What do You do When the Confusion starts and You Get Confused?

Morning Folks!!

Within a year most folks won't know which way is up or down when it comes to domain investing. The voices will be all over the place and eventually you may want to put your hands over your ears and walk away. But walk to where?

Well, my advice in this coming year when confusion sets in is to come right here and read my posts and let me help you untangle the knot of confusion.

To that end you might want a get a current list of all extensions and see how many of each are registered. Then you have to discount each and every defensive domain. They mean nothing to anyone but the registries. They are not really part of the eco system because of their use or non use.

So don't be fooled by misleading this and that. Stuff that has no influence in value or need. Self serving press releases that will basically make a lot of stuff up. So when you do read these releases, read between the lines. There are going to be thousands of them to come. Many thousands. Our minds could not even absorb what is coming and then actually separate what is truly meaningful.

700 rocks. How many are precious and have long-lasting value? That is what we are about to learn.

Every extension has an infinite amount of combinations and names and that is only with trademarks. There is no limit regardless of what you hear. Just look at this story by Berkens. There is an infinite amount of domains in each and every extension. Every lawyer in the world should come to the domain industry because there is an infinite amount of work and billing. So more than anything else, it will likely open up trademarks to more abuse than ever before. Profiting on those trademarks.

It's gonna be fun tho as we all watch this clusterf*ck unfold. Like 700 different soap operas. And everyone reading this should benefit from it no matter how badly this was all thought out. 70o and who will dominate? Who will die on the vine. Consolidation is already in full force. Every domainer that does not have a domain portfolio to support themselves will eventually find jobs in these companies as domain experts. So that is just one of the things that will unfold and will be very visible.

So when you are exhausted and confused, this is the place to come to untangle the mess that is coming. You may or may not agree with my writings. 90% chance you won't agree. Maybe higher. Scares the crap outta me when too many agree. But it will be VERY hard to disagree with the questions I ask, the pitfalls I point out and the numbers that some will try to use to fool.

We each have an opinion about what is to come. If you really want to know, watch what they do don't listen to what they say.

Rick Schwartz

New gTLD’s “Contributing Nothing” According to Dyson. Adding “Confusion” According to Others!

Morning Folks!!

Talk about a SCATHING article about the new gTLD's. this baby is a blockbuster!!! How many of these "Weddings" are going to end up in death as they die on the vine? Or, maybe open up shop and be served with 100 or 1000 different lawsuits claiming this or that and as a corporation you are compelled to answer each and every one of them? How do you spell "Can of worms"? Well here is a batch jumping out of a can just as we are getting to the altar.

Mike Berkens uncovered a WHALE of a story by the NY Times yesterday and I am compelled to post about it here as well. It is stunning. It is a rebuke of what is to come. The Clusterf*ck as I have been describing it since day one. But Clusterf*ck sounds mild when Ester Dyson says it is "contributing nothing" and others use the keyword CONFUSION! Gee where have I heard that word before. Confusion. Let me think. Maybe 100 posts of mine!

"The proliferation of these suffixes seems fraught for both consumers and companies. It has the potential to confuse online searchers: .car or .cars? baby.toys or toys.baby? It could also prompt companies, at great expense, to register bunches of new brand sites defensively as a way to pre-empt cybersquatters, spoofers and fraudsters."

Some technology veterans and trademark experts view the domain expansion as largely unnecessary.

“You are creating a business, like derivatives on Wall Street, that has no value,” says Esther Dyson, a technology investor who served as the founding chairwoman of Icann. “You can charge people for it, but you are contributing nothing to the happiness of humanity.”

She went on to say,  “You are creating a business, like derivatives on Wall Street, that has no value,”.

THESE ARE VERY STRONG WORDS COMING OUT. Taking a stand like this in public is not an easy thing to do. She is courageous for saying them and it would be even more courageous to heed them.

And perhaps the biggest warning comes from  professor, Jacqueline Lipton, from University of Houston Law Center.

