Rooting for failure?

Afternoon Folks!!

The one thing I could never figure out is why some would waste their energy rooting for others to fail. In this industry, a failure for one is a failure for all. A success for one is a success for all. See folks need to take a step back. We are trying to attract outsiders and end users. Well if that is what we agree that we want the most maybe we need to look at it through their eyes. Maybe we need to see what they see? I think so.

So what do they see? Do they see John the domainer? Do they see a domain industry? No, probably not, they see a group. They see a singular not a plural. The only plural they see is cyber squatters. So they see that first. The masses see that first. Even folks at Yahoo and Google viewed us that way back in 2004. We have done a good job in changing that perception. But don't think for one second that they did not pigeon hole all of us. But as you become exposed to us and what we do they soon realize just like cheap wine and collectors wine there is a huge difference. Learning those differences doesn't happen overnight. We don't have that luxury with most others. We will win them over one at a time. Each time one comes over to the dark side, we all share in that success.

The secret is taking that one success and multiplying it. Each of us are ambassadors for the industry. Multiply one success by the 500 movers and shakers and instead of destiny controlling us, we can control destiny. The power we have is unfathomable. Unfortunately we have never taken the time and energy to harness that power. That is a failure we are all a part of. That is a failure that we can still turn into our greatest success.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Hear Rick Live Tonight….

Morning Folks!!
I’ll be a guest on’s Gratitude series from 9PM til 10PM
EDT tonight. I want to thank Owen for continuing to get on windmills no matter
how many times he has been thrown from them. This time
he found a winner and I am honored to join such industry thought provokers and good
friends as well.

I look forward to talking with a diverse crowd from the domain world and
especially those from Main Street and Madison Ave. Going on 15 YEARS and you
really wonder when they are going to 'Tune in.' When they are going to figure it
out. I always say nothing like a good collapse and meltdown to slap folks upside
the head and get their attention. They can search for the answer to 2 + 2. But
while they try every other number, I will stubbornly stick with my answer of 4.
It is not for me to change my number nor is it for you. It is for them to
recognize it is not 3. It is not 5. It is not 4.25 it is not any of those
infinite numbers. The answer is 4 and maybe it is time to find out why.

Here is the link to join the conversation:

And who knows, I just may ruffle a few feathers. I don't have much value in
giving politically correct answers. I always give folks a choice. 'I can tell
you what you want to hear or I can tell you the truth as I see it.' Some folks
can't handle reality so I give them a choice. Tonight, no sugar coating.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

The 20 minute sale vs the 20 year sale. Behind the Sale

Morning Folks!!
There are many ways to make a sale. Cash sales are made, done and each go
their separate ways. That works well in 99% of the cases. That's what makes the
world go round. Simple, give me money, I'll give you 'X' and everyone is happy.

But I also like and focus on 'Formula sales.' Those sales take time to
construct. Those sales require a formula that offers benefits to both parties.
Those sales last for many years because there is a residual that can last a
lifetime. Those sales are best for category killer domains but in no way limited
to them.

How do you get to one of those deals? First, by saying 'No' an awful lot
and not wasting time with folks that are unqualified. A legitimate inquiry has
certain elements in it. EVERY sale I have made with domains had this element.

Think for a moment how you would approach someone if you really wanted
their domain. There would be things you would say and do in your email to convey
your sincere interest in a way that you would get a positive response. When
these elements are missing, the email is a waste of time to even answer. I
answer less than 1 in 10 inquiries. Just because you receive an email does not
obligate you to answer it. Many folks waste time answering garbage. Learning to
tell the difference will allow you to free up a lot of time and time is our only
natural resource.

Most of my deals are never 'Done.' :-) They are living and ongoing. These
deals are very complex. It is not unusual for the lawyers to take several months
to hammer at all the details. Plus they do get hammered out or I have no problem
walking away. The contract is a pre-nup. It has to be PERFECT! Why? Because the
surest way to lose a prime and valuable domain is with a bad contract. Some
folks even have that as the end game. All they want to do is get that domain in
limbo and then make a legal claim. So the contract is more than important.

