be noticed, your headline must be attention grabbing. Just like a domain name. Attention grabbing. That's why folks want them in the first place.

This post is really not about a 9 figure domain sale. But please give me a little leeway on this one and I will explain the headline and the reality of a 9 figure domain sale. Just bear with me as I tie these two things together with Hotels.com and LasVegas.com below and maybe you will see what I see. These things are ABSOLUTELY related and it will take me a few more paragraphs to put this picture in perspective.

Look at the lengths businesses go to get noticed. Locally they have folks dressed up in costumes and twirling a sign pimping one retail tax guy or a Dry Cleaners or whoever. Each doing different gyrations to stand out and be noticed. Some of it is even desperate. They may be hours away from the landlord closing down their business. They have to go to great lengths to survive.

In blogging or publishing or even the Evening News, sensational headlines is what brings eyeballs. Now how far you go determines if that comes back to bite you. If you do it too often or are overly misleading folks will get angry. Human nature. You may be angry right now. But I am trying to make a larger point and hope you will allow me a little extra room on this one to drive it home and connect it. Because it is domain related. A domain is the ultimate headline.  Your name in lights! Bigger and brighter than anything Times Square could even offer.

I came to the net when there was 6 billion people and only a few million eyeballs and even fewer soapboxes. Today 7 billion and so many of us are on soapboxes for this product or that or this cause or another. The competition is so fierce. Soapboxes getting set up faster than your eyes can even count. Each day many tens of thousands of new faces get on their soap box for the very first time. Nobody is there. They talk to the wind. There is no REASON to be there and if they don't create one it is over before it starts.

Chances are we won't see a  PURE 9 digit domain name sale for many years if ever in our lifetimes. Not that there are not some that are worth it.

Looking back, what is the value of a Hotels.com for example? Strip back the entire company. How much is the Hotels.com domain worth? LasVegas.com, what is the domain worth? Domains like these are the benchmark. If there was an auction for these domains today and with what we know or SHOULD know, what is the value of the PURE domain today? Hopefully there will be no arguments by domain investors that they are each worth in excess of $10 Million today without a website. But what would an auction look like given the new-found info? Given the annual costs? Given the competition? Given the size of the market?

The auction will of course never happen, but would Marriott, Hyatt, Westin, Holiday Inn, Hilton, etc finally understand what was TRULY at stake? Would folks that spent millions going after an unprooven gTLD's take a turn and go for the real prize instead?

Knowing what you know now could you not make a case that domains such as these would approach a pure 9 figure domain deal? Maybe you have others that you might substitute. Stamps.com comes to mind. Just generic domains with HUGE and immediate markets.

It's worthy of a discussion. How would the opening bid not be over $10 million and then where does the bidding end?

Food for thought. We can argue and it is all meaningless. But it is what you believe in your heart or what you don't believe.

Rick Schwartz


Breaking: .PS Registry (Palestine) Seems to Have been Hacked!?

Afternoon Folks!!

Seems the .PS registry has been hacked.

Looks like someone hacked the .PS registry so they can direct names anywhere. Like if someone hacked the .COM registry we would all be at the mercy of that person. A check of Google.PS illustrates what may be happening.

This can open up new concerns as new gTLD's are slated for market.


UPDATE: Tech Crunch reports it to be a "Domain Registry Attack"

Rick Schwartz


Are Today’s Modern Weather Scientists a Bunch of Schmucks??

Afternoon folks!!

Let's piss off scientists today! This sentence caught my eye a few hours ago in reference to the Farmers Almanac that has been published since 1818 and soon celebrating 200 years of predicting the weather and getting it right!

"Modern scientists don't put much stock in sunspots or tidal action, but the almanac says its forecasts used by readers to plan weddings and plant gardens are correct about 80 percent of the time."

I don't know about you but if the National Weather Service gets 50% right it would be a vast improvement. See in the 1980's they wrote some kind of new weather program and ever since then they have gotten the weather wrong more often than getting it right. For years I joked and said' "They must have put the floppy in upside down" because they were always so wrong. 100% chance of rain means no rain and 0% means it's gonna rain. They predict the weather 10 days out and can't get it right 10 HOURS and sometimes 10 MINUTES out.

Yes, this has been a pet peeve of mine for years and today I found a story that illustrates my point.