“The Internet address oversight body may not have considered deeply enough the larger linguistic and societal ramifications of setting off a land grab for new virtual real estate like .love or .home “It’s a private body, that is dabbling in this very delicate balance of commerce and expression online that is fraught with pitfalls.”

The entire article is here

Distinguish Your Company without the Confusion!!

Morning Folks!!

Distinguish Your Company without the Confusion. Isn't that what this is all about?

Easy to spell.

Easy to remember.

Easy to tell others.

Passes the Radio Test.

Looks good on a billboard.

Looks good in an ad.

Can be brandable or generic.

Does not leak traffic, customers and profits to anyone especially your competition.

Stop saying 'NO' to a never ending stream of new customers. ARE YOU CRAZY??

What exactly do the folks in charge not get?

What exactly do those in charge of their companies say to not even knowing the difference between foundational and strategic marketing? Not even knowing that the decisions they make now have long term consequences and they view things via a short term lens or budget?

Until now the end users always had a pass. But now there are no longer excuses there are only the incompetent and unqualified. When you have an example like Borders, what is not to understand? They were SCHMUCKS that got put out of business by the competition for going into this century WITHOUT a thought about foundational and strategic marketing and that is only the tip!

But that tip is what should alert the next schmuck, from being a schmuck. Don't repeat the same mistakes. Study why they collapsed. Study why Pets.com collapsed. Study why the entire thing burst in 2000 and the threat the Internet was to all those now pumping it up and relying on it.

There is an entire history of failure out there and the way to have a success is to study the failures of others. Study the successes of others. Apply those lessons to your path.

What should be the most progressive folks on the planet are actually regressive because they are not aggressive when they look to the future at a time where every moment counts. They just don't understand their role and they have let so many folks down for not being light years ahead of fools like me.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Is it Over for .CO? Big Fanfare Turns Embarrassing and Costly with O.co CONFUSION!

Morning Folks!!

As was reported yesterday, the grand experiment of O.co has crashed and burned to put it bluntly. After a huge advertisng budget they found out the hard way that overpowering .com is going to be no easy task.

I think this just verify's what I saw and said back in January. 'A failure here and you can expect the value of .com to rise once again along with skepticism with any and all other new extensions.'

This was a very costly experiment and it obviously did not go well. The only ones surprised are the folks at Overstock.com. The canary DIED!

A crash this early is pretty spectacular. It is not good news for the .co registry and may be a turning point. Between this and the numerous decsions going against the .co owners, it may be safe to say that their best days are behind them and .co for domain speculators may be over. This is VERY bad news for .co domains and the viability without owning the .com counterpart. It also means that .whatever MUST have the .com version if they want to brand ANY other extension.

A big day for .com and a possible funeral for .co.

.Com is now the undisputed champion of the world and now there is PROOF beyond doubt. RIP .Whatever before you are even BORN! The value of .com went up EXPONENTIALLY today. Dot com REMAINS King and 1000 challengers will all need the same thing. The .com counterpart or BUST!

There are new FACTS in town and these facts stand while speculation collapses. What you thought you knew now has to be re-evaluated because of what they said:

'Mr. Johnson said customers responded well to the O.co advertising, but after watching the spots, 'a good portion' of those who sought out the website went to O.com, instead of O.co.'

FACT! Right from the horses mouth. Only idiots ignore FACTS once they are no longer ignorant of them. New facts, new outcome and new results.

Rick Schwartz

.CO….Boom or Bust? Love or Anger? Confusing the Confusion?

Morning Folks!!

The .co deal is going to have a LOT of unintended consequences imo. Today will be the first time folks even hear about it. 99.99% of folks on the planet don't know it exists. Some MAY know tonight. THEIR reaction, lack of one or even anger will decide many things.

Anger? Don't underestimate that possible backlash when MILLIONS of businesses find out their .co has been grabbed. They might not be happy campers.