The buyer of is a candy company that understands what the can do to grow their business. The instant respect he will get when
his company strolls the candy show in Chicago in just a few weeks will be worth
being there to watch. They are not the biggest candy company, but they now will
have a piece of the puzzle that can change that. So no, it is not Hershey's.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

The Only Reason to come to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Next Month

Good Morning Folks!!

People come to industry trade shows for a variety of reasons.
Most come because they want to do business, grow their business and look for new
business. Why else would folks leave the comfort of their homes and incur the
expense unless the return was so great, So, without revealing any trade secrets,
that is the basic formula for a good trade show. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. has been built
around that formula. We break bread together, we meet the movers and shakers of
our industry, we drink and network with our fellow Domainers, we listen to
music, we really enjoy the fruits of our labor and we work hard at growing our
businesses, so we deserve to do all that. After that we have some great parties
thrown by enthusiastic sponsors. Friends get together, new friends are made and
new relationships are forged.

However, there comes a point where the partying can not
overshadow the mission. What makes a party a great party is how
much was accomplished during that particular time. Each day has great value and
folks know the difference when it is time for serious stuff and when it is not.
These are serious times, and though we are an intelligent group, nobody reading
this can say with any certainty how this will all play out. I can give you a
host of devastating scenarios that could land any one of us in no better shape
than a victim of Bernie Madoff. It's one thing to make money , it is harder to
keep it. The unexpected is always right around the corner. So the key to times
like this is figuring out the dangers and then taking advantage of the fallout
instead of being a victim of it.

TRAFFIC may have a reputation for a lot of things, but never
has it been said that it was a waste of time or money. The bar has been set high
purposely. Howard and I always recognize the challenge we are up against by
providing the additional value that no one else provides; by being able to
provide an atmosphere that adds up to more than the individual parts. There is a
magic that happens when you get the recipe just right. Think back and ask
yourselves how many deals you made at TRAFFIC? How many were good? How many were
bad? How many are still ongoing? How many friends did you meet at TRAFFIC? How
many associates? Sponsors? The point is that after over 4 years and 14 shows,
you can look back and see if TRAFFIC made a difference in your business and your
lives. Why do I bring this up? Because I already know the answer. Strip those
events and relationships from your lives and see if it would look the same. We
all know the answer.

So while we have been challenged by others trying to imitate
our formula, you have been given a lot of choices, Howard and I have
consistently put out a product that has been beneficial to each of us and has
always moved the industry forward. It's not my style to call folks one on one
and invite them. It is not our style to offer all types of deals. We just have
what we have and have proven our value. We saw what was coming last year and
planned this year accordingly. There is not a more significant place to be on
the planet in April than Silicon Valley. TRAFFIC immediately follows Ad-Tech. If
you have never been to Ad-Tech, I highly recommend that you go. The place is
insane and everyone in the universe is there. When I refer in my posts to the
Noise at trade shows, it is a reference to this show. Not as a put down, but it
is the difference between doing business and just being too busy to do business.
That will only make sense to those that have been to both: the hustle and bussle
of things at Ad-Tech compared to the way we do things at TRAFFIC. Both have
great value. But the difference is what makes TRAFFIC the unique show that it
is. The group we assemble is different than anyone else. It is filtered for
maximum impact.

Let me share something with you. Back at the
first T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show in Delray Beach, Florida, I learned something that has
been the epicenter of every TRAFFIC show since. The composition of those in
attendance is the key to the right formula. It has nothing to do with head
count. It depends on who those heads are and what those heads represent. This
show has always been the domain business for domainers. Sponsors have always
been an integral part of TRAFFIC but it always revolved around domainers.
Attendees were always very successful domainers or those who were on their way
up and wanted to be successful. So our foundation is domainers. When you go to a
domain show and the composition is sponsors, you have a nice show, but a
different type of show. That does not make it bad. It makes it different, and my
job right now is to point out that difference because TRAFFIC is not just
another domain show. TRAFFIC is really the only domainer show. The other shows
are all sponsor shows. Again, not bad, different. So I am a little sensitive
when folks describe all the shows as the same.. If they look similar it is only
because we set the standard and built the framework that many others use. That
is fine. But again, my job right now is to show you the differences. And while
certain elements of a formula can be the same it is the missing ingredients
that make all the difference. It is the things you can't see. That you can't
even articulate. It's a chemistry, a formula, mixed with certain ingredients and
passion. What I am saying is, it is unique.

