So to find success I often study failure. And when we come to failures on the web, there are more than enough to choose from. And learn from.
“We built the website first and asked our customers about it later” Robin Chase, Co-Founder of Zipcar. Just one of 13 failures written about here and why they failed. You can find stories like that all day long.
I see a win-lose situation and to me that is the recipe for failure before we even get to all those other things.
ICANN, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!
Registries, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!
Registrars, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!
Lawyers, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!
Google, Need, Want Desire......CHECK!
Domainers, Need, Want Desire......CHECK for as many as 25%. Debatable for others. Kiss of death for the unfortunate. None for what seems the majority.
Now the bandwagon stops there. The rest is a crap shoot for a very big reason. There is another side of the equation. Actually hundreds of different variables on the other side of the equation. But here are the big two.
End user, Need, Want Desire......Nobody asked them
Consumer, Need, Want Desire......Nobody asked them
If that is not the cardinal mistake in business, I am not sure what is.
Did they ask any of you before the fact? Can you honestly say these are the very best extensions that they could bring to market? How many extensions would an investor focus on if they wanted to find a degree of success? Are the best extensions available now? What happens if you tie your dollars up with the dogs and a winner comes to market and there are no funds left? Just the most basic of questions. Drill down and see what you find. You drill down by asking the right questions. Then weighing the quality of the answer.
I have said for many years that failure happens at the beginning of the journey, not the end. The end is just when you realize it and of course it is too late then. “We built the website first and asked our customers about it later”. He figured it out after the failure. Success is finding the answer before you sail. But you must ask the right questions of the right people and you have to accept their answer even when it goes against your beliefs and theory.
Everyone has staked out their positions now. Since the only ones that can buy from the list above are Domainers, you are the focus. ICANN does not buy so they are not the focus. Registries don't buy so they are not the focus. Registrars don't buy so they are not the focus. Lawyers don't buy so they are not the focus. Consumers and End Users can't buy at this time and know nothing of this. So who is left????
Trademark holders and domainers. Your wallets are important. PERIOD! Not whether they get bigger or smaller in a few years. Just your wallets. They have to sell you something to survive. Who else can they sell to in mass?? Here is the aftermath for those readers with short memories. You can all make excuses but there it is.
In a horse race you MUST bet before the race. In this race, you can place your bets for years to come. Reasons like this are the reasons that tell me that waiting to see how this race shakes out is the proper course for me. If not, you and me both risk having a portfolio of worthless .aeros, .mobi's and .crap to add to this list. See that is the one sure bet. There will be less meaningful extensions than .aero and .mobi. Hundreds of them! Hundreds that will never be as important as .Aero. Feeling lucky?
And remember....value and circumstance have yet to weigh in. This is what I would call a "Heavy lift". Plus, how many digits are acceptable on an extension? I think once you are over 5, you are over the cliff. For me, that would probably disqualify those with more than 3 or 4. But I will always watch one thing first. I will watch the consumer. I will watch the end-user. I will watch and I will follow their lead. I will ignore what domainers do. I will ignore all the other groups and what they want. I will only focus on the consumer and the end-user. They are the the "they" that hold all the cards and all the answers. The rest is all noise.
I always try and follow the money. Except when I see it going down the drain.