With 900 Horses, How many Winners do you Need to Pick?

Morning Folks!!

So Let's just say for a moment that these are the current top 20 extensions. I am sure I have it wrong because I included a couple that came to market with great fanfare. Remember the hype on .ws? "World Site". How are those babies doing today? How many of you invested in .ws and made money?

.com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .mobi, .me, .tv, .us, .xxx, .co, .ca, .de, .co.uk, .eu, .cc, .in, .ws, .es, .mx

So let's further agree that with 900 horses in the race, it is not our job to pick 1-900 in the right order. At the track, it you get the top 2 right you get the daily double. If you get the first 3 right, you get the trifecta. Both pay very well because it is not easy to do.

So how many do you pick if you want to "Dabble"? I think most would agree that the top 10 are where one might one to focus their efforts IF they are going down this road. But even 20 as listed above. Are those 20 all meaningful to you?

Me? I would just worry about trying to pick the winner. Because if that is my focus, chances are they will be in the top 2 or 3 anyways.

So 900 horses at the gate. Many are just not thoroughbreds no matter how you slice it. I think we can agree on that as well.

So wouldn't a savvy investor at least start by eliminating those horses that have no chance of being in contention?

20 Slots in the race for the top 20 extensions. So instead of these guys making wild assumptions about a range of things that are not in their control, they might start by explaining why they are in the top 20. And if they are not in the top 20, why are they wasting our time? And money?

Their focus is out of focus.

With limited strings on some gTLD's does that make for a viable extension? Commercially viable? Investor viable? Long Term? Short Term?

If valid questions and points scare a gTLD, RUN!

These are all valid. These are all questions an investor SHOULD ask. Should know.

So anyone trying to put US on the spot is way off the mark! It is their job to convince us. It is not our job to be convinced. As an investor we would be morons not to be skeptical. They have to overcome the hurdle, not us. So ask them, "Why is your extension going to be 1 of the top 10?" I mean top 10  of the new ones and who knows where they will find their home in the overall list above and the hundreds beyond.

And this is a train. A falter by one could affect others. Missteps, misstatements, and even having JUST TODAY DomainIncite.com report an advertising shut down with 1 and 1, plus stupid and unresearched stories like this one from Chicago Grid that thedomains.com covered in today's news. Each with unknown and uncertain consequences. None that are good.

Rick Schwartz

18 thoughts on “With 900 Horses, How many Winners do you Need to Pick?

  1. Scott Alliy

    Looking forward to the future photos of all involved and or affected by the GTLD program saga unfolding including but not limited to Governing bodies, domainers, bloggers, registries and registrars, marketing and promotion folks. Will be fun to see which have a smile on their face and which have egg.
    Alfred Hitchcock couldn’t pen a better suspense drama LOL

  2. Domenclature.com


    I don’t see any one of them being a thoroughbred. Sure some names have vanity value that will make for a good domainer to domainer sell and recurring; and an occassional aftermarkets doing whatever it is they do that cause them to sell all kinds of inexplicable names for high dollar. But all those are outtliers!

    For the fact that ICANN released 700 of these things, and is threatening more, and could careless about confusion even when it comes to .singular and plural, FORGET IT!

    So, don’t try to be nice, be factual. You have no scientific basis to allocate 10 thoroughbreds, not even one! If you do, let’s hear it.

  3. Red

    How about writing a blog entry on #whatever … almost every commercial has these in them…most likely a fad like facebook.com.com/whatever but seems more pressing than .whatever discussion…lots of entries on this…how about changing it up a bit?

  4. Scott Alliy

    Sorry Rick,

    Got caught up in the humor in my last post and forgot to speak to the soundness and reason of this well written and fair blog post.

    Relevance and sustainability are fair measurement standards for folks considering GTLD domain purchase for investment or business use.

    Truth in advertising, Well that’s a good idea too. Good for business and the industry they serve.

  5. Robbie

    Everything you said they would do us coming true…

    TV ads promoting 1&1′s new gTLD pre-registration services have been banned from the UK’s airwaves after being ruled “likely to mislead” by the Advertising Standards Authority.

    Hmmmm new GTLDS misleading the public with high prices, big dreams, and false promises.. Must be a mistake, why on Earth would they do this?

  6. UFO

    I said right at the outset about 1&1 advertising.

    The worst aspect of it all, is that its been used as a database of commercially valuable domain names and thus most of them will be held out for far higher than reg fees.

    Its not just the hostorical track record of this ‘industry’ with regards to new names, its actually the amount of filthy lying snake oil participants that have shill bidded and top sliced domainers.

    Trust is an important issue for me, and I don’t really trust any of them. If ICANN gave a damn then it would have made them prepare a checklist ‘articles of association’ that prescribed in detail how renewal rates and everything else would be determined going forward.

    The only commercially useful extensions going forward imho are .web and .shop, I like .club and .blog but they don’t have sufficient commercial application.

  7. JBS

    Great points!

    Only a new generic gTLD could crack the top 5 and I would not gamble a nickle on that actually happening within 10 years.

    And, ALL the keyword gTLDS have limited strings – actually very, very limited. So limited they are a complete joke. Can anyone name one keyword gTLD with even 50 good phrases?

    They are hedging their bets on the aggregate effect of 900 or so. Or multiple additional waves. Or the entire English language with gTLDs. I will be long retired by then…

  8. UFO


    Some of them are ok. But should have done far more diligence against a whole bunch of metrics to go after the most financially viable ones, because there are some Top Level Dogs in there,


  9. Patrick Hipskind

    If these registries are really convinced their gTLDs will succeed, and that domain investors won’t be left holding the bag of .crap then why don’t they develop one of their best keywords, monetize it, make it into a company, and let us domain investors buy shares of stock in it. They can list it on the Pink Sheets and then move onto the small caps on NASDAQ if it succeeds.