That's my pitch for Silicon Valley my friends. We don't have
to arm twist. We don't want to get you sick of the emails. My job is to give you
a reason to come to Silicon Valley and the best reason has yet to happen. It
will happen when you come and create the opportunity for yourselves. Fed ex
won't be delivering it, This is a time to seize it.

As I was finishing this up, I was just informed that for the
second year in a row and by an overwhelming margin, TRAFFIC has once again been
voted by domainers at Domain Name Wire as the #1 domain show by more than 2-1 in
a poll of over 400 readers. Matter of fact, the 3 other conferences combined
still trailed TRAFFIC by a whopping 11%.

So, take advantage of the present discount in registration
fees as they are going up later this week. (Friday at 5PM to be exact) Join
Skenzo, Moniker, Rick Latona and dozens of other companies as we raise the bar
once again. In the coming weeks you will start seeing some noticeable
improvements and changes. We hope you notice them and hope you like

Touch the World but be Patient. A Domainers Story

Morning folks!!

At the end of the day we are all trying to 'Touch the World.' Have the
world take notice. Have a great moment unlike any other. With each post, with
each new domain, with each site we develop, at the end of the day we are all
just trying to touch the world. Create a spark. A spark that carries to every
corner of the universe. Hopefully a spark that continues.

However what we want is also the ultimate challenge. Not only is it the
ultimate challenge but 6 billion people all want similar things. Millions of
videos are uploaded to Youtube every day. Of those just a handful really get
noticed. 1, 12, 100, 1000, take your pick. I generally see about 2 to 3 a day on
TV. Everyone trying to be one of those 2 or 3.

But this is not a surprise. this was expected. It took longer than I
thought it would but when exactly did the net hit critical mass? In 1995 it was
less than 10%. We came here very fast. But when was the exact date of the
tipping point? Do you know? Does anyone know? Probably not, you just realize one
day that it happened.

Domains to me always represented a way to always have an audience no matter
how intense the competition would be. The competition today is getting intense
and it will become more so. So going back to 1995 and 1996 I still remember what
it was that really kicked my ass in gear. I was sitting at a restaurant and the
table next to us was made up of 2 couples about 75 or 80 year old and they were
not discussing their bowels. They were discussing emailing their grandchildren.
That was th day that things really hit for me and I realized that the
convergence of the young and old would create that critical mass in a really
quick amount of time. I also looked at my mom and dad who communicated with
their grand daughter via email.

So this may seem all elementary today but if you were a shoe salesman
before folks wore shoes you would understand what it is like when you see
everyone in the world wearing those shoes.

I also remember dreaming that one day I would be in Times Square and every
billboard would be a dot com. That day happened in September of 2000. Even then
folks were starting the great race. When I walked through the area that night, I
was just tearful. Tears ran down my chheks. It was really uncontrollable. To see
something like this manifest itself so quickly and been such a long shot to have
even happened proved to me that we were on a journey unlike any other. The greatest race in the history of mankind had begun and this time virtually
everyone in the universe could participate.

So you ask yourself questions and you seek answers. You plan not for then,
you plan way down the line. Maybe 20 years when everyone can understand what we
have done, what we have built, what we have created. What has changed life as we
know it. Then folks ask what can they do with their new power? BANG! Ordinary
people creating extraordinary things. First one, then another, then another and
so it goes.

The single biggest mistake any of us makes is timing. Folks want things to
happen on their time line. It does not happen like that. You can't force time
you need to adjust to time. If you don't, frustration and anger becomes the
bi-product. So take a deep breath, dial it back a couple notches, take a few
steps back and take a real look around you. Things are changing so fast that you
may need to re calibrate.