Registrars may have their own set of problems if the average guy thinks he is getting a .com and ends up with a .co. But that is small and manageable.

One thing for sure, the lawyers are going to be very busy and the crossfire will be like nothing we have ever experienced. No press release can cover what everyone knows is about to happen. All hell is about to break loose.

If you ask 'Was this foreseen?' Then I say yes. Will it matter? I guess that is the gamble everyone is taking. But this could create quite a backfire if things go south. Many questions even if a great success.

Either way, congratulations to all and good luck. We are going to be in for an interesting ride no matter how it unfolds. Let's hope domainers don't get bitten in the ass with this like some businesses will be bitten in the ass with Social Media. This will rip the scab off the 'Cybersquatter' debate and may have ripples that go further than .co as over reaction is certain to follow.

It is not about what we think. It is about how the average guy perceives it and that is predictable but unknown at this moment. It may not be known for a while as it has to 'Ferment' in people's minds and their positions evolve. That evolution could go either way. But strong head winds would not be surprising at all. And crosswinds will be frequent and even more unpredictable.

And for the hundreds or even thousands of .Whatevers.....This canary in this mine may be your future destiny. Without the crosswinds, without the controversy and without a SuperBowl commercial.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

The Domain King 25 Point Step by Step Guide to Domain Investing

I really don't care if you agree with my steps or not and I am used to it. Most won't. But if you are not making MILLIONS with your domains then maybe, just maybe, take it seriously. This is my suggested path. There are many other paths but again, if you're not making millions on that path, don't argue.

Best is to have one domain and build a successful business not a "Feel Good" site. One is being a business person and the other is being a starving artist. Sorry, but I DO make that distinction and before you just dismiss it, you should think about it too. Businesses have a cash register.

1.* Focus on .COM domains that are easy to spell and pass the radio test.

2. Make sure you have another source of income to support your investments.

3. Target with a rifle not a shotgun. Your first purchase may be your most important. 

4. Each purchase should be like it was your first except armed with more knowledge

5. Hook up the new domain to PPC and see if it has traffic and who is bidding on that traffic.

6. Select secure registrar.

7. Make sure your whois is public. 

8. Test, Test, Test.

9. Patience. Patience. Patience. You are not selling umbrellas in a rain storm. You are selling the most important decision they ever made. 

10. Learn how to sell.

11. Learn how to write an effective email.

12. Learn to personalize.

13. Learn how to stay focused on their needs, not yours!

14. LISTEN to them and stop talking. 

15. Answer their questions honestly and truthfully.

16. POINT OUT PITFALLS before they even ask!! That is STRONG selling!

17. Protect them as well as sell them! That's STRONG selling

Side note: That's what pisses me off about the GTLD guys and how weak they are at selling is this:
At least have the BALLS and the DECENCY to tell them to add the WWW before the domain until it is recognized. Alert them to the confusion so they can avoid the confusion. But they are weak and they don't do that and the only thing they can do is bash .com's. That's weak! So until they do that, it's just a fraud to me.

18. Stop talking about Escrow.com. It won't help you close a sale and you are wasting time and space to actually add value. BIG MISTAKE!

19. Stop talking about how old the domain is. It won't help you close the sale and you are wasting time and space to actually add value.n BIG MISTAKE

20. Stop talking about PRICE and talk about USE! Their use, not your needs. Not your desperation.

21. Don't send out another email the same day or even the next day asking if they got your email. BIG MISTAKE. Send it in a few weeks with some news and value. Send them an article. But wait a few WEEKS or more.

22. Watch my twitter videos and allow yourself to change bad habits into good ones.

23. Filter out all the noise. There are only a handful of credible sources in the domain industry. If they have something to sell you, question their credibility. Start with DNJournal.com and focus on a few credible blogs.

24. Success in Domains is about longevity and the future. Lasting power. Focusing on domains of value because they have the right elements.

