Each new gTLD I will review with the following lens and I will rate in each category.
VALUE (And for now, let's stipulate that value is limited until it can be measured in a more meaningful way)
I can score them on a 1-10 basis but seldom will I have to.
So let's start with .London
Let me also make the following blanket statement. Geo's and Brands may be exceptions.
Brands have nothing to do with us as investors. The only relevance is if they will use it, when they will use it and how they will use it. So let's stipulate that .brand is a separate issue. If I were working for .brand I would get the .brand gtld. Maybe never use it, but secure it nonetheless depending on the brand. Some brands can take their time. .CocaCola for example is not in jeopardy. However .apple or .delta could be. So there would be more of a sense of urgency.
.Geo tlds will be determined by how it is embraced locally and whether it is a turn off or a turn on internationally. Gucci.Rome? Maybe. Fendi.Paris. But the "." is very confusing and sometimes catalogued.
Point is, these are different from the generics. I can't say which way it may go. But it is still limited. But there is opportunity depending on the restrictions and adaptation. It may or may not be embraced. The public has the final vote. None of us do. Our job is to predict what will unfold and bet on the outcome.
So then we get to the generics and those are the ones I will focus on.
Let's do .Club
First of all when I apply my test of Need, Want and Desire, almost all will rate very low on "Need". There is little "Need" for any of this. So let's not make false foundations. Need is universally LOW! Bullshit is about to become universally high trying to overcome the FACT that there is no need! We already heard some of it. We are running out of .coms. Bullshit! .Com is your fathers extension. More bullshit. And friend or foe, I am allergic to bullshit and I will point it out each time. If you like stepping in it, then by all means don't let me stop you.
Then we get to WANT! Want is another story. And .Club actually ranks rather well on want. I could see clubs wanting their name. So let's discuss the most valuable .clubs. Those will be famous and trademarked .clubs and that has no meaning to you and me. However there are a number of generic clubs. Problem is most clubs like that would not have a lot of money as a general rule. Now there are exceptions and it will be those exceptions that you would have to focus on. So Bridge.club to a women's Thursday condo club has no value. You need a national bridge club to WANT that domain for a lot of money. Do they WANT it? That is the question?? They certainly don't need it.
Then we go to desire. You really need to desire something before you even get to want. I don't know that folks are going to desire these. They may. There are enough clubs so it could have a basis and a foundation. Will they desire it in time is the only question?
You can take a gtld like that and stand it next to .tatoo for example. Given those two, I would bet on .club. But of course, we have many more choices, so keep your wallet in your pockets for the time being.
Then .sexy is the last one for today. There is only one thing I am 100% certain of when it comes to .sexy. I am certain that sexy.com is the immediate and big winner. There is no gamble there whatsoever. Sexy.com does not have to do a thing. On the other hand the .Sexy registry, needs many thousands of what comes down to "Sub-domains". That loops right back around to co.com. They seem to be betting that the .com is imperative on the end and are going to be there to take advantage of the confusion factor if that materializes. But don't mind me. I am a simple man who is easily confused. Luckily hundreds of millions know how I feel.
I will match each one against .web. Why .web? Because so far that would seem the one that makes the most sense for any type of wide adaptation in which ANY word or phrase can be used in conjunction with it.
But .web could be another .biz or .net. Could be. I am not certain. I can see scenarios for either. And that is what our job is. Be certain about what we are certain of and be flexible on what we are not certain of. With each new bit of info, even certain has to be looked at again and recalculated. You either become more or less certain. But this is still a process that must be done mentally to get to a conclusion and an answer before others do.
So .web if it had some broad support and advertising could be an extension that puts .net on their heels. A good case could be made to abandon a .net and use a .web if it were to be embraced by the public. My comments on .web go back years and as Franky pointed out during our debate last month, they opted for .info instead. That was a HUGE mistake. Had they used .web at that time, I think things would look a lot different today.
Need, want, desire.