    I’d buy stock in it. And if it succeeds I would buy up as much of the prime keywords in the gTLD that I could. It would give us the opportunity of getting into a profitable venture like an Ask.com, and maybe even a Facebook for the risk we are taking.

  10. UFO


    The registries are not in the game of developing successful web based businesses; they are selling the tools to the prospectors I.e. the tools for the web developers.

    There is a correlation between a successful gTLD and the underlying registry success, but anything over recouping the initial outlays and ongoing run costs is success, that’s why they have gone for so many strings. Effectively it’s a game of economies of scale to spread overheads and a portfolio approach to getting a few gTLDs correct and on the money.

    From what I have seen very few can get the right domain and the right execution on it.

    The only possible money I can see in any of these new gTLDs is in web and shop. There is money in the other gTLDs but they have to be a matching and valuable combination, things like Fine.Art, Car.Auction, Mountain.Bike etc. But when you consider these are actually the same as 2 word .com’s and see what they sell for its easy to see registry expectations are at retail pricing.

  11. Jeff schneider

    No matter how many early warning signs appear, the froth in registrars and their hot stories that are always tied to .COM Franchise successes continue to inflate the excessive oversupply of both registrars and new uneeded extensions.No matter how Hot the promotional bluster, history shows that :Those that spot the overheating and divest, such as Godaddy Bob Parsons for example, walk away before the Bubble bursts.Thereby transfering the bag holding to someone else. Domainers and End-users BEWARE; These current (Red Flag) Market Fundamental Underpinnings are now firmly in place. The coming Mash-Ups and Collisions caused by the gTLD experiment, will cause a massive flight of Online business owners to the Safety and Reliability of the .COM Franchise Marketing Model. Much as the Derivatives debacle of 07 sent investors to the safety and reliability of the treasury markets. (Flight To Safety)
    “Without question, the gTLD experiment will expand the .COM Franchise Usage and its Channel Traffic Patterns, INEXORABLY JAS 12/19/13 ”

  12. JBS

    “With 900 Horses, How many Winners do you Need to Pick?”

    For speculation, for investing, and for developing, I’ll stick with the favorite who has never lost or is likely to lose a race in the foreseeable future, dot com.

  13. Patrick Hipskind

    Let’s be real candid. The registries want to have a gold rush, because they believe the market exist for specific keywords to be used as a domain name extension. In order for any significant number of these gTLDs to be successful they need the financial investment of domain name investors for the first three years. It is our renewal fees that will give them the cash flow to keep them solvent.

    In order for us not to be left holding the bag of .crap, we need some successes to show potential buyers of our domains. Our buyers will be businesses who frankly don’t see the need for another website, who may not want to switch to another domain name, especially on another extension than .com.

    I do believe that the gTLDs can be used to augment existing marketing efforts for businesses, and therefore there is a market for them although at this time it is hard to assess the size of the market.

    I am not one to over look a good opportunity, but if these registries want to have a gold rush then they need to show the prospectors that the land has gold. Give us some successes to show potential buyers of our domain names. Build out some websites. It will only benefit the registry by doing so.

    And if they develop a website on one of their best keywords, monetized it, turn it into a corporation, and list it on the Over The Counter market they would attract a lot of investor interest and interest from Wall Street. It will do a lot to assure their success.

    I think the domain name industry and quite possibly our wallets as domain name investors will be harmed by a total failure of the gTLD expansion program.

  14. UFO

    The way for the registries to have some traction is to have a combination of high domainer take up and quite a number of developed websites using their URLs.

    Unfortunately, where it all falls down is the number of useful domains on most of these new gTLDs are insufficient in numbers to get enough traction via tossing domainers some free ‘value’ and getting some developers of websites to run with their names.

    Another issue is this ‘subset’ of the main gTLD keyword which can lead to a lot of domains in these new gTLDs being not that viable as living breathing goto websites. Like lots of .horse domains could easily be better represented on horse.com porthole etc.

    The more I look at the database of new gTLDs being applied for, the more I come to the conclusion that the number of viable domains sitting on these applications won’t be enough to shift consumer recollection. The other issue I see, is that registries will hold back the best names, hence these will go undeveloped and as such the conveyor belt will kick in and the whole concept will self implode as lack of consumer recollection/authority will lead to ditching gTLDs in favour of .com’s.

    I think the current crop of new gTLDs is a nice try, but ICANN will have to drop the application costs and the run costs will have to come down so that huge numbers of permutations exist and the .com isn’t needed (as much). (Over 50% of dictionary words are gTLDs)

  15. UFO

    In addition to the above post, at the moment all the gTLDs have gone generic or tended to aim at specific verticals. But it’s the whole matrix mesh (permutations) where it will all properly kick in.

    As an example, lets say someone owned the gTLD .flakes, then domains such as snow.flakes and corn.flakes etc would be viable but because everyone is seeking the keywords rather than the complements then massive numbers of potentials are back to front and not logical. It’s a bit like everyone has gone after the ‘vowels’ and we need all the ‘consonants’ to get the full matrix of permutations…. and that may not happen ever unless it becomes much cheaper to get and run gTLDs.

  16. UFO

    Ok, one last aspect, because its 3am and I;d rather talk about domains than get some sleep… lol

    But, if you look at the potential word combinations that the new gTLDs can generate against the total number of .com permutations then they must AT MOST be 5% hence by sheer mathematical proof they can’t really make a dent, unless you can take the view that some of the more commercial gTLDs like shop can punch above their weight in recognition and in use through the marketing dollars they spend.


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