25. Create income streams early and often.

These are such basic elements and folks that skip steps on a ladder always fall off the ladder. Take it, leave it or post it and follow it. Your choice. It's as valuable as you make it or just discard and forget.

And for the first time ever, I am not allowing comments on this post. It will remain in its pure form. There are many more points I can make. But this is a decent start.


Rick Schwartz

*If you want to ignore, resist or argue about this, there is nothing I can do for you. Working at Denny's vs owning Capital Grille. I don't do Denny's. Can't help you until you figure out for yourself. Good Luck on the journey.

Posted on | Comments Disabled.

In Business, you have to Play Offense as well as Defense!

Morning Folks!!

So how can you tell a company is going to go out of business when they are barely in business? Pretty simple for me. It's football. And in football you have an offense and a defense. You need both to win games.

In business, your offense is sales and marketing. Companies that minimize that scare me! Nobody survives without sales. But some will even argue that point. DUH!

The other is defense. Defend your name and brand and market share in the marketplace. Companies that minimize that scares me too. A company with no sales quarterback loses. A company with no defense loses.

So, if you have a company that is bad at both.....FORGET ABOUT IT! That's why it is so easy to pick out the losers. They are the low hanging crap not fruit.

The defense part is what I focus on with new GTLD's. May as well get a neon billboard saying "I am going to increase my chances of failing and I am going to ignore all and every pitfall." "I have no defense and, I have no backup plan. I am just going to close my eyes and believe it's not there." DUH!

The defense is any type of leaks. On the Internet, leaks come in the form of typos, confusion and poor advertising materials.

And of course, as a defensive move, you have to prevent interceptions like the O.co debacles. Had O.com been a business competitor, that would be like throwing an interception. A sale destined for your company ends up in the hands of your competition. What could be worse in business?? NOTHING! I am sure some fool will argue that point as well.

So, there you are, business made simple. News flash, you can't bowl a perfect 300 game without strikes! You can't score a touchdown without sales, and you can't prevent your competitor from eating your lunch if you throw interceptions you by not following the simplest, most common, most basic rules of business.

As a captain of YOUR business, ANY LEAK has to be discovered and known. They may not all be able to be fixed, but a captain that ignores leaks and PRETENDS they are not there is a fool and his ship or business is destined to sink!

Rick Schwartz

Asheville Professional Domain Investors Meetup; A Celebration of Domaining! Registration NOW OPEN!! BOOM!

Morning Folks!!

I look at things differently, and therefore I have different paths and different results. We all do. Less than 3 weeks ago the thought of this event for THIS YEAR was not even born. But when it was, I do what I do best, make things happen. Two sticks for some, a raging fire tool for me.

When I look back at the domain events I have held and the atmosphere I tried to provide, one word finally came to me, "Celebration." When I meet other domain investors it's to celebrate what we do and the success we have found and the new challenges we want to harness. That was the atmosphere at the intimate dinner all those years ago in Asheville that I described in this post. The trick is being able to apply that to a larger group.

That's where the food comes in. When we celebrate, food is NEVER far away. It's part of who we all are. So breaking bread is always the centerpiece of what I do. And since it's a celebration you want really good food, not just cheap food. That makes it a bit more special. And a tad more pricey. But I have an allergy to doing anything on the cheap. I do it RIGHT and I have faith that it all works out. The budget is not a dollar figure. The budget is about what you want and need to ahieve, accomplish and the best way to do it.

Look, we are loners behind our keyboards. We need different things than others. We are creative people. Creative people work best when relaxed. Put is in a room together and it is combustible.

What I do is a thought out recipe for progress and my job is to get out of the way. What makes Asheville different? I'll tell ya......

Objectively I am considered one of the most independent domainers out there. I don't have to answer to anyone. I am not beholden to anyone. My opinions are vivid, strong and unwavering. Time has proven to be my best ally. However, with NEW FACTS and NEW CIRCUMSTANCES, I always re-evaluate.