Need to me is universally 1 on the 1-10 scale. It may decline from there. ;-)
Want, comes down to the audience it will attract. .Club could do well on want. .web could do well on want. .London could do well on want. When it comes to desire, that is what they need to instill in folks and that is a TALL order. To instill desire on something you don't actually need. Tough mountain. Depends how the locals embrace and use it. Depends if the locals are not the ones that own the domains. Depends on all types of restrictions that could be in play. That applies to all the geos universally. We know the city is behind .nyc. But what we don't know is who and how many will adapt to it and who basically will reside there. Who will or will not advertise it. All unknowns and most of the unknowns don't end well. And the confusion factor is always there.
Brands are separate and the only thing we need to watch for and be aware of is adaptation and advertising. Whether it will be used as an internal or external platform. Without that, it is nothing more than a patent in a drawer that may or may not have useful value.
Look, I enjoy talking about the unknown. Comparing notes, thoughts and ideas. The elbows will eventually fly with 700 horses in a derby meant for 15-20. They will contradict each other. Stumble over each other and basically do damage to each other. More than my thoughts could ever do. Sorry, that's the way it is likely to unfold. I can't control any of that. I can just see it before it materializes and articulate it beforehand. Tell me next Christmas how wrong I am. Kumbya won't be in the top 100.
Sales are hard to make. But sales make the world go around. Without sales all the 700 die on the vine. No 2 ways about it. A true catch 22. Domainers looking for the second coming are likely to snap up whatever they can afford and if that smothers the end-user out, game over! On the other hand if they are depending on the end-user and startups to support them, could be the same result. A balancing act for sure. It will take a few years to see who survives. There is simply not enough oxygen out there to support them all. Each collapse can only hurt those that remain. Can only cast a shadow on the others. That is why there will be a lot of turmoil to come.
And they will be FORCED to resort to bullshit as we have already seen. They must paint a blue sky or who in their right mind would invest? When selling, there is allowable bullshit and bullshit that is to the point of misleading and lying. See when you have to mislead and lie to sell, that is a very weak sale. That is a sale that may bounce. That is a sale riddled with problems. That may not be a sale at all. I think we have all been fooled enough with the promises of riches with extensions that have done nothing but suck up investors money.
I really do want to see what they see. Just don't pee on my leg and tell me it is raining. Tell me the benefits of your .whatever without having to resort to silly stuff that will never filter down to your target audience anyways and alienates domainers that could actually invest if they did not think they were getting bullshitted AGAIN! It's all about the .whatever and what value it has to offer. The same people saying this and that didn't see the recovery and BOOM we are in now just a few months back when I started pointing to the reasons we would be where we are now. But it is not about now, it's about where we will be in a year from now.
I really don't care who runs the registry. Network Solutions was perhaps the worst company I ever had the pleasure to do business with. They were so inept back in 1995 and 1996 tat they forgot to put in a cash register and actually charge for each domain name. Did not seem to hurt .com and they were like an angel investor to me. By the time the first bill actually came, I was making money online and I had more income than bills.
This is fun and exciting times for us. However the new registries are under the gun to make money. They have overhead, staffs, rent, attorney bills, ICANN bills and then they have to suffer delay after delay after delay. That is very costly and some of them are in a world of pain. So when I hear domainers say for $185k they could have owned a registry, not so fast. And since we are ging to have 700 under the gun at virtually the same time, IMAGINE the bullshit they and their folks are about to spew. I have written about it for 18 months and now we are seeing it.
Besides that, 75% of "Domainers" and "Domain Flippers" that we all know, will be working for these companies. So friend or foe, it is about the viability of each extension and the opportunity to make money that will be my driving force and the only thing that gets in the way of that is BULLSHIT and that is why you will NEVER see me relent when it comes to BS. No way Jose!
So my advice for each gTLD, is stick with the facts, don't make up sales and don't try to marginalize something else in order to make your case. That dog won't hunt. It's weak and transparent. Really.
Just one last promise.
If you like your .Com, you can keep your .Com. Period! See I think when it comes to bullshit, we have all heard quite enough. So become Joe Friday from Dragnet. Nothing but the FACTS. I point to EMPIRICAL evidence backed by numbers. Ignoring that is not the road to make a sale.