We all want to touch the world, but it will most likely happen when we
don't expect it. When we don't plan for it. It happens when you just do what you
do and do it well.

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

Welcome to the Golden Era of Domaining. Before the 20 Year Plan

Morning Folks!!
'Folks that lose their job have the opportunity to find their
calling.' is something I heard yesterday and it is a very concise way of saying
something very complicated.

When I look at my own circumstances and my own personal
economic depression it also became the turning point of my entire life. Until
1984 I had made many people very rich as I worked for 2 companies that through
my sweat and traveling to the point of actually living on the road, became
wealthy. I believed I would be rewarded for my efforts. When you work for
someone they do everything to cut your wings and not pay you your value. That
was my story. They both thought they could do what I did and save the expense.
So they did. Cut the expense that is.

The first company I left on my own accord because I had to beg for money due me month after month and year after year. So I joined the
competition after a 5 year stint. It was war. We fought over account after
account from coast to coast and boarder to boarder. The battle lasted 18 months.
Company #1 doors closed.

When that event occurred it allowed us to grow company #2
quickly. Then they caught the same disease. After 4 years we signed a long term
contract. The contract was designed for them to pay me less. However as they cut
my wings I had provisions put in for levels of success they knew would be impossible to achieve.

Well I achieved those goals in 9 months so instead of paying
me and honoring the contract, they tossed me out the door because they found
some pipe smoking guy in the industry who promised them everything but in 55
years never held a job more than 2 years. Their greed was rewarded less than 2
years later. The company collapsed and went out of business. But that was the
last time I ever worked for anyone.

I was given my opportunity to find my calling and that was
what I did. The next 3 weeks were the most miserable and depressing of my life.
I was never without a job since I was 16. Plus I did not want a job. I wanted an
OPPORTUNITY. What is the difference? A job has a ceiling and a boss. An
opportunity has no boundary. That would be 25 years ago. I learned more in 1
week working for myself than in years of working for others. It was a true
awakening. All coming from the worst days and the deepest dark.

Point is over the last months I have articulated how bad
things are not to scare but to motivate and make you aware. There is more
opportunity out there right this second than in any other second since the first
dino roamed the earth. Most won't believe that and they will laugh. That is why they are
the masses. I mean even birds know the best eating of worms is after the storm.
So it is up to you not to be trapped by conditions but embrace those
conditions. Exploit those conditions. You have to fight the natural tendency to
contract. Everyone has been contracting and getting smaller. Never do what the
masses do. That is why they are the masses. You don't have to be that smart,
just always consider doing the opposite and you'll be in pretty good shape.

From the greatest adversity comes the greatest achievements.
Approach this downturn the right way and it will become your best days. It is so
simple they should make it illegal.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Why I came up with a 20 Year plan……Progress Report

Morning Folks!!

It is amazing to witness a phenomenon. Our entire industry could be labeled
that. The growth of the Internet itself. I think the hardest and also the most
magnificent thing is how far we have come and how fast we got here and even then
it is all in super slow motion when you are part of it.

In 1996 it is hard to believe that just 5%-10% of businesses were online.
When I am talking online I am not talking a web presence, I am talking a live
connection to the Internet at all. Worldwide, it was much lower. I knew because
I asked everyone I talked to in those days if they could get online for that was
the first time that I could point to an online brochure to do my selling and do
it instantly as opposed for waiting several days for the mail to get there. That
was just 14 years ago. Now as close to 100% in the USA as we are likely to get. Critical mass came very quickly but who knew that then? You could only speculate and imagine what it would be like if everyone used the net. All I can say....Not in my wildest dreams did I believe it would mirror what I saw. And if it did, I would likely be dead by then. To see it so quickly, and yes, 14 years, 10 years whatever it was, was damn quick in terms of changing the habits of a planet.