I learned a lot doing all these shows at TRAFFIC. I know the good, the bad, the ugly. So a new recipe leaves out the bad and ugly. lol. How hard is that? Pretty simple!

So if I am the most independent voice in the Domaining world, my friend Michael Berkens is the most knowledgeable. You can go back a decade, and you will see how many times I refer to Mike as "My research Department." The guy is an information machine that is faster and more accurate than Google! He is also an independent voice. He may not be a renegade like me, but he knows his stuff better than anyone I know in this business.

The only thing I have to sell is this concept that the industry was hijacked by entities that put domain investors and OUR interests at the back of the bus. It was what THEY needed, not what WE as Professional Domain Investors needed. We are not a large group. There are more people working at Godaddy RIGHT NOW ON SUNDAY than there are TRULY professional Domain Name Investors in the world. Now multiply that by all the other companies in the space and you will see and understand what a tiny minority we are. We are a select group whether we like it or not. It's just reality!

Do Professional Domain Name Investors NEED a flawed and automated valuation system to help US or THEM?? Do you know or understand the damage this is doing? Do you care? It's a fraud! And I am not afraid of saying what I believe to be true!

Does keeping domain values artificially low help US or THEM??

Does not disclosing traffic loss and confusion help US or THEM?

Does our traffic and the value of it help US or THEM?

I can go down the list and, I am sure in your comments you will think of your own.

Does ICANN protect US or THEM?

How many times do you have to see that domain investors are being exploited in every which way? Clawbacks, tainted auctions, policies that never default in favor of us. So maybe it's time to get back to basics. If domain investors don't give a rats ass about protecting themselves, why the hell should they?

So why go to another event? Maybe to reclaim your power back. And if you do, that is something to CELEBRATE!! Isn't it about time?

Life is short. We all love what we do. We are all so lucky to do what we do. Nothing better than enjoying the fruits of our labors with like-minded laborers. Trust us to take us back to the future and find OUR path and define OUR path not anyone else's.

Professional Domain Investors are a small and intimate group. Our numbers are too small to be significant. We are in the hundreds. Maybe even a thousand. But what we have in our portfolios are significant, meangful, and our small group needs to step up to the plate. If we don't believe in our assets, why would anyone else?

As of RIGHT NOW, registration is open for the Asheville Meetup. If you missed Woodstock or were not born. If you missed the inaugural TRAFFIC 2004 or many of the other momentous shows, If you missed the opportunity as it passed you by, don't miss this one.

"Successful Trade Show Heralds the Start of a New Era For the Domain Industry" That was Ron Jackson's famous headline. Everyone including Ron was skeptical when they first arrived. Nobody was skeptical when they left! Nobody should be skeptical about the blowout that Asheville is going to be!

The link is now active, Take a peak. Feel free to circulate. (Please)


And you can book your room for just $349 while they last at this link:


UPDATE: 2-26-2019 6PM EST: The initial block of hotel rooms was exhausted in a little over 24 hours. (unbelievable!!!!) The new block has just been loaded in their system and is ready to go again. 45 more rooms online now.

The most talked about, independent, and anticipated event in the domain investment industry this year will be in Asheville. Mark my words. From a 20 year dream to a seed planted just 18 days ago to reality now! BOOM! That's how it's done! The rest is all fun!

Rick Schwartz

Defining a Truly GREAT Domain Name. Rick’s 5 Minute Guide!

Morning Folks!!

When it comes to my outlook on the value of a great domain, few have stuck to their guns like I have over the years. But there are reasons for that far outside the goal lines of domaining. That's just the surface to me. Buy let's drill a bit.

There are certain domains I would not sell without a piece of the action. They are akin to the flawless diamond. Rare and unique flawless diamonds. In demand and important diamonds. Diamonds that are large. Diamonds that represent and identify. Diamonds that no others have.

Originally my idea was simple, I bring the domain to the table, 50% and other entity brings it's knowhow to the table, 50%. Ok, did not work that way. That equation most likely won't work in MOST cases. It will in some cases.