So the "Modern Scientist" basically looks down their snout at the Farmers Almanac regardless of the fact that the Almanac is right 80% of the time and the modern genius scientist has a hard time making it to 50% and from my experience, closer to 33%. How does that work? Superiority without a superior result?!

G-D Save us from ourselves. lol. Progress is great until it no longer works.

How close does the National Weather Service by you predict the weather? Do they influence your weekend plans just to find out they were wrong?

I know many business owners at beaches that get mighty pissed when they predict rain for the weekend 3 days in advance and all you have is sunshine. It costs many businesses a lot of money when they are wrong.

Rick Schwartz

The Story of Queen.com. Purchase, Use and Earnings

Morning Folks!!

Last year I listed Queen.com as one of my top 10 domain puchases/bargains. I even listed what I paid for it. The price has no bearing on what the value or what I may eventually sell or lease it for if I choose. The potential buyer can TRY and use it against me but it will be a useless effort and a waste of their energy. It will fall on deaf ears. If you want 1997 prices.....come back in 1997.

So in August of 1997 I was able to acquire Queen.com. I probably tried to buy King.com as well that same day. I'd have been overwhelmed to have gotten both but as we know King.com has gone on to great things with their #1 Candy game.

But I was happy to get Queen.com and in those days there was much talk of Princess Diana being Queen. That was  2 years before her unfortunate death.

But that was not the main reason for the purchase. I was thinking more on the lines of a "gay slangqueen is a term used to refer to flamboyant or effeminate gay men" according to Wikipedia. And thinking that way earned me into the 6 figures because that traffic was very valuable. It still is.

Of course today when you think of the highest and best use you may think of a rock group that most of us enjoy. They use Queenonline. To my knowledge I have never been contacted by them. But back in 1997 mainstream had yet to embrace the Internet "FAD"!

The great thing with a domain like this is I have my choice of how to use it. Where to use it. Where to point it to. I can move that "Door" to any subject I like. If the Royal Baby had been a girl, we might be talking about the future queen.

As a matter of fact TODAY, I am redirecting all Queen.com traffic with a "Door" to this post. Thousands of you come to Queen.com and I am sure many of you will not find what you are looking for. Then again I am hoping a few of you take a moment and comment on what you were looking for and intending to find here. It may be different from the ones mentioned above as new "Slangs" and new "Things" happen all the time.

Thanks for your time!

Rick Schwartz

PS: One of the reasons I see problems with Search is if you are on Google looking for THE "Queen", the Queen of England does not appear until page 3.  Where does that leave the others using "Queen" as part of their name, good or service? The "Disco" Queen. The "Roller Derby Queen". The "Homecoming Queen". The Queen CITY".

JC Penny Bleeding nearly $200 Million a MONTH and STILL CLUELESS??

Morning Folks!!

Please read this story and see what is missing and what is misguided.

"Execs conceded that the much-heralded redesign of its home stores had not fared well, and had a negative impact on same-store sales. The retailer plans to restage those departments with a more balanced assortment of traditional and modern goods, including good, better and best price points. Some merchandise will also be arranged by category rather than brand."

As they continue to bleed and continue to "Regroup" for the umpteenth time, NOWHERE in the article does JC Penny say word one about their website business. Maybe instead of rearranging the damn furniture, they need to toss the furniture, forget the staging, close a bunch of stores and get in the black with an online strategy before it is too late.

Their lunch is being eaten by EVERYONE! Even Sears and they think moving the furniture around will save them?? REALLLLY?? That ain't the problem DUDES! Your problem is getting folks in the stores to begin with and more importantly, your online store. THAT is the challenge and they are fighting the wrong war. DUH! DUH! DUH!

I have not been inside a JC Penny's store in a decade. I walk thru Sears because it is the easiest place to park when I go to the mall which is not very often. Always spaces at the end! So I walk thru Sears never spending a Penny! (YUK). It's not cuz I don't like their furniture. Maybe I just don't like the outdated overpriced crap they sell and the lousy service. Ditto for Penny's.

Is it possible we are seeing collapse of a 111 year old company? Along with Sears, they represent the "Retail Boom" that happened to nearly parallel domaining just over 100 years ago. But while they enjoyed 100 years of glory, they keep reinventing themselves until there is nothing left to reinvent.