But just like a 14 year old kid the Internet has much more maturing ahead.
You can accelerate that growth to a small degree. 10%, 20%, maybe catch a break.
At some time down the road there is a tipping point. Years of sweat come to a
moment in time and just like a 14 year old boy becomes a man at some 'Moment' so
does the cycle of business. The cycle of business repeats itself. The same
scenarios play out just with different players and different themes. I have been
in many sectors of business in my life. They all play out the same. Each one of
them. I had some 32 jobs between the ages of 17 and 20. Each paid a little
better. Each offered a slightly brighter future. Each offered more things than
the last and each were the same in so many respects.

As many jobs as I have had in my youth completely changed once I turned 20
and have had but a handful. The right handful. But amazingly, as different as
they were the names were always different but the characters and events were
not. Like a Hollywood movie there were always heroes and heroines and villains
and bad guys and all the supporting cast in between. Each starts jovial and fun
and dwindles down from there. The chapters are all the same. They all play out
the same. Most get caught up in it and I too am guilty of that at times. But I
have the luxury of pulling myself away from the gravity of the swirl. I know the
beginning, middle and the ending. It takes 20 years for the first stage of this
to play out. That means some very exciting times are on our doorstep. This
economic downturn is a gift. Board rooms are asking fundamental questions and
need to get with the program or they too know they risk dying on the vine. They
will come and are coming industry by industry, need by need, desire by desire.
But make no mistake, they always show up at the very darkest point. Let me
repeat, they ALWAYS show up at the darkest point when folks are about to give up
and throw in the towel. The domain industry will not change the world. The world
is about to change the domain industry. There is a lot of building coming to a
parking lot near you.

And yes, I do view it as the first 20 years. That was what the plan called
for 'Don't take anything too seriously for the first 20 years.' See I believe
and have always believed that domains would be an overnight sensation that would
be 20 years in the making. The next 20 years I believe are the real money years.
I doubt oil was as useful or in demand as much when they started pumping in
Texas in the mid 1800's as it became when the autos hit the road. How amazed
would those original oil guys been to see it today? My biggest regret is that I
doubt anyone that reads this today will be alive to see the Internet and domains
in its' full glory. Living history folks, it really does not get better than
that and if you could step back a bit to see what I see.....You'd all be
committed! :-)

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

The Greatest Cover up in History…….

Morning Folks!!

I try and stay away from politics but each day politics and business are
getting more intertwined and frankly, it scares the shit outta me. I don't like
what I see. What I see is the greatest cover ups in the history of the country.
Let me first say there is plenty of blame to go around and there will be a time
to discuss that. Both parties have screwed us. Especially Congress.

How about what got us here and that is the mortgage problem brought to you
by Barny Frank and Chris Dodd? Now of course these two CROOKS are in charge of
fixing the problem that they themselves made. That is an impossibility. But hey
that is just the Frank/Dodd cover up. I doubt they will be calling for hearings
on themselves.

Then there is Bernie Madoff today. Fine he pleas. But what does he really
do? He really bypasses a trial and we will never know all the story. Why is that
important? Because the SEC did not do their job and if there is a trial guess
who gets embarrassed? I don't know the answer, but I guarantee there are dozens
that are implicated and many are elected or appointed government people. But hey
that is just Madoff and that cover up and it's only 60 billion or so.

Where to next? Let's go back to the future with Bush and Paulson and TARP.
That one makes me so sick let's just agree that's another cover up. Where's the

Fast forward and we have been saved with a stimulus package that nobody in Congress
read. The largest spending bill in the history of mankind and nobody took the
time to read it?? I call that 'Congressional Malpractice.' This cover up scares
me a lot. The seeds planted here have to be funded forever. Many of the expenses
are on going long after the current problems are gone and that will likely
produce another crisis.

Unfortunately many people don't pay close attention to politics. They hear
tidbits. Some are fact, some are not. Few care. They just repeat. And so the
news media has gone to entertainment and the news we get is driven by a
reporters point of view which may be a view or agenda pushed by management. This
is a dangerous cover up because a press that has an agenda is no press at all. A
reporter has to stay on the trail no matter where the truth leads and agendas
completely defeat that.This cover up is dire.