What is the value of perpetual income? How many perpetual income streams can you create? How do you recognize a domain that fits in this class to begin with?

How do you recognize a domain that fits in this class to begin with? Let's start and end there. That's the single biggest challenge domainers seem to have. Most are no diamond experts and they should be. At this stage of the game those domains should be recognizable to the naked eye at a GLANCE. A glance at a list of 100 or 1000. It should jump out like a freight train. If that does not happen, and you are not making $$$, why are you here?

Domains are about advertising and branding and memorizing easily, and word of mouth or making a point, or having street cred in the eyes of consumers NOT techies. Drill down to see the importance and value and the vehicle it provides. There are more variables. Think of ALL of them.

And some truly great names may be invisible to the naked eye. In time advertisers will use FUNNY domain names to advertise. You'll see.

Yesterday I saw 2 different commercials by 2 different companies (possibly the same entity advertising the same credit card product) but you could see they were possibly TESTING two domain names and 2 commercials or they were competitors. Maybe you know. But the commercials seemed like they were done by same company . One was a generic 2 word, CompareCards.com and and one was a brandable, Nerdwallet.com. Maybe they are going to measure the different results!! They are testing. THAT IS THE WAY YOU DO IT!! BRAVO!! If true! That space also has KreditKarma.com.

So you have many entities advertising and competing. That's a big tipoff. There is something worthy of drilling down.

Ya know, when I talk about Sears or Malls or anything outside domains and domainers and sales prices, most domainers don't pay attention. They should! Their eye glaze over They are so busy talking to domainers that they have a domainer mentality. Good for you but not smart.

You need a consumer mentality. You need a manufacturing mentality. You need a retail mentality. You need a wholesale mentality. You need a business mentality. You need an end user mentality. You need a historical mentality. You need an attorney mentality. You need to be a student of Human Nature. Instead so many are stuck in either a pond or even a cesspool with other domainers and can't see the forrest thru the trees.

You can flip mobile homes or mansions. One is VERY hard and VERY unrewarding. The other is so easy and rewarding you wonder why everyone does not do it!? So if you want a truly GREAT domain name, STOP buying mobile homes and STOP listening to other domainers that have an agenda. How do you figure that part out? BE SMART!

Remember, the #1 game in domaining is not buying domains, it's buying time to afford to keep those domains until the proper buyer comes along. Domains have to be part of a revenue engine or you need a day job to support your babies.

A GREAT domain will end in .Com. A GREAT domain will be easy to spell. A GREAT domain will mean something whether it is short or long. A GREAT domain has so many attributes that it blows me away that PIGEON SHIT rules most portfolios. A GREAT domain can be a phrase that people know and can remember. But the GREATEST domains are one or two words. Matter of fact, DNJournal.com has only ONE reported sale of anything more than 2 words since at least 2015. UsedCarsForSale.com and sold for $100k. In 2014 there were two sales of 3 word domains. Going back to 2006, I found only NINE other 3 word domain sales.

To recap, their has not been a 3 word domain make the top 100 list since 2015. In TOTAL from 2006 thru 2018, we are talking about 15 total domains more that 2 words to make the list. Only ONE with 4 words. That said, even 2 worders are not in as much demand as they were in past years. However they still retain great value when they mean something! Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives!

So GREAT domains have one or two words. Great domains DO NOT have 3 or more words except in rare cases. "Geo" names and ones that may start with "Free".

Now that does not mean a 3 word domain does not have value. It just probably does not have GREAT value unless it truly means something special or common phrase. I own ShopTilYouDrop.com. But it's a common phrase. Has some value and has demand which means I get offers. But I focus on 1 an 2 word .com domains. That's my bread and butter. Tried and true.

Listen, the IDN guys were and are much smarter than me. Really. They and techies have a much broader and deeper understanding of the Internet. I am just the common man using the Internet.

