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.
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
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.
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
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.
candy.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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%.
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
Good Evening Folks!!
In what will be another landmark deal, I am able to report that Candy.com is set to sell for $3M plus an ongoing percentage of sales to a US based candy company. I hope to give details of this deal in the weeks ahead.
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.
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.
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.
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.
before folks wore shoes you would understand what it is like when you see
everyone in the world wearing those shoes.
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.
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.
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.
don't expect it. When we don't plan for it. It happens when you just do what you
do and do it well.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Approach this downturn the right way and it will become your best days. It is so
simple they should make it illegal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
That one makes me so sick let's just agree that's another cover up. Where's the
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.
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.
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?
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,
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!
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?
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
But I sure don't stop there. Far more are business people first and domainers
second. I would fall into the latter group. Domains are a vehicle. A vehicle to
help you make money and grow. But does it really matter what form that vehicle
comes in if it helps you make more money and grow? I believe not. I will be a
domainer until I find something better. I will be a businessman until they plop
me in the grave.
population. The weak are getting weaker and the strong are getting stronger.
However I do see some strong getting weak. Some companies we know I believe are
in trouble or soon to be. The equation has changed and you can't play this game
with an outdated equation. So in the next few months we will see how many
companies adapt and how many either fold or get swallowed up by someone
making a huge mistake. Domains are becoming the center of the new economy in a
way some of us have dreamed about. We are finally entering the final stage and
what is about to unfold will be shocking. I have long talked about domains as an
overnight success that took 20 years. This downturn is a buoy for domains. They
WILL emerge as the multifaceted investments they really are. The domain is the
land rights. The traffic is the location rights. The revenue is the mineral
rights. The revenue is the dividends the banks no longer give. The revenue is
safety. The revenue is portable. The land rights are portable. Shall I go on? We
have built in advertising rights. We have built in audiences. The reason so few
understand domains is it is just too much for most to see because the simplicity
makes them crazy. So NEVER has it been more important not to second guess great
scenarios play out each time looking for weak points in my strategy and other
safe havens. I have yet to find a single anything that can compare to the domain
name. If I did, I would follow it. What we knew then is true now and will be
true for generations. Was the earth flat until Columbus discovered it was round?
So take solace in knowing what others don't know and finally will. You can't
rush the future, you can only harness it. You can only time it. You can only use
it to your advantage if you have the patience required.
sitting pretty. This is not the time to pull back. This is the time to be
aggressive and land the biggest deal of your life. I watch as so many with such
little business background make huge mistakes. They are captains of a ship that
they have never sailed thru a storm. They are not sure of themselves and so they
are scared and pulling back at precisely the wrong time.
companies to survive
starting to take shape. Gonna be the toughest time in generations. But as I keep
repeating, opportunity for our sector will never be better. Survival is a
wonderful thing. Trying to survive allows folks to explore. Explorers will land
on domains at some point and figure out. 2+2=4. They are all searching for what
we already know. So, get to the beach, grab an umbrella and a Pina Colada, relax
and wait for the masses.
If you repeat something that is not factual long enough does it become Fact? I have read in countless places something that just is not accurate and has been repeated for many years as fact. It is time to share the events that led to that. I hope you will indulge me while I tell you the real story as it really went down.
Over the years there has been much discussion about a quote I made that has
been attributed to Bill Gates. The quote: 'Domains will go up faster in value
than any other commodity ever known to mankind.' Did Bill Gates really say that?
quote. Been saying it since 1996. Now I will reveal how this quote got
attributed to Bill Gates. Back about 7 or 8 years ago maybe a year earlier or a
year later there were a group of us chatting on my board one night. As the
conversation winded down there were just 2 of us. That member asked me if it was
okay to post it and attribute the quote to Bill Gates? Figuring the quote did not mean much
coming from Rick Schwartz, I said 'Sure, why not?' Judging by a response from a student domainer on DNForum yesterday who was trying to verify this quote for a paper he was writing. What he actually did was verifiy that the quote would not mean much coming from me. He posted: 'Thanks Rick for the 'real story', I like the sentence, but I won't be able to use it, as the French
audience I'm targeting (novelists, business people, University
professors, etc.) do not know you.'
The person that posted this wherever he did years ago is someone who may decide to
come forward at some point. Somebody many of us know and it took me many years to
remember who it was. (I think) So I have no idea how that would
even be done, but he did it and it surprisingly has circulated and become fact from what I thought was a silly one time post somewhere. Either way, that is the REAL story just to set the record
straight and for historical purposes long after we are all dead. But if the quote sounds better from Bill Gates and does more for the domain industry, so be it.
Have a GREAT Day!
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