So we all know we are spending trillions we don't have. But I want to pose
a question that I never heard asked. We know our current national debt is $10
trillion on the way to wherever. But if we would be doing a budget at home we
would look at our debt as well as our assets. My question is what is the value
of the assets of The United States Government? Last I heard the government owned
Yellowstone Park. What's the value of thousands of square miles of pristine
land? Yosemite? How much gold is actually in Fort Knox? How much cash is on
hand? How much is the Washington Monument worth? How many buildings does the
government own? What is the value? I could go on. You get the picture. But as a
numbers guy I really would like to see that side of the equation. How can you
really know how bad things are without knowing?

At the end of the day they are going to print more money, we will have run
away inflation and the only way to fix that is with higher taxes. Much higher
taxes. So then you as a domainer have to readjust your equation. PPC goes down,
equation changed. Registration prices rise, equation changed. Ad rates lower,
equation changed. Tax rate rises, fees rise, hidden taxes rise, prices rise,
equation changed.

None of us know the result of all the things we see changing with any
certainty. But we sure as hell can pay close attention and vocalize the sights
along the way. This whole thing is like an Evil Knievel motorcycle jump and
without a lot of forethought and practice, I just don't know how you make the
leap without changing life as we know it? Without risking everything. There is
still such a thing called 'Survival of the fittest' It is the oldest law of man. I mean there is a difference between helping and supporting. You can't
save everyone. If that was what we did as a civilization, all the dead people in
graves would be on life support instead. What a picture that would be!

What do you think about things? Is wealth redistribution here? Are things getting better or worse where you live? What are the things you are looking for to define success? What are the things you are looking for to define failure? Are you angry? Are you happy? Are you confused? Are you all and more?

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Clam up and Die or be Aggressive. How do you do Business?

Morning Folks!!

There is a lot of talk on the street about a number of companies in our
space going bye-bye. Even the ones that survive are much weaker than 1 year
ago. Layoffs, downsizing, consolidation will continue. Are any of
the companies you work with in trouble?

As companies get weaker they can not play the clam shell game and take
cover. Those companies will be wiped out. PPC companies are fighting reduced
traffic and reduced income. I see a couple holding their own and may even get
stronger, most of the rest are visibly weaker.

The good news is that payouts will hit bottom this summer and then begin to
recover in the fall. But during that time tens of thousands of the best domains
will be developed and leave the ranks of PPC. The companies that survive will
become much stronger because they are being forced to diversify. But even they
must be careful because sometimes too much diversification leads to

I wish PPC was in better shape, but it is not. However I do see some light.
One thing I have noticed during this downturn as compared to 2002. At that time
all dotcom commercials on TV virtually disappeared. This time it is quite the
opposite. Ad rates are so low that dotcom companies are advertising on TV more
than ever. New ones all the time. Most will fail, but it is still fun to see the

I am not smart enough to tell you which companies in our space will fold.
But many will. Many are weak. Many are hanging on to flawed business plans that
worked well during boom times but are no longer a working model. So it will be
interesting to see how this all plays out.

Our first glimpse may be between now and April 15th tax time. This is the
time of year that the rubber really meets the road. As these companies and also
individuals get weaker they won't be posting billboards so you may have to think
hard who has either left the scene or look for other hints of weakness. Some may
even get desperate. Survival makes you do things you never would. So pay close
attention in the upcoming months. This is the time to be aggressive. Those
companies pulling in their horns are making a fatal mistake. The fallout will
soon be visible.

Either way, turmoil among some companies is very serious. My big fear is
that we are a young industry that has really yet to be challenged. Not only is
the industry young, so are the players. They are very sharp and this era will
make a First Mate a Captain. Folks are feverishly looking for new solutions.
Some are promising, most will just eat your traffic. But just one new solution
could turn this industry on its' ear. That solution is getting closer. The people buying traffic are getting more sophisticated. I am seeing a shift in
things unlike anything I have seen in 14 years. When times are good everyone is
a genius. When times get bad we see what genius is really made of.

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz