Why “Developing” a Domain Name is a Fools Game!

Morning Folks!!

For about 15 years domainers throw the word "Developing" around like it actually means something. But please, Developing is not the same as a Business. I will explain why in a moment. But I have to put my "Plumbers Crack" on to show you.

A domain name is the same as a pipe that carries water. The goal of a pipe is to carry water from one end to the other. That's the purpose. But when you develop a site or slap together a mini site, NO WATER comes out of the other end. Something is not working. It's more like a roach motel from Raid. You can get in, but it goes nowhere. The minimum standard would be to get some water out the other side and then figure out how to get more and more.

Now take that same pipe and imagine what a business might look like. You would put water in one end and 3x the water would come out the other end. That's called PROFIT! No profit, no business. Developing domains has nothing to do with a business. It is a "Feel Good" term that domainers with no direction use to make themselves feel better.

Developing a domain name without a purpose and/or a potential for profit is a waste of time. It's just foolish. A business needs a cash register and a purpose. So when I hear a domainer tell me how he is going to develop this domain and that domain, it's simply meaningless. My eyes roll and I tune out. Tell me about the business, I will tune in.

Rick Schwartz

19 thoughts on “Why “Developing” a Domain Name is a Fools Game!

  1. DNS

    Birthday.com recently developed their website but it looks pretty crappy if you ask me. A bunch of links pointing to Amazon products.I guess their goal is to make a profit from affiliate marketing but, not sure that’s a good idea.

  2. Govind Choudhary

    Developing is not bad as such, but again it all depends on the name, profitable business and a lot of other factors. Developing the name like BirthDay.com is a terrible idea. It impacts the value of the assets if one just put some crappy amazon products and have a plan of getting cents from the affiliates.

  3. Robert

    Interesting topic Rick and I would agree, while a good domain name is a real enabler for a successful on-line business it’s only part of the equation. The skills that many domain investors have in acquiring and marketing a domain portfolio don’t necessarily translate to the marathon of launching a great site and then acquiring/retaining/servicing/monetizing an audience. The domain name is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re going to build out a domain name, be ready for the long haul if you want results.

  4. Auction.FYI

    Welcome back Rick! How are you doing?

    I recently bought “Insurance.Enterprises” domain name. Should I develop it or just sell?

    Insurance(.)com was sold for $35.6 million. Does it mean that “Insurance.Enterprises” worth $X,XXX or maybe $XX,XXX?!

    Thank you.

  5. Jose

    Hi Rick,

    I found missing his post.

    In my beginnings in Spain (EU) to believe that buying domains was for online business and developing web sites, with a team of partners, some going well and others a disaster.

    Before being a domainer the Sales Strategy, Offline Advertising, online, logistics, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality was what I preferred to work with other business and own projects of Assistant Vitual, Virtual Fashion, Maketplace, Ecommerce, Parking dominos these three last are projects that I am working to change the local, national market, etc … the parking domain search partners and capital in the USA is the only place where it would be better to work in this world market.

    Happy day, Jose.

  6. Mark Thorpe

    I agree, if you are not going to develop a domain name 100%, don’t bother doing it at all. You’re wasting yours and everyone elses time. You’re wasting your money as well.

    You are better off parking the domain with a landing page or forwarding the domain. IMO


    This is the first post you have ever published which seems to make no sense to me. Developing a domain is always a good idea, provided you know ‘why’ you are developing it, and that should always be because you have determined that it will make you more money with development then without it.

    On the other hand, if you are developing a domain name without any real purpose and there is absolutely no business plan behind it, then I would agree, its a waste of time. But if you have a plan and you develop your domain according to that plan, I’d say, especially nowadays, 9 times out of 10, you’ll have made the right decision.

    Mini-site? That’s not ‘development’, that’s Pointless garbage.

  8. DNS

    The real issue is if you decide to build a business from one of your domain names, that decision is going to clash with you being a domainer. You can’t drop $3,000 on a domain name, because that’s money you are taking away from your business. Its difficult to do both unless you’re raking in some serious cash already or currently running a successful business then you can attempt to do both.

    It’s still a conflict of interest. You could always do what Rick does. Give the domain name to an entrepreneur and take a stake in their company, but that’s different from building a website business yourself.

    1. Luke

      Hey Chris,

      If you live in Ft Lauderdale, and you build pools, sure you can.

      If not, you will surely struggle.

  9. Robert Sutaria

    Good post, it’s a great reality check .

    99.9% of domains are probably fairly useless investments. The investors “dreaming” of a “jackpot”, will dream to their graves. The only true benefit is their mental happiness and joy in thinking they will become dot.com millionaires.

    Of the remaining 0.1% domains, it’s highly speculative, and for every $million sale we hear of, another million domains sit around uselessly. I see many domains registered in tax havens, the owners taking care to use “privacy services” for tax reasons, and clearly “excited” about that “big deal offer” soon to come from a mega buyer, it’s really amusing to watch these “investments”.

    This market is matured. Corporate buyers are no longer the naive children of 1999.

    If you ain’t got something very special, then carry on dreaming joyfully.

    We are in the final stages of this economic boom cycle, and waiting for a crash in next 3-4 years. At that point, this market will crash. With exception of special names, all other domains will sell for peanuts, until the next boom starts in 2026-27 time.

    It’s not about the name, unless you have something really catchy or special, but hard work, marketing and strategy, to sell or turn a domain , into hard cash dollars.

    There is luck, that’s really important too, in this game. Carry on investing !

  10. Rod

    I don’t think this is Rick’s field to write a sensible post about. Developing a domain could be a fantastic idea if the content is chosen properly which goes with the domain name – If this happens then such sites will be ranked so quickly by Google as long as the content is unique.

    Let’s say you have a domain name which you could sell for 10k, my advice is do not sell such domain, instead, put some appropriate unique content on it – Even if you monetized it with Adsense only, the site could earn you about 10k per annum and you still have the options of selling ads space & use affiliate marketing on it as well.

    However, the above would not apply if you are a good domainer who can sell names very frequently i.e. 10-20 domains at 5-10k per year.

  11. Eric Lyon

    I don’t think it would be fair to assume that all investors speaking of developing have no purpose or research to back their campaigns up for generating a long-term profit.

    I think it might be more fair to say that it’s mostly the newer investors trying to wrap their heads around business development and monetization strategies.

    Most of the seasoned investors have already been around the block many times and understand the importance of a sold foundation.

    New investors may simply be confusing terms like “Domain Development” with “Online Business Development”, even though they have a business plan ready for it.

    While I do 100% agree that developing domains or even online businesses isn’t for everyone, I don’t agree with crushing peoples dreams of eventually being able to build out that online business they have been studying and researching to develop for years.

    It’s a process… Everyone first starting out makes mistakes.

    Trial and error.

    Most people will fail multiple times before finally succeeding.

    As long as a person never gives up and learns from their mistakes, they can achieve greatness.

    Everyine’s journey in life is different. What works for one may not work for another.

    I always wish everyone a happy adventure in life.


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