It's getting to the point that we are not talking about "Ifs'. We are now talking about "Whens". When will stores like this basically collapse? They are racing against the clock and history itself and have not even begun to get in control of their out of control business and market shares. A bad Christmas season could seal the deal. They may survive for a few more years, but they are on the decline and their futures are bleak. They are the "Nursing Homes" of retail as they continue to decline and become less relevant.

Just one mans opinion!

What does this have to do with domaining? Domaining is BUSINESS and if you don't understand BUSINESS then domaining is that much tougher for you to succeed. Some better choices in DOMAINS and a domain strategy may have been the life-preserver a company like this could have used to sustain itself and survive another century. Instead of rearranging the stupid furniture, maybe there was another choice not even on their radar.

Rick Schwartz


Socializing On Facebook or Making Money on Linkedin? Stop…..and Take a “Think” Break

Morning Folks!!

Facebook is a social platform trying to learn how to be a business and have their folks do business. They WILL succeed in time.

LinkedIn is strictly business. Socially driven but all business and getting more and more important.

They are not the same and should not be used the same or even seen the same. But both, along with Twitter, have a place in the eco-system of Internet business.

I stumbled on this at LinkedIn and it is beyond valuable. I have talked about it many times over the years. Here is another perspective.


That reminded me of my BEST EVER post on decisions which is what you are supposed to do AFTER you think. HERE is the roadmap for that process.

Rick Schwartz

How Valuable is the 800 Number and the EXACT Domain Name Match Together?

Morning Folks!!

How important is it to have your 800 number match your web address??

Marriott has 1-800-Marriott and www.Marriott.com

Many if not most of the hotel chains are matched.

Goldline.com has 1-800-GOLD-LINE and www.GOLDLINE.COM

Many of the Fortune 500 that lend to a match has some match.

I think marketing wise it is the top of the pyramid. No Runs, No leaks, No errors.

I only have I think 2 domains that I have the corresponding 800 number. So not easy to accomplish.

What say you?

Rick Schwartz

My Changing Work Habits. At my Desk and still Mobile

Morning Folks!!

I love cutting edge devices. Cutting edge devices that are easy to use. I started thinking about the tools that have come over the past 5 years or so and without doubt one stands as the coolest, most important and most powerful device ever. So powerful that it has changed the way I work.

I have written about this device on many occasions. It did not just change me, it changed the world.

It has changed my life so much that as I sit here at my desk pecking away at the keyboard, I am surrounded by 2 iPads and a mini iPad. But even those GREAT devices are not what I speak of. I seldom use either one. I love them. Can't imagine being without them, but only use on very specific occasions.

What device do I use? Well when I am sitting right at my desk I use that as much as my Macbook. Yep, the ole iPhone is what I am talking about and it has changed the way I work. Some apps offer me a quicker way to access info I need during the day. It's truly the one device I can't live without. I have a Galaxy S4 and it is ok. But still not on the same level as the iPhone. Sorry. It's a great device. Superior to the Blackberry that appears to be terminal at this stage. But no match for iPhone. The s4 is sluggish in comparison and a bit archaic.

The Blackberry got handed a death sentence the day the iphone arrived. It was obvious. I could do more tasks with an iPhone at a red light than I could with a blackberry in an hour and I would not get it all done with the blackberry. I am sure you love your blackberry. It was great at one time. It was THE device at one time. But that time is over. There latest entry kinda seals the deal.

I still need my laptop. But I spend more and more time iphone based and that is when I am sitting right at my desk. And when I walk away from my desk, the iphone is everything in my hand. Truly the most revolutionary device for day to day life and looking forward to any new improvements or power they may be packing into the next generation.

It's a long way from my 12LB Radio shack cell phone with a 45 minute battery or even Motorola "Brick" with abut 2.5 hours. Then the Startac and I even forgot what came out next. But I have it still. I have almost every single one of them because I collect them. Remember Primeco before it morphed into Verizon? I estimate I have some 75-100 phones. Each made me more productive that the previous one. I remember when the Motorola Startac came out and they said I could get my email on the phone. I did not even believe it. They showed me, changed my life.

Point is I have had cell phones since the early 80's when they became available and have enjoyed the evolution. How much better can it get?

Rick Schwartz