Even the GTLD guys I assume must be much smarter than me. They have money to burn, I don't. Not only can they pick the winner in a 1000 horse race, they can go on to pick the winner of the winner in an infinite collection of .whatever and then they are so smart they can figure out and rely on the demand for that particular domain of that particular extension that FEW even know about. WOW!!! I am IMPRESSED!!!! Pure Genius!! (with a few pitfalls that they don't want to talk about and turn a blind eye to)

Focus on one and two word domains that mean something or are brandable but they MUST pass a set of guidelines that YOU form yourself. If it does not pass YOUR TEST, pass on the domain.

My list includes: Easy to spell. ALWAYS! Easy to communicate without confusion. ALWAYS! .COM ALWAYS! One or two words. ALWAYS.

There are other factors. Size of the audience. If all you have targeted were domains for the domain industry, to sell, you targeted a TINY sector. Good luck with that. The audience, the size of the market. The size of the market that is still up for grabs. Is it an emerging market? A saturated market? A competitive market?

How much do they advertise? Where do they advertise? Who do they advertise to? What is their advertising budget? Is the budget growing? Is the sector growing?

I talk about digging deep and drilling down. This is all part of the process. And the more expensive the domain, the more you drill down. These are MY processes that I still use and have never varied from. This is the path I use. This is a safe way to buy domains. This is the way to always have domains that others want and are in demand. This is how I sleep comfortably at night knowing I have assets that are among the world's most sought after! Buying one domain at a time when I see one worth getting.

Did I mention is MUST be a .com name???? Not sure. I am very inconsistent and very forgetful. Well, in case I did not mention it, stick with .COM ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rick Schwartz

New Coke. The Greatest Product Failure and why it was a HUGE Winner!

Morning Folks!!

One of the epic product failures in my lifetime was when Coke introduced "New Coke" back in 1985. That was a few years after the digital watch was brought to market by Pulsar. That watch kept better time than anything on the market and was supposed to replace all those expensive watches and make them obsolete. Tell that to Christy's when they sell those multi million dollar Patek's at auction today.


But getting back to the big flop "New Coke". The public embraced it at first and then rejected it. At first people accepted it. Then there was a backlash. Coca-Cola was forced to bring back the original. They did not like it, they did not buy it. Coke was forced to introduce "Coke Classic" to shore things up.

And the supermarkets had to go along with it because that was what the consumer wanted. Of course there are always some on the fringe that wanted New Coke. So they kept making it until it was renamed and  then eventually discontinued.

So when Coca-Cola goes into those supermarkets who only have a certain amount of room devoted to soda. What to do? Well if you are Coca-Cola, you might try to just move some of your competitors right off the shelf and out the door. Coca-Cola now had more shelf space. And as New Coke came to market, it changed things.

The point is nobody can speak for the consumer except the consumer. He is judge and jury and everything else you hear is wishful thinking and hot air. That's the true BS. Nobody knows what will happen but those with skin in the game only focus on one side of the equation and ignore the other side. It is my firm belief that anyone ignoring important information on either side lessens their chance of success by a large degree. Folks that look at both sides and are more prepared increase their chance of success. But neither group trumps the consumer.

And as you can see in the case of "New Coke", the revolt took 3 weeks to materialize.

2014 marks the year that domains get more shelf space. No question about that. I think the classic domain will expand. I think the new domains will come out with great fanfare and when reality hits, then the things shift in a very big and noticeable way.

The only real question for me is who will be the likely winners and let me eliminate the losers. And just like I was not the first in domaining, I came into the game years after, I think the best play is years after. Let's see who remains on that shelf.

As for time frame to see how it all shakes out. Could be 1-3 months or 1-3 years because end users will all likely have to go down Overstock Blvd. When they see the amount extra that their ad dollars are costing them, that my friends will be the true moment of decision. And the registry will not be at the table when that decision is made. Ben Franklin and a lot of bean counters will.

Now the following was posted at TheDomains.com as a comment. Again, empirical evidence vs wishful and hopeful thinking. They are not the same.

"Here is a partial list of corporations that built free-standing websites on .Mobi. Some probably have been abandoned by now."

See how many of these companies you have heard of:
Weather.mobi (Weather Channel)
WWF.mobi (World Wildlife Fund)

You don't see a common thread here? When it comes to .brands I see a path forward. But .brand as I have also started may be internal. So if .Apple were to use it externally, what word would they use left of the dot that would be meaningful and have a really nice ring to it? Do any really sound better than apple.com? Buy.Apple? Home.Apple? Sweet.Apple? iPhone.Apple?, Mac.Apple? But what is the homepage?? The main entrance? Odds are it is going to be Apple.com regardless if they have .apple or even use .apple. Whoever was in charge had a duty to secure .apple. But that is his one and only duty. Secure it. Whether it will ever be used will not be up to whoever secured it.

Look, bitcoin is a huge success. But if you bought it 2 weeks ago you may have lost 50% of your value. So that's the danger on a huge success. What is the danger on a huge failure?

Look, I am very open-minded but I am not BLIND! I am not STUPID! And I am keenly aware of the great loss a failure would look like. Why??? Because that is still the most likely outcome based on the evidence we already have and many would like you to ignore. You would have to be the singles biggest moron in  town to ignore evidence in lieu of a second-rate sales pitch.

And yeah, that angers a section of the industry. There will be a lot of domainers feeding at that trough. For now. But I have always said TIME is my best ally. My posts will stand or fall on their own.  But navigating this requires certain skepticism because of the past and current failures.

I am not sure how a gTLD with limited strings left of the dot can mount any type of meaningful success. I just can't wrap my head around that. I can't even see anyone taking them over when they fail. Why would they? It would be a liability not an asset.

I come at all this from so many different angles and then when you add that this new "Interstate Highway System" has no pre-planning. No zoning. No traffic lights. No speed limits. Some may have few or no exits.  Overpasses?? WTF is that?? Oh yeah, that is when the lawyers get involved and these lawyers won't be in the HallofShame.com. They will be doing their proper jobs for the companies they represent and they are going to be busy little bees. Confusion will be the keyword in their filings.

WIPO itself would likely not be able to take on the added cases in the size and form that it is today. However I do believe many will just go right to Federal Court.  Isn't this 100% forseeable from where you sit? If not, why not? To me it is a guarantee. It is as guaranteed the way I look at things as the green light will turn red in a minute or two. It's not an "If" it is a "When". It is a "How many". It is a "How Much". But not to assume this is coming? That would be what I would call sticking your head in the sand.

And as I have also said, it is the CONTENT or lack of it that will also be in play. There still needs to be a reason to go somewhere before you go. That is going to be several years away at best.

As for the premium pricing. I love it! I am not a sucker so I won't buy into any, but I love it. Some have already set themselves up for failure. Their own values are likely to go down not up. They want to duplicate .com but have ignored almost every play in the .com playbook. To me that is a red flag.  Many are trying to duplicate .co but I think .co has its own unique circumstance. That said the aftermarket is loaded with very low-priced .co's.  We all know you can't even GIVE a .mobi away. But the likely winner may be no gTLD at all. Could be .Net, .TV, .Info, .Me, which are now all on the radar. Is it possible that the new ones push the old ones to the top? You bet it is.

But today if you want REAL Coca-Cola in the USA you have to go to Costco or some supermarkets and make sure you get the ones marked "Bottled in Mexico".  See in Mexico they can still use sugar. Not in the USA. High Corn Fructose.

So if you want the "Real Thing"..........

All I can really say is it has to be meaningful, easy to communicate, logical, sound good, look good, and capture large and targeted audiences if they really intend to create need, want and desire outside of those looking for the second coming. I can't wait for general availability just to see what it looks like. What it looks like as the flippers go into action. 2014 won't be boring. It will take the first half year to ramp up, but after that, just enjoy the show.

Rick